Nightclubs and bars, Toronto
This is the place to go to if you want to see a quality blues band during your stay in Toronto. This is actually since there is not much to choose from as Toronto is not a great blues town. However the Silver Dollar does host some noted acts from time to time. For instance I saw Alvin Youngblood Hart and Mem Shannon here. Other notables roll through here too when they are tour. Furthermore the is the place to go to if you want to see what is happening on the Canadian Blues scene. Acts like the Downchild Blues Band frequently play here.
There is a problem with the location of the place. It is right next door to a homeless shelter however this makes the immediate neighborhood seedy rather than dangerous. I have had no problems there.
Word on the street is that this bar will close down and the building demolished sometime in the not too distant future. Regardless it rarely books important acts anymore and is in the decline.
Dress Code: Casual
On Friday nights from 5-10pm all drinks are $2.50. It attracts a 25 and older after work crowd. The crowd is well dressed, men are usually in suits. The music is good too and it has lots of places to sit and chat if you don't want to dance. Around 10:00 it turns into a full blown nightclub and the dance floor gets packed and the dress code slowly starts to change as you notice the women are wearing less clothing. A great place to go if you want to go somewhere classy but not spend a lot of money.
Dress Code: No running shoes, or ball caps.
For a fun night out in Toronto, check out The Devil's Martini! It's a very large club with a great layout for mingling. Most people are very friendly and out to have a good time. It caters to the 25+ crowd -- and the music is not so loud that you can't have a conversation.
On Saturday night, get there early or you will have to wait in a long line! Also, watch out for some of the aggressive women attending bachelorette parties. Some may even try to get you to give them articles of your clothing! When I was there, some women attending one such party asked me to give them one of my socks (haha). Great place -- highly recommended!
Dress Code: Casual, but neat
I visited the Elephant and Castle pub on Yonge Street one afternoon during my visit to Toronto in February 2006.
It is a typically English pub with a large bar, English beers on draught, a dining area and flat screen TVs mounted above the bar showing, amongst other things, live English football.
As well as English beers, the pub also offers Canadian beers (Molson and Labatts) on draught and various bottled import beers.
My visit coincided with a Premiership match between Liverpool and Arsenal, so I bought a pint of (expensive) Boddingtons (7.30 CAD) and settled down at the bar to watch the game.
Dress Code: Casual
Named after the Communist Party's mouthpiece newspaper, this place serves one thing: vodka--but about 30 different ways. To be honest, I don't remember a lot about it but my guide said that it hosts many celeb events and my espresso-tini was pretty uplifting.
Dress Code: I had khakis and a dressier shirt and got in. Pricing is $10 a drink; you make the call.
Very cool spot. From the size of the bouncers you know it's got high standards (how I got in I'll never know). A big bar in the middle with a few levels. No dancing, just standing and, well, schmoozing. $10 to get in...unsure of the drink price (thankfully probably).
One thing...if you go to the loo you have to leave your drink on a table outside of the (well-guarded) door (a looong way outside it. Sink area is co-ed, which is interesting.
AND, I just learned, on Fridays from 5pm-9pm drinks (including Heineken and vodka mixers) are just $2 EACH! No wonder the green bottles were coming fast and furious that night!
Dress Code: Dress up.
I frequently get asked at work "Where should we go for a drink?". When I say "the Irish Embassy", I get puzzled stares and maybe a giggle thinking that I am making a joke relating to the Irish stereotype with regards to beer consumption. In fact the Irish Embassy is a very popular, somewhat upscale pub, in the middle of the business district in Toronto. The pub is especially popular with business people after work and all the suits seem to mesh well with the marble-top and brass decor. The Irish Embassy is housed in a building built in 1873 that used to be a bank so it has high ceilings and is very spacious. It is also very popular on the weekends. I come here during important football and hockey matches like the Winter Olympics, European Cup and Champions League games.
Dress Code: At time business attire after work to fit in but usually casual.
When I went to Toronto for the first time, a friend of mine told me about this new hot spot lounge that recently opened up in the downtown core of the city. All I was told was that it was a sophisticated place to go for a drink. Not really knowing what to expect, when I entered I walked into one of the coolest venues I've ever been to. It was a beautifully designed vintage cocktail lounge with the staff (all beautiful women I may add), wearing beautiful corsets. It was really like going to a classy underground Speakeasy back in the 1920's. It was nothing like I would have expected.
So upon getting seated in these amazing red velvet, vintage tufted couches, I was already at ease and completely comfortable. The vibe was chill and relaxed as they just opened the doors so it wasn't too busy. The cocktail list was absolutely out of this world. Drinks I've never heard or seen before was on this menu and for an upscale establishment, the prices weren't too bad either.
Around 11, the place started picking up and by midnight was absolutely packed. The DJ that was playing played wicked house music and come 12:30, the small dancefloor was packed. I couldn't help but join in on the action because the energy was very infectious. People were dancing everywhere and were really having a great time. At first, I wasn't sure what to expect but the design of the lounge, the music and the drinks all made for one of the best places I've ever been, hands down. Next time I come back to Toronto I will definitely be there again. Highly recommended place to go!
