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The 25 most famous Toronto bands

Posted by Aubrey Jax / October 11, 2013

Famous Toronto BandsThe most famous bands and musicians from Toronto right now come from a huge variety of genres and backgrounds. From hip hop to folk and from basement show beginnings to internet success stories, it's almost hard to believe that all of the artists on this list share Toronto in common. Most music fans will agree that taste is subjective and art is about more than money, fame or awards received. Yet the huge, churning wheels of the music industry owe a lot to Toronto artists, whether those musicians were born and raised in the GTA or moved here to tap a greater creative community and/or access larger markets and and opportunities.

We're still watching DIANA, Maylee Todd, Kevin McPhee, Tre Mission, Timbre Timbre, and Down With Webster rise to fame, while other underground bands such as Trust, Hayden, Nadja, Tre Mission, SINS, Dragonette, Babe Rainbow, Egyptrixx, and Mary Margaret O'Hara have dedicated fanbases worldwide and in many cases a lot of internet traction. There are also countless Toronto artists whose careers continue to shine bright, such as K-os, Cowboy Junkies, Sloan, Nelly Furtado, MSTRKRFT, Kardinal Offishall, Career Suicide, and Maestro Fresh Wes, to whom we pay undeniable respect.

Yet when we ventured to answer the question "who are the most famous Toronto bands right now?" these were the 25 names we amassed. Add your nominees in the comments section.

While we're not assigning anybody numbers here, it's fair to say Drizzy is Toronto's most famous musician right now. The rapper / r&b artist and holder of several Billboard records, has collaborated with Jay Z, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, and 2 Chainz and was more or less responsible for The Weeknd's rise to fame. Winner of three Junos, six BET awards and one (useful) Grammy, Drake is currently riding on the September release of his critically acclaimed third studio album Nothing Was the Same, which has been blasted from cars, apartments, and clubs both across Toronto and the world to the point that if you don't have a NWTS track stuck in your head right now, you might want to get your hearing checked out. He plays the ACC on his birthday later this month.

Rush might be a little outdated since their formation in 1968, but everyone listens to vinyl now anyway, right? Each member of Rush is respected as a master of their instrument. Ever watched a Neil Peart drum solo? You might want to Youtube that. Rush has been awarded twenty-four gold, fourteen platinum, and three multi-platinum albums, totaling over 40 million in sales. They've won several Juno Awards, and were inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. Sure, they might be your dad's favourite band, but their name keeps buzzing for good reason.

You can't deny that our homegrown girl Leslie Feist has become an international superstar. She first hit it big with "1234", the song that got permanently stuck in everyone's head for the next year. Her album The Reminder went on to sell over 2.5 million copies, and earned four Grammy nods, plus five trophies at the 2008 Juno Awards, including Songwriter of the Year, and Album of the Year. Her fourth release, Metals, won the 2012 Polaris Music Prize and received three Junos. She has too many accomplishments to even list here, and I think we can all agree that Feist is among Toronto's top indie royalty.

Fucked Up
Another Toronto Polaris winner, Fucked Up are so famous they have their own breakfast platters at Sneaky Dee's — need I really say more. The artsy, room destroying hardcore group steadily gained traction over the years until their 2011 "rock opera" David Comes to Life, which became Spin Magazine's #1 album of the year. That a band called Fucked Up including members who nickname themselves (fucked up, seriously) things like "concentration camp" can become critically acclaimed and beloved by indie and punk fans worldwide might just be the largest testament to Fucked Up's being on to something original that works.

I heard deadmau5 is pretty sad and hangs out alone in his condo all the time, and you know when you hear a rumour like that, the subject of the rumour must be like, jealousy-inducing rich and famous. The EDM superstar always wears a huge mouse helmet, gets himself into internet beefs, and generally keeps followers entertained / enraged in between making millions of dollars, playing huge festivals such as Coachella, appearing at the MTV Video Music Awards, almost marrying Kat Von D, and putting his pants on one leg at a time. This month he's suing a dude who didn't pay him $200,000 to play a request (granted, the request was Bon Jovi).

Say what you will about Metric, Emily Haines' synth pop / alternative rock band, the foursome do not quit. The Broken Social Scene associated band have been based in Toronto, Montreal, New York, Los Angeles, and London, and as they started out in what they describe as "difficult" lodgings in a Brooklyn loft, still wear their indie-ness on their sleeve — perhaps with good reason since their most recent album was the self released Synthetica. The Polaris shortlisted album debuted number 12 on the Billboard 200 and number 2 on the Canadian Albums Chart, and while it sometimes seems the band have legions of haters, they clearly have a huge and devoted international fan base as well. The Juno winners have toured the world, opened for the Rolling Stones, and collaborated with Lou Reed. Jealous?

Broken Social Scene
Are Broken Social Scene on hiatus? It doesn't matter, the name is still reverberating, partly due to all of the side projects and connected bands the massive collective has accrued (Feist, Do Make Say Think, Stars, Metric, etc). BSS's love of ensemble pieces and cryptic song titles and lyrics has a huge following of indie and post rock fans world wide (check Pitchfork's huge database of their own BSS coverage), but they're most adored here at home, where it can seem like 80% (actual number must be closer to 25%) of active bands in Toronto claim some association to the band, or their label Arts & Crafts. Toronto fans got to see their beloved band reunite and perform this summer at Field Trip, a short story contest based on their songs took place here this summer, and BSS have appeared on some compilation albums so far this year. There just might be another chapter of BSS in store.

Owen Pallett
Aside from being a clear favourite personality in the music scene and on Twitter, Toronto's Owen Pallett has made a huge name for himself and continues to be a Toronto citizen of note: truly amazing for a guy who called an album He Poos Clouds (this album won the Polaris Prize in 2006). No longer working as Final Fantasy, Pallett has been focusing on contributions to, remixes for, and collabs with what adds up to be a huge list of names, including R.E.M., Duran Duran, Jim Guthrie, The Hidden Cameras, The Mountain Goast, Arcade Fire, Dntel, The National, Grizzly Bear, The Pet Shop Boys, Diamond Rings, Fucked Up, Taylor Swift (!!!), Linkin Park (???), and Beirut. His next project will be scoring a ballet for the The National Ballet of Canada in November. Swoon.

Crystal Castles
Experimental and controversial electronic duo Crystal Castles have gone a long, long way from being a noisy underground Toronto project named after a line from a cartoon. Their debut album made NME's Top 100 Greatest Albums of the Decade, and they've since charted on the Billboard Hot 100, collabed with Robert Smith of The Cure, headlined worldwide, and toured with Nine Inch Nails and Depeche Mode. Their punky, futuristic aesthetics have captured the hearts of dreamers, glitch lovers, and fashion students world wide — one question, though: whatever happened to that petition for Tumblr to change its name to Still into that.

The Weeknd
Abel Tesfaye emerged anonymously via Youtube in 2010, posting tracks from his House of Balloons mixtape over black and white images of decadent urban grit. His break out song "Loft Music" suggested the bleak claustrophobia of cosmopolitan condo living and drug-fueled hook ups. Drake got behind him, and Tesfaye's talent, anxious falsetto and feel for urban ennui combined with Zodiac's unique production made The Weeknd something of an overnight success. While Toronto's seedy 4am condo high life needed (and still needs) more representation in art, some media backpedaling about Tesfaye's genius has been stirring, partly because his misogyny and apparent theft from artists like Portishead seem more than a little uncool. Still The Weeknd is only rising higher, and has three upcoming dates at Massey Hall this month.

The Birthday Massacre
"Who?" says everyone who isn't goth. Synthpop / industrial / new wave group The Birthday Massacre are one of Toronto's secret breakout talents, likely because of their Halloween-y aesthetics; Toronto is such an image town. They've charted on Billboard, toured the world as headliners and with the likes of ‪Black Veil Brides‬, have been remixed by Combichrist, amassed a legion of online followers, and are about to embark on a November tour with theatrical songstress Emilie Autumn. This spooky band might never be as big as Drake, but they're famous in circles where black lace is a lifestyle and each boot should take a minimum of 66 seconds to get on.

Billy Talent
Can you believe it's been 20 years since this group formed as Pezz? With their uniquely coiffed hair dos, alternative rawkers Billy Talent look like a band doomed to play punk music forever to the mall crowd — yet a lot of people go to malls, and a lot of people go to Warped Tour, a lot of people listen to bands signed to Warner, and a lot of people worldwide will fill clubs and stadiums for Billy Talent. They've gripped MuchMusic Awards, JUNO Awards, and MTV Awards, and shared stages with the Buzzcocks, Weezer, Blink 182, Guns N' Roses, and Arcade Fire. Here at home, they're the most nominated band in the history of the Much Music Video Awards. Good on them.

Zed's Dead
Signed to Mad Decent, Zed's Dead is a dubstep/EDM duo who have toured the world and claim a huge worldwide following, partly due to their habit of giving tracks away for free online. After forming Zed's Dead in 2009, DC and Hooks soon after started weekly party Bassmentality, which gave them a chance to play and curate music they liked, their way. Now they've produced remixes for The Rolling Stones, Massive Attack, Radiohead and Bon Iver, and made it to #11 on the US dance chart and #4 on the Heatseekers chart. They are currently headlining a massive North American tour called Altered States.

Flamboyant electroclash artist Peaches may live in Berlin, but she's still got a weird Toronto heart. While her most famous moment will always be that video with all the pubic hair ("Set it Off"), you can find her on countless film soundtracks (including Mean Girls), she's collaborated with mainstream pop artists Pink, Christina Aguilera, and Major Lazer, as well as Le Tigre and John Malkovich, and has toured with Marilyn Manson and Queens of the Stone Age. Her work with performance art, gender identity, sexual politics, and just plain sexiness make her one of Toronto's most interesting cultural exports.

K'naan broke out when single "Wavin' Flag" became Coca-Cola's anthem for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. So you might be surprised to learn the Juno winner has also spoken before the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. He's been at various times associated with Mos Def, The Roots, Nelly Furtado, Adam Levine, and, yet K'naan stands out for doing his own thing and following his own heart, claiming he hopes to make "urgent music with a message." He's published a children's book, released six studio albums, and played the Hollywood Bowl and, more importantly, appeared on Ellen Degeneres. He hasn't been up to much lately, but fans are eagerly awaiting his next move.

Serena Ryder
Multiple Juno winner and EMI recording artist Serena Ryder takes folk, country, and indie to places which we'll describe as nice places, and has toured and performed with the likes of Melissa Etheridge. She's peaked at number 29 on the US Adult Top 40 with her single "All for Love," to which one can easily say, "nice." Ryder played both Luminato and the 2013 Walk of Fame fest this summer — fame is right in the name of the latter fest. Case closed.

Azari & III
If you're not fan of electronic you might be scratching your chin about Azari & III — otherwise, you'll be nodding. The band combines a range of styles such as house, disco, and garage, and catchy singles "Hungry For The Power" and "Reckless (With Your Love)" have been their tickets to clubs and festivals across Europe and the world, making them a huge name in electronic circles both in Canada and overseas. They've remixed Robyn, Cut Copy, and Health, while Grizzly Bear and members of Broken Social Scene are both reported to be fans.

Blue Rodeo
In their 25 year career, Blue Rodeo has sold over four million records, won five Juno awards for Group of the Year, been handed keys to the city of Toronto, and been inducted onto Canada's Walk of Fame. Not bad. Blue Rodeo songs are familiar to pretty much every Canadian, we've heard them played at every open mic and campfire jam in existence. Though they are on and off touring now, their music is still alive and well, keeping them recognizable as an iconic Canadian band.

Death from Above 1979
Well, it seems odd to put a band whose most famous work was released in 2004 (gold album You're a Woman, I'm a Machine) on this list, but Death from Above 1979 are still playing live, and are still one of Canada's most talked about groups. Nobody can give up this duo's relentless noise rock sound, which honestly sounds as fresh now as ever. Those elephant trunk / penis noses are a part of Canadian history forever, and we stand proud and tall with that knowledge. The duo reunited in 2011, because they knew their raw power was too much to contain.

Diamond Rings
John O'Regan was first known as the quirky frontman in the post-punk quartet The D'Urbervilles. To everyone's surprise, he then made the leap to electro synth-pop under the moniker Diamond Rings. He's loud, he's out there, and he's pretty hard to ignore. His music been given the stamp of approval from critics at Pitchfork and Exclaim!, plus he's performed on Letterman and Leno's late night shows. Not only that, but he's collected an impressive roster of touring experience too. He's hit the road with Robyn, PS I Love You, and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark.

Austra, named after the Latvian goddess of light, is an electronic band comprised of a mish-mash of talented Toronto musicians. Their debut album Feel It Break made waves in the Canadian music scene; not only was it named best album of the year by Toronto Star and New York Magazine, but it was short listed for the 2011 Polaris Music Prize. They've just released their second full length album "Olympia" and have toured it through the U.S. with DIANA, and through Canada with Moon King. Having formed in 2009, they're still early into their career, and they've set some solid groundwork that will keep us paying close attention.

Cancer Bats
Cancer Bats are more buzzy than batty, especially for a hardcore group. Though they've been Juno and Polaris nominated, the band have mainly found their fan base slightly outside of the mainstream, touring constantly and supporting bands like Alexisonfire, Billy Talent, Against Me!, and dropping 4 studio albums which have found the most love from punk, hardcore, metal and indie audiences. The band are currently touring Canada with, appropriately, Black Sabbath tribute band Bat Sabbath, who (don't get confused here) are also the Cancer Bats. Awesome.

Tokyo Police Club
Tokyo Police Club got their pop-rock foursome started in 2005. They didn't waste any time, and recorded a couple EPs in their first year. Then off they went on their first international tour. Their debut LP Elephant Shell was a massive success, and helped them to sell out shows in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Toronto. They've appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and maybe most impressive of all... Desperate Housewives. In 2010 they dropped their most recent release, "Champ", and toured it alongside Passion Pit. Sure, they haven't been as busy in the last year or so, but they've certainly put in the hard work to make their band pretty damn famous.

METZ! After a steady rise to fame in the Canadian punk scene, METZ are now signed to Sub Pop!, have worked with Graham Walsh of Holy Fuck, made the 2013 Polaris shortlist, and show no sign of slowing this very, very loud and special thing they have going down. If they can keep the momentum going, their Wikipedia entry won't be a stub for much longer.

Barenaked Ladies
Last but not least, what would this least by without this bunch of jokers. With hits like "The Old Apartment", "If I Had $1000000", and (the wonderful) "Brian Wilson", the Barenaked Ladies have spoken, or joked rather, for a generation (or two). They are staying relevant today, with their 12th album debuting at number 10 on the Billboard200, and their theme song kicking off every episode of the hit show The Big Bang Theory. They've won multiple Juno Awards, been nominated for Grammys, and have sold over 15 million records worldwide. With yet another international tour underway, they're keeping the good times coming and repping Toronto worldwide, even after some serious line up changes.

A note about our selection criteria

When trying to determine our hypest musical exports circa 2013, we included some Toronto bands based in multiple cities such as New York or LA, and a few, like Peaches and Crystal Castles, who spend much of their time in Europe and the UK yet still register as TO talent. We also thought that it made sense to include bands like Broken Social Scene who, while on hiatus, continue to garner significant attention even as they play rarely.

List compiled by the blogTO music team. Writing by Aubrey Jax and Julia Stead.

Photo of Drake by Karla Moy



no / October 11, 2013 at 12:55 pm
Fuck Rush.
Anthony / October 11, 2013 at 01:31 pm
Neil Young
dww / October 11, 2013 at 01:34 pm
Jonesy / October 11, 2013 at 01:36 pm
I know they've been around over 20 years, but come on, where's the Tragically Hip?
Jonesy replying to a comment from Jonesy / October 11, 2013 at 01:36 pm
Actually nevermind, they're from Kingston I believe.
Toni Allen / October 11, 2013 at 01:49 pm
Hooray for The Birthday Massacre! One of my top 3 favorite bands. Glad to see them get some recognition.
Jason / October 11, 2013 at 01:49 pm
+1 for The Birthday Massacre!
Liz Fernandes / October 11, 2013 at 01:49 pm
Steve replying to a comment from no / October 11, 2013 at 01:50 pm
Fuck you.
nonbelieber / October 11, 2013 at 01:51 pm
I wondered why Bieber wasn't on the list, but he comes from London, Ont I guess. Truth is he is bigger than all of the list, though, whether anyone likes him or not.
alex / October 11, 2013 at 01:51 pm
what about skinny puppy, frontline assembly and kittie? kittie is very famous :/
Brandon Wilson / October 11, 2013 at 02:00 pm
E. Toby Coke / October 11, 2013 at 02:01 pm
I have a few more to add to this list, but you've probably never heard of them.
Forgotabout / October 11, 2013 at 02:02 pm
Gotta love the hipster lists. In case you closeted Royal York kids were in diapers in the early to mid 1990s Toronto had/still has an absolutely phenomenal hip hop scene stemming out of Flemo, JnF, and Scarborough. This list to not have Kardinal Offishall, Choclair, or Ghetto Concept.

Just a note, Deadmau5 isn't the only EDM group/dj that has come out of Toronto. I know, shocking isn't it? For those of you who know half a thing about drum n bass music your list might have included Marcus Visionary, Slip n Slide, maybe even Freaky Flow.

Did I just date myself with this post? Maybe, but hell I'm tired of everyone bowing to Drake as the second coming. Go back to Degrassi.
annie / October 11, 2013 at 02:07 pm
mike in parkdale / October 11, 2013 at 02:19 pm
Where's Anvil ;)

but really.... Ron Sexsmith? Maestro? Jeff Healey? THE BAND?

Syd Waters replying to a comment from alex / October 11, 2013 at 02:20 pm
+1 to this guy

Then there's bands like:

The Band
Danko Jones
Our Lady Peace
markosaar replying to a comment from alex / October 11, 2013 at 02:21 pm
Skinny Puppy and FLA are from Vancouver. Kittie is from London.
Jeff / October 11, 2013 at 02:23 pm
Crimson Shadows?
Syd Waters replying to a comment from Syd Waters / October 11, 2013 at 02:23 pm
I stand corrected: -1 for that guy.

Plus, Stars is technically from Toronto; all their band members were born here after all.
Syd Waters replying to a comment from Steve / October 11, 2013 at 02:24 pm
Please do not feed the troll
mac / October 11, 2013 at 02:27 pm
Hmmmm, no Danko Jones. How is that possible? Only popular all over the world and just finished the RockStar Energy Tour with Jane's Addiction and Alice in Chains. Once again the world of hard rock and metal is overlooked. No surprise, Indie hipsters will never get it.
Simon / October 11, 2013 at 02:29 pm
Deadmau5 is from Niagara, not Toronto.
how the hell you forget / October 11, 2013 at 02:33 pm
WOW. What a glaring omission:

Serial Joe.
Poy / October 11, 2013 at 02:48 pm
You missed canada's greatest gift to music, Neil Young.
G. / October 11, 2013 at 03:00 pm
No Dallas Green? Or Alexisonfire?
Electro / October 11, 2013 at 03:06 pm
1. About Metric: " sometimes seems the band have legions of haters"? From where did you get this weird idea? Metric is one of the most loved indie rock bands. Great musicians, great songs, lyrics, voice, image, live performances, artwork; what's not to like? Plus they have the fantastic Emily Haines. I think they have few haters, not legions...

2. Great that included the underrated but awesome band The Birthday Massacre. Probably their spooky image prevented them to have a bigger success, because their songs are ace and incredibly catchy. Few bands are that consistent as TBM, who deliver great album after great album.

3. Also nice to see Crystal Castles, Rush, Broken Social Scene, and Feist on the list.
Jimmy / October 11, 2013 at 04:06 pm
Billy Talent is from Mississauga. And not sure if Drake counts as a band...
MER178 / October 11, 2013 at 04:43 pm
Ron / October 11, 2013 at 04:45 pm
Next time, ask the people first. Second, you forgot Shad.
Greg replying to a comment from Ron / October 11, 2013 at 04:48 pm
Shad is from Hamilton. And you just made a pretty good case as to why asking the people is a bad idea.
Jack / October 11, 2013 at 05:04 pm
Black Pistol Fire. Not famous yet, but they should be. Two guys from Toronto but playing out of Austin, TX.
Sheriff Buford T Justice / October 11, 2013 at 05:14 pm

They are the rotten-roll revolution
Ron replying to a comment from Greg / October 11, 2013 at 06:49 pm
Shad is actually from *London*, Ontario, lives in Vancouver, but reps Toronto. Thanks for coming out, Greg. Shad is also my cousin.;year=2013&month=10&title=Shad-and-Strombos-track-by-track-guide-to-Flying-Colours&permalink=/blogs/2013/10/Shad-and-Strombos-track-by-track-guide-to-Flying-Colours
Ron replying to a comment from Greg / October 11, 2013 at 06:54 pm
AND also has a place in TORONTO. Cheers.
BBBen / October 11, 2013 at 07:03 pm
The Band

Background information
Also known as Levon and the Hawks
Canadian Squires

Origin Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Genres Roots rock, Americana, folk rock, country rock
Years active 1964–1977, 1983–1999
Labels Capitol, Rhino, Warner Bros.
Associated acts Ronnie Hawkins & The Hawks, Bob Dylan, John Simon, Allen Toussaint, Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band
Past members Rick Danko
Levon Helm
Garth Hudson
Richard Manuel
Robbie Robertson
Jim Weider
Stan Szelest
Randy Ciarlante
Richard Bell
BBBen / October 11, 2013 at 07:05 pm
THE BAND was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1989[4] and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.[5] In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked them No. 50 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time,[6] and in 2008, they received the Grammy's Lifetime Achievement Award.[7] In 2004, "The Weight" was ranked the 41st best song of all time in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.[8]
Kees replying to a comment from Jonesy / October 11, 2013 at 07:11 pm
The Hip are a Kingston band, cmon
Kees replying to a comment from no / October 11, 2013 at 07:11 pm
Rush can buy your mother
Friar Canuck replying to a comment from no / October 11, 2013 at 10:09 pm
Fuck you too.
Friar Canuck replying to a comment from G. / October 11, 2013 at 10:10 pm
They're from St. Catherine's.
Friar Canuck replying to a comment from BBBen / October 11, 2013 at 10:13 pm
Ronnie Hawkins may be from the US, but he made a great dent on Toronto.
Friar Canuck / October 11, 2013 at 10:16 pm
They'd never be on this list, because they're severely underrated, but give a little love to I Mother Earth.
Satan replying to a comment from no / October 11, 2013 at 11:01 pm
Burn in hell, I will find and curse your family
Milly replying to a comment from Ron / October 11, 2013 at 11:53 pm
so if hes from london ontario, but lives in vancouver, why does he rep toronto? that makes no sense...all u did was further prove why he shouldnt be on the list..if hes not from toronto, like u said, and doesnt live here either, like u said, why should he be labelled as "from toronto"? ur cousins a waste yute lol
VS / October 12, 2013 at 12:31 am
B44 obviously.
Nathan / October 12, 2013 at 03:29 am
Hells yeah man, The Birthday Massacre! My Favorite artist right next to Emilie Atumn! XD
Name / October 12, 2013 at 06:40 am
This list blows. Drake is quite possibly the worst thing that has happened to Toronto since that other asshole and his gravy train.
The Sound It Resounds / October 12, 2013 at 07:39 am
We had the pleasure of sitting down with both Owen Pallet and Brendan from Broken Social Scene to discuss some of their favorite records.
Buffalo David / October 12, 2013 at 09:03 am
How the hell did you forgot the best rapper to ever come out of FTA. I still cry every time I hear "Girl I have been hurt and I need another lover." by Snow. 12 inches of snow. So classy. so clever.
sneaky pete / October 12, 2013 at 09:21 am
even though a short career in the 80's don't you think a band named "Toronto" should be on the list...there big hit "Camel Toe"
lassie who / October 12, 2013 at 09:56 am
Anyone notice all the comments on the best band of this decade, the Birthday Massacre and I am not a goth fan. And I agree, I Mother Earth, even if they did break up.
Sandman / October 12, 2013 at 10:06 am
Why is Drake, Weekend, S. Ryder, Peaches, etc. considered a "band"?
They're solo acts.
AJ replying to a comment from Poy / October 12, 2013 at 10:33 am
Let Winnipeg have Neil Young. Just let him go.
Mark Moore / October 12, 2013 at 10:44 am

Mark Moore / October 12, 2013 at 11:20 am

Play loud. Extremely loud.
facts / October 12, 2013 at 11:23 am
If you read the article about deadmau5 that you linked to, you would see that he is not suing, it is the other parties who are involved in suing each other (WME agency and XS co-owner).
JordanH / October 12, 2013 at 11:36 am
Here's a list of artist with the ability to pull a crowd outside of Toronto:
Drake, the weekend, Feist, Azari and III, art department, Austra, and of course Rush. You got most of them right, but threw in a lot of wrong.
Walter / October 12, 2013 at 12:28 pm
the_real_neo / October 12, 2013 at 02:02 pm

The 30 most famous Toronto bands

Barenaked Ladies
Blue Rodeo
Broken Social Scene
Cancer Bats
Cowboy Junkies
Downchild Blues Band
Death from Above 1979
Edward Bear
I Mother Earth
McKenna Mendelson Mainline
Martha and the Muffins
Max Webster
National Velvet
Our Lady Peace
Platinum Blonde
Red Rider
Rough Trade
Sum 41
The Band
The Demics
The Mynah Birds
The Parachute Club
The Pursuