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Photo: Roger Cullman

Posted by Staff / October 5, 2007

CiRCA is Peter Gatien's 3000 capacity uber club at John St. and Richmond. The entrance to CiRCA starts familiar enough with a Guvernment-esque box office. Beyond the cash registers is a long, dimly lit hallway filled with display cases where you might spot a female Elvis impersonator squeezed into a gold jumpsuit a top a pseudo-Harley, or a foxy mechanic working her pliers on a model engine.

All is just a prelude to the stairwells outfitted with leather clad mannequins. Or perhaps the topless dancer who parades under a see-through umbrella. Then there's the unisex bathroom outfitted with a bar and DJ.

A club this size implores ingenuity and creative flare. The massive dance floor houses giant speakers that emanate so much base it needs to be countered with areas that offer reprieve. My favourite is an intimate room at the east end of the third floor which sometimes surprises with live musical performances and mood lighting.

Then there's the Kid Robot adorned bar on the west side that features Frank Kozic's smoking bunnies (some pimped up in gimp outfits!). It's a Magic Pony fan's wet dream.

Elsewhere is more standard fare like an obnoxiously tricked out VIP glass cube overlooking the dance floor (for celebs and athletes I'm told) or the bottle service booths for Bay Street bankers to show off their, um, personality.

But unmistakably, there's embattled impresario Gatien's touches. On any given night, there might be a stream of masked ballerinas strutting on the second floor.

Additional Details

Beers on Tap:
Signature Drink:
Red Bull and Vodka, Bottle Service
Bar Snacks:
Different rooms offering different sounds with DJs playing house, electronic, hip hop and top 40
Live Music:
Who Goes There:
Depends on the night. Club kids, 905ers.
Friday and Saturday - 10PM -3AM/4AM



Jerrold / October 6, 2007 at 3:54 PM

How was the music? I've been into the techno/house/tech-house DJ/club scene for over 10 years and was very puzzled by the DJ lineup. I didn't recognize a single name with the exception of A.D./D. (which I'm assuming is Mario J). Is the music more mainstream?

SamNotTheRecMan / October 6, 2007 at 6:39 PM

Went to Circa Friday night. This place is *AWESOME*. I loved the place.....there is so much going can't get bored. They got those interactive exhibits, the actors, the random dancing french fries, bottles, lips and more! THe lighting system was amazing and the sounds system definitely kicked. I spent a little time in every room (i think) and was definitely impressed. Note least Friday night are for those who dig electronic music....only a tinge of mainstream music

Chris Orbz / October 6, 2007 at 6:51 PM

The music ranged from the mid 80s to present day dirty south, but every single track was an experimental electro remix. Constantly kept you off-guard while doing a really good job of continually hyping things up. I definitely didn't recognize a single name on the lineup, but that's fine, it was much better than any of the nights where I do!

I'm really not a clubland person and I really enjoyed the night, I think Circa lived up to every scrap of the hype around it, and I'll definitely be going back... but mainly to introduce other people for their chance to have a first time there, I can't really imagine going weekly and having it turn into some sort of a lifestyle, while I'm betting there will be people who do exactly that.

Hmm, I wonder what the Saturdays are like...

Greg / October 7, 2007 at 4:31 PM

base = bass; a top = atop

J. B. Goode / October 7, 2007 at 9:55 PM

What is the cover charge for this spectacular playground?

jimmy james / October 9, 2007 at 3:45 PM

this is the greatest club I've ever seen. All the other Toronto clubs shoudl be concerned, it looks like there is a new king in town. Can't wait for next weekend.

James / November 12, 2007 at 3:23 AM

$15 on Friday

Cam / November 18, 2007 at 11:31 PM

Took a bunch of us to circa for the first time to see Mr. Flash and had an incredible experience. We just had to go back again the next weekend. You know this place kicks some serious ass when you can go without knowing a single one of the DJ's and still have the best night out you've ever had. No attitude from anyone, the bouncers, other dudes, girls. There's nothing else you could ask for from a club (except maybe cheap drinks, but fuck, this is on par with any top club in north america)

Xero / December 29, 2007 at 9:23 PM

How much are the drinks there anyways?

Brandon / January 19, 2008 at 2:06 PM

I have been to many clubs in many cities.
Circa has impressed me above all for a multitude of reasons. The atmosphere is incredible. The lighting, the music, and the themes are crafted with a great deal of care and expense.
People will complain about paying to get in and the prices of drinks, but in dealing with a quality environment with a higher class of patron, this is essential. I have never seen so many pretty girls in one club.
Everything is done right in my opinion.
There are plenty of spots where the music isn?t as loud so you can speak with people or even make a phone call.
You can leave one district and walk into another and feel as if you?ve driven across town to a different club.
And it?s the only place in the city I?ve been to which play?s good house music. Even if you?re not crazy about house, different rooms cater to different tastes in music.
You can tell the management cares about this place because everything from the decency of bouncers, to the nightly themes and DJ?s, are designed so people have a good night.

Hope this helps.

youwish / April 18, 2008 at 11:09 AM

cue as in lineup.

Roger / April 18, 2008 at 1:40 PM

That would be queue. ;)

For an updated look at Circa, check out this review from February's redesign.

-- Roger

Adam L. / July 14, 2008 at 2:39 PM

brutal club...terrible bouncers!!!!

Bryan F / August 5, 2008 at 4:45 PM

Circa is an amazing venue!! Not sure if Toronto is ready for it yet!! They constantly have the best DJ's and by far are the most creative managment staff especially when it comes to putting on a show!!

You will get lost, but if you find your way into the Kid Robot room be prepared to be blown away.

If youve never been its worth checking out. always has a good listing of events at Circa.

If youve never been then you have to check it out, you would be crazy not to!

CallahanFrancine35 / September 24, 2012 at 7:08 AM

I received my first loans when I was 25 and that supported my family very much. However, I require the short term loan once more time.

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