Dress Code: Stylish and sophisticated dress code (Lots of beautiful people there, without the pretentiousness)
If you haven’t heard of Yuk Yuks yet you should get ready. It’s a chain of stand up comedy bars across Canada. I’ve always wanted to go to one and finally got to experience it in Toronto during and overnight stay there.
I was walking up Richmond Street after the Lord of Rings show and found the place. It was only $17 to get a ticket in, so I took advantage of the opportunity. I got the last two acts and one of those was the feature.
JP or Jean Pierre was the first and then came what I call shock comedian John Rouse [http://www.jasonrouse.com/]. Both where hilarious but be warned Jason Rouse’s show is extreme. He pushes the bar and might not be for everyone because it gets worst, worst and worst and the police never show up. He is conceivably the devil. I don’t want my site on VT to be removed so I can’t repeat any of his jokes or it will change the rating of VT.
On this Saturday night the place was blocked and it looked like I was lucky to find a seat. Here is a warning. Once the show starts if you get up out of your seat, you are asking for trouble and don’t say you were not warned.
You are going to stick out and you become the target. Poor soul after soul couldn’t control their bladder and in hind sight probably would of pissed themselves. Once you get your seat there are plenty of waitresses running the tables getting drinks.
I love humor though and seen these shows on television before but it’s not the same as being there live. Definitely go and you’ll be done the show by midnight or so, giving you time to still hit some of the dance clubs on Richmond Street.
Not being a night owl I never really experienced much of the late night scene here in Toronto but I am informed that pretty much everywhere has to stop serving alcohol at 2 am. Some bars are quite generous in letting you finish your drinks but others will literally herd you out, finished or not.
Never mind, you can always pick up some non-alcoholic beer from a 24 hr convenience store :(
Dress Code: No glasses on the patio after midnight - hmmm, where's my beer? It's all gone dark, OMG!
This is the premier jazz club in Toronto. The top local talent appears at the Rex, along with top-notch touring performers who sometimes just drop in. If you enjoy good live music, then be sure to visit The Rex.
Dress Code: Semi-casual.
The Irish Embassy is a Pub and Grill located in an old bank building built in 1873.
The Main area is huge and high and rather noisy at busy nights.
Good for drinks and food can be picked from these menus:
Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Bar & Late Night.
Big screens so you don't miss any of the ongoing hockey games.
Located in downtown Toronto - this is not the easiest bar to find unless you know where you are going. The enterance is actually down a side alley way which you can access from either Richmond St or Peter St.
We've been a few times, once for a going away party and once for a birthday. I do seriously love this bar. It's big and beautiful, even though it's a little expensive.
For the ladies, you seriously have to see the bathroom which takes up the entire top floor. They often have hair and makeup stylists there who will fix you up. Soft plush couches and everything!
If you are going I would suggest getting on the guest list - it just gets you ahead of the line, but it's worth it. Be sure to check out the age requirements based on the night you attend.
Dress Code: They are pretty dressy - no rips, hats, sneakers. Ladies - you'll probably want to wear a nice dress!
Club Ménage and Bistro 333 is central to everyone and right in the heart of the downtown core. We have a full menu for catering, several private rooms, a second storey patio overlooking King Street, multimedia equipment including a plasma screen TV for presentations, experienced DJs and hosts, multiple hotels surrounding us for your hospitality, and much more...
----- THE RESTAURANT -----
The stylish modern design of Bistro 333 is sure to please everyone. Whether your function is for 50 or 500 people, our team will serve your guests with friendly, professional excellence.
We offer a wide variety of specialty food stations and sweet tables that are prepared to perfection by our culinary Chefs. Offering an extensive selection of sparkling champagnes, fine wines, and open bar packages to suit your budget and taste.
----- THE NIGHTCLUB -----
Experience one of Toronto's most extravagant hotspots. The latest technology in Sound & Lighting fill the room with a beautiful, modern atmosphere surrounded by an elegant decor. A large wall-mounted plasma television is available for your multimedia presentation.
The city's top DJ's will keep your dance floor alive for the length of your party with a variety of music suitable for all of your guests, no matter the age group.
----- THE PATIO -----
Overlooking King Street in the heart of Toronto's downtown core is our beautiful heated, covered outdoor rooftop patio. This spectacular view has to be seen to be believed.
Comfort is our primary focus throughout our establishment, and especially on the patio. Our tables and chairs will have your guests feeling relaxed, while in an upbeat and fun surrounding. From Cocktails to Dinner and Dancing, all aspects of your function can be enjoyed on the patio.
Club Menage and Bistro 333 is the ideal host for any corporate event. For more info and to book your next event please call 416 420 6185
Dress Code: No Sneakers
The Green Room isn't a dive... It is THE dive of the entire Annex scene. This pub/bar/dank hole is so depressing its front door exits into a parking lot behind Future Bakery and next to the regular stores' dumpsters. If dark and depressing is your thing, come on down to a bar that's a legend among students in both high schools and universities in the city of Toronto. The beer and bar food are both cheap and, despite the ample room, the bar is packed most weekends. The music is usually rock, although the era will change, and the bar staff are either surly or diffident. Later on into the night (say after 10) however, the blues can easily be shaken simply by the boisterous crowds of 20 somethings who are anxiously attempting to drown out the belief that their BAs will lead to nothing. If you want to experience Toronto without make up of cheap frills, this is the place to be.
Dress Code: Just be clothed in some manner.