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Photo: Jesse Milns

Posted by Jesse Ship / December 18, 2012

Moskito is the buzzing new home to Toronto's sticky nightlife family, although the building that houses it has seen a fair bit of history since the summer.

Just a few months after Plaza Flamingo shut down, the building has already gone through one identity change. The Rochester, whose name derived from the building's original 1900s storage house identity, quickly fell flat on its face, and has now been reformed as Moskito + Bite; Moskito being the upper dance space, with Bite as a restaurant tapas lounge that also hosts various live music events.

So far, Moskito has been creating an old school, all-nighter, booming stereo party space for international and local artists that has not been seen since the days of Industry and other spots that vanished around the turn of the century. The owners (local restaurateurs with a few neighboring shisha and tapas bars in their portoflio) are doing a good job of creating a go-to spot for a quality night out with no pretensions, and a well-mannered security team.

The space is quite vast with a massive sunken dance floor surrounded by bars on its perimeter, and the DJ booth 3/4s of the way to the back, backed by what could be used as a VIP section if the organizers choose to make it so. What might need to be tweaked is their exit system, which has party-goers leave through the downstairs Bite lounge.

Decor has a laissez-faire feel to it, with the odd ping-pong-playing geisha wall print, and ceilings have exposed bulk heads with ventilation pipes that snake around the club. The gray stuccoed back corner bar area is actually a service area, so don't wait around there expecting to be served! The bars have anonymous tip jars for you to dump your change into rather than leaving coins on soaked and sticky counter surface. What might also take you back to the old school party vibe are the water prices, with bottles clocking in at $5.00. Beers run at typical price--Heineken for $7, and Stiegel tall can for $8--and standard bar rail comes in at $6.

With a number of top techno and house promoters and bookers on board like The Gerbz, Platform, Embrace, Mansion, Bassmentality, and Provoke, Moskito is bound to keep the dance scene alive, but it seems they might have to re-evaluate their crowd control strategy. If you're arriving at 1 a.m. to see an act like Art Department, you might as well forget about it, or wait a good hour in line before the crowd dies down. However, not all big acts will draw such a crowd. I was there for Mark Farina a week before, and was let in quickly and efficiently. You can also catch bands playing downstairs at Bite, like Toronto's most up-and-coming funk and rare groove band, the Soul Motivators.

With its friendly staff, punishing sound system and convenient location, it would be nice (albeit a bit selfish) to keep this place a secret for those in the know. If Moskito keeps up with its already growing crop of bookings, it could be the next big thing in Toronto's club scene. The next major shows coming up include their in-house selection for the Dirty Cycles New Years Eve party.

Additional Details

Beers on Tap:
Signature Drink:
Bar Snacks:
Downstairs at Bite
No strict guidelines but mostly electronic music such as house, techno, electro, dubstep
Live Music:
Who Goes There:
Club heads, dance music lovers, EDM lovers
10 pm - 5 am



EveryonesOpinion / December 18, 2012 at 1:58 PM

Don't say EDM lovers. Please.
Those who "love" EDM are more comfortable @ Guv on a Saturday night.
This place is for people who really love House & Techno. None of that Big Room Electro stuff.

KelSEE Grammar / December 18, 2012 at 3:00 PM

This bar is not in Little Italy, as it is on the East side of Bathurst. Also, College Street has no East/West addresses, as this site's mini-map and legend suggest.

Tzv / December 18, 2012 at 4:26 PM

Superiority complex based on skin colour and area code.

justsaying / December 18, 2012 at 5:00 PM

management is absolutely terrible and treat everyone that works there and that goes there like garbage and rips off their staff out of money. DO NOT support this club until it gets new management that is actually organized and fit to run a proper venue.

Vicky / December 18, 2012 at 5:43 PM

Have they fixed their sound system yet?
when i went there it sounded pretty butchered. Its either the placement, or the tuning that needs work

Chris In replying to a comment from justsaying / December 18, 2012 at 5:46 PM

I work at Bite, and the management its awesome and has never been anything but honest and generous with money.

Please get a clue.

Miss Kriss / December 18, 2012 at 8:08 PM

Racist much?

Ian / December 18, 2012 at 11:37 PM

This place has serious potential to be a Toronto night club that doesn't suck. I really hope this place can flourish without turning into a typical toronto club vibe. I think they're definitely on the right track! Feels a little like Berlin Venue. excited.

Sam / December 19, 2012 at 8:43 AM

Racism? On a comment board!?

JP / December 19, 2012 at 9:44 AM

I've gone twice (Box of Kittens & Sneak's bday beats) and the crowd, staff, sound were all great. It reminded me more than anything of System back in the day, and I got nostalgic seeing a lot of the old System family there.

The city needs places like this - relaxed vibe, no pretensions, good DJs, made for people that just want to dance and have a good time with friends.

Joe Cazzo / December 19, 2012 at 5:31 PM

This is THE EDM Place for EDM Lovers. If you like EDM you definatley need to come to this place, it's totally for EDM lovers. All you hear inside is people talking about EDM. Its the best EDM place in Toronto by far. Ratio of guy to girls is 100 to 1 on a good night BUT they're all EDM lovers!

Z / December 21, 2012 at 5:34 PM

hey bud, we own many venues in toronto , nightclubs, Lounges, Restos , our partners are both indian and arab, I would love for you to come say exactly this to my face....people like you stay home, dont need to go to clubs, Head to Orangville , you`ll fit right in , you give toronto a bad name - 2013 and still shocked at people, Karma BabY!

