5 new live music venues in Toronto
New music venues in Toronto aren't located in a small pocket of real estate, but spread from the Entertainment District to the Annex to Dundas West and beyond. Even in a city as sizable as ours, going out can get stagnant. Sometimes we find ourselves listlessly scrolling through shows listed on Rotate's site, or on Just Shows, only to find nothing new to do. The Horseshoe and Lee's are just dandy, but to spice things up, here are five new live music venues in Toronto to have on your radar.
Adelaide Music Hall
Toronto's newest music hall got off to one hell of an epic start. The grand opening was in June, and its first show saw Japandroids grace the stage. Located alongside Tap House (formerly London Tap House), an affiliated bar, don't look for DJ nights here; this is a venue that's looking to put the spotlight on instrument-based performances. The next big show scheduled is Blonde Redhead, and that's on Monday, July 15.
Measure now occupies the space that was once Annex Live, so the bar's principles are firmly rooted in music. Owner Bill Clary is into keeping the tradition alive, and he's stoked people often make it out to Measure just to see shows. Certainly no h-word bar, Measure caters to all crowds, from people in their twenties to the middle-aged post-work set. The bar hosts weekly jazz shows and frequent world and hip-hop shows, among other concerts. Check out their Facebook page for more.
Montauk is another new venue contributing to the night vibe at Dundas and Bathurst. Aside from the well-priced and scrumptious cocktails, the space boasts a mezzanine-level stage which regularly receives various DJs and bands playing a mixture of classic and indie rock and hip-hop.
Get your shake on at this new venue at Dundas and Dovercourt. The club hosts a range of groovy events (Can we reclaim groovy? it's probably just gone, right?) from RuPaul's drag race to dance parties lorded over by DJ gods. Check out a sample of the club's events on its website.
Izakaya Sushi House
izakaya has been around since 2011, but they've just added fresh beats to go along with the hand rolls. Recent shows include Black Lady Soul, which is described on Izakaya's Facebook page as "slippery blue jazz melds into hiphop neo-soul, and don't forget that splash of soy sauce." Umm...dare I say this sounds like a "do"? They've also already got a dance party lined up for August, and you can check out their page for more listings.
Studio Bar is a fledgling operation just west of Dundas and Bathurst. Right now, it's hosting private events on the weekend, but in the future the owners plan to showcase local bands and DJs. As an added bonus, the front of house is set up like a deli for optimal drunken sandwich times, and the brick walls show off paintings by Toronto artists. When I stop in to get the scoop, I notice a sign indicating Jager specials are a key component to the events held thus far. It looks like this might turn out to be a place to dance and get a lil rowdy, partnas.
Blk Box is a venue within a venue, located downstairs at The Great Hall. This is a place for the party people to come and worship, no question. Case in point, here's the music from one of their latest shows, Box Of Kittens/Platform Pres: Robag Wruhme. There's also food at the venue now in the form of The Samuel J. Moore to soothe your drunken munchies.
Handlebar is your classic, dark, somewhat-divey bar located in Kensington Market at the foot of Augusta, which is the perfect place for it, really. They've been open since last summer, and they've had live music since the beginning, but they've put more of a focus on tunes recently. I've been for a few shows, but a dear friend of mine goes more often, and he articulately describes the talent as, "up and coming indie shit and "weirdo electro stuff." That and a $5 beer, and basically anyone should be satisfied.
Photo of Measure
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