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Suba Nightclub

Photo: Eugen Sakhnenko

Posted by Eugen Sakhenko / September 23, 2009

If you go to Suba Nightclub at College and Spadina, you should go after midnight and you should be young and it will also probably be helpful if you are slightly (to fully) hard of hearing. If you go around 11:30pm like I did, you will be the only patron there and there won't be any other bodies in the space to absorb the WALL OF SOUND coming from the live DJs. You won't be able to order a drink because the bartender can't hear you, and you will really start to wonder what you are doing there.

"SPICED RUM!" I hollered at the bartender, both of us rendered deaf by the wall-rattling decibel of the music, "SPICED rum!" After a few minutes of this, he at last looked at me with dawning comprehension and mouthed, "RUM AND COKE?" So the first thing is, don't order anything fancy unless you have a pen and paper or another non-verbal way of communicating it.

I would've liked to sit but the only seats were around a small scattering of tables near the speakers from which The Wall Of Sound was booming. The prospect of standing at the bar drinking white rum and Coke and destroying the last tenuous fibres of my eardrums was daunting. But that isn't to say that Suba isn't a perfectly enjoyable place to be. The thing is, I am, like, 90 years old. I am as old as the hills. But you - you are young! I am sure you are young and you like to party. Suba is for you! Me... I like cats and housecoats and I have arthritis in one toe. I'd rather sit in front of the TV with some moonshine.

Back in the 20th century, though, when I was your age, I used to go to clubs like Suba and I used to have a swell time. A Latin club on the cusp of Little Italy, Suba has live DJs every night (Wed-Sun), spinning R&B, reggae, hip-hop, salsa and merengue, and a variety of events. These are theme nights for the most part, with pricey cover charges, so be sure to check out their website at, or their Facebook page, "House Your Body", before you go.

Most of Suba's event posters have "Dress code in effect" splashed across them, so the bouncers won't let you in if you look like a total slob. But even if you're shelling out $20-$30 to get in, the vibe up in the club is decidedly more after-hours club than swanky ballroom - unadorned and virtually furniture-free, Suba's bare bones space is designed to house noise and dancing bodies, and noise and dancing bodies only.

If you're in your early twenties and you get dressed up to go out on College St and you recognize any of the following names: DJ Edwin "El Sonido", DJ Johan "El Paisa", DJ Picante, or MC Baby Black... then grab your hair straightener and go have fun before you become an old fart like me!

If you're on the other side of 25, though, and your style is more jukeboxes and irony, you might just want to trot on down a block to Augusta Ave and see what's shaking in Kensington Market instead.

Writing by Jessica McGann

Additional Details

Beers on Tap:
Canadian, Heineken, Coors Light
Signature Drink:
Rum and Coke
Bar Snacks:
Live DJs, electronic, Latin, house, reggae, R&B
Live Music:
Who Goes There:
Clubbers, 20-somethings
Wednesday to Sunday, 10pm-2am



Hugh / September 23, 2009 at 12:41 PM

Suba has got to be one of the WORST bars I have ever been to. Among other issues such as the bouncers being unusually unintelligent and belligerent (based on multiple visits, situations not involving myself or someone I know) and the number of underagers who were there once when I went, they water down their alcohol, big time. This alone is a terrible practice and I've reported them to the AGCO multiple times for this. When it's the first drink of the night and I can't taste any alcohol, I know what you're doing. That, and the bar service is terrible. Barely enough staff to handle half the number of people who were there.

On the plus side, the crowd is usually pretty decent and the DJ's are good. Too bad the venue is so terrible.

Nick / September 23, 2009 at 1:51 PM

This is by far the worst place to party in T.O.

Hugh is right, they water down the alcohol and the place could do with a good clean and some lights in the bathroom. Been to plenty skanky clubs in my time, mostly during the 20th century : ) but this is the poorest of them all...

Lulu / September 24, 2009 at 12:18 PM

I honestly hate this place. Its dinginess is barely covered by worn out sofas and a bad paint job. The watered down drinks are brutal and the author is right, you have to yell out your drink 5x to get an order in. Sound system sucks too, its loud but not in a good way.

Mike / September 24, 2009 at 12:41 PM

This place is horrible. The sound system sucks large. if you are down with piercing highs and lack of bass, then go reach this place. and the security are assholes. and the owner is an A**HOLE. the place is dark and dingy and the music they play is shiet. Also i notice that their circuit breaks would break every so often so you are left with no music every now and then.

dont go to this bar.

Troy L / September 25, 2009 at 1:25 AM

Suba was nothing like this last time I went, I had a great time the music was a bit loud but the staff and people were awesome. The SUBA ACADEMY OF DRINKING!!!!

Tom Wrecks / September 25, 2009 at 12:30 PM

I Love Suba and Jessica McGann is a whore trust me.

Jon Fecks / September 26, 2009 at 2:24 AM

I hate Suba and the only whore Tom Wrecks knows is his mother.

Jon Fecks / September 26, 2009 at 12:00 PM

I take that back me and Jessica McGann are both dumb sluts. Sorry for any confusion :(

Steve B / November 20, 2009 at 1:16 PM

Tom is right, The Academy of drinking has begun at Suba and its a bumping party. Whoever stumbled in there on a random night for an event was blinded by what really happens at Suba. I went there for the UofT Varsity Football Pub Night and it was bangin'. Cheap drinks all night, good music. It has definitely changed from what it was back when you visited.

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