Wowzar / December 23, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Checked out this new happening place last night ! Great venue ! Great vibe! I haven't heard good beats like this in dawg years! Fantastic!

lol / December 25, 2012 at 9:13 PM


DJ Alyssa / December 26, 2012 at 1:12 PM

love the old school vibe. will miss the industry reunion :( but looking forward to 2013 there. p.s lets bring the love back all races welcome! xo

justsaying In replying to a comment from Chris / December 28, 2012 at 6:17 PM

hey chris, read my comment again and maybe youll get a clue as to what im talking about. wasnt talking about downstairs at bite at all. still stand by my words that without new management this place will fail.

and to whoever wrote this:

Z In replying to a comment from eguy / DECEMBER 21, 2012 AT 5:34 PM

hey bud, we own many venues in toronto , nightclubs, Lounges, Restos , our partners are both indian and arab, I would love for you to come say exactly this to my face....people like you stay home, dont need to go to clubs, Head to Orangville , you`ll fit right in , you give toronto a bad name - 2013 and still shocked at people, Karma BabY!

you just validated everything i said. stay classy and keep running your business so well.

Lol / December 30, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Love how the term edm makes pretentious clubbers so uncomfortable. Relax cool guys.

anon In replying to a comment from Miss Kriss / December 31, 2012 at 3:42 PM

lol have you been to Berlin? I would assume not...

anon / January 2, 2013 at 4:14 PM

Have been a couple times now, and have a few comments:

The levels: terrible. I have personally seen 2 different people slip and fall after purchasing drinks, NOT because they were overly drunk but because the steps get slippery and the person inevitably falls.

The bartenders: I have received both the best and the worst service here: some bartenders chat you up, get you going, and have a great night with you; while a few others are the snottiest people around. On my last night there, having a substantial drinking night under our belts, a friend asked for a glass of water and tipped $2 for the bartenders "troubles". The patron asked for one last drink and another glass of water with that drink, and the bartender VERY rudely said: "the first one's free, now you have to pay", and slammed a bottle of water in front of her. Fine: if the individual wasn't drinking (ie: a paying customer) OR hadn't tipped, maybe the treatment of this bartender would be pardoned (although still illegal), but because she was a paying customer and had tipped on the water, completely unacceptable. The bartender: the tall, skinny one with a short/shaved blond cut; was out of line and should lose her job. Not only is it illegal to refuse water to someone, but bad for business.

You don't stay in business by treating people this way. The club is "popular" now, but won't for long with these kinds of people working there. Word of mouth travels fast.

darthvapor / January 6, 2013 at 10:55 AM

We need by-laws preventing large nightclubs from opening up in normal mixed commercial residential areas. Just when the city started to get a handle on the "club district" we have new places popping up downtown (also at the great hall). By the summer this place will attract a garbage crowd with the typical byproduct of excessive noise and violence, I just hope it gets its license revoked before the bullets start flying.

JI / January 7, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Nice to see somebody posting about this new place. From personal experience and opinions of friends I find it to be hit and miss. Yet it has a lot of potential.
First party I attended there the security was aggressive and obnoxious. The second party I attended there I barely noticed their presence.

The sound is better than some of its competitors. Yet not what you are hoping for from a new spot on the scene. The system is a used Dynacord from the closed down, Boa, from what I've heard. The first night I went there it sounded good, no complaints. But nothing "punishing" as the writer says. The second time I went it seemed to be tuned terribly. As well it's not very loud and crowd chatter is heard over the music from various places on the dance floor :( Most of the seating doesn't have any sound at all. So what you get is muffled tunes from the dance floor speakers. I have seen a lot of places turn around their sound with minor adjustments. If they can do a little more here I think it would go a really long way and make this system from something that isn’t bad too something that’s great.

Washrooms are too small for a place this size.

Location is too central for a new EDM place. It may have had more of a chance over time if it opened somewhere less built up.

Venue capacity is awesome.

Promoters they’ve attracted are awesome. This is the heart of it all IMO. So it says a lot to have this down.

If they can work out some of the quirks I think this place would really come together. And be a big benefit to the scene.

Plinio Silva / February 4, 2013 at 5:43 PM

I've been in this place last Saturday for the winter festival after party. I had one of the worst experience of my life. They had the totally non sense and rude security guard I have ever seen working. I don't know what happened to him, it seems that he can't handle working in crowded places. I was going to the washroom and I had to pass by him at the stairs, I don't why, but he push me (violently) into the stairs and I hit my back on it. I really don't understand why. There was no reason, I was only going to the washroom. After standing up again I saw the same guy holding a girl by her hair. I hope Moskito has cameras at the stair by the entrance and please watch what happened last Saturday (Feb 2nd). It ruined my night and for sure I'll never be back there. I totally disappoint with Moskito and Bite.

dan In replying to a comment from Plinio Silva / February 11, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Dont dis moskito because u wouldnt move i was standing there when i seen you get pushed by him, he was trying to keep the line moving and you wernt moving or listening to him! Great place!!! First time there for brr festival! Chus and ceballos! great music great fun!

JEWFF / August 30, 2013 at 2:42 PM

This place went under faster than titanic. I heard the management and owners were thieves. Scamming their staff on many occasions.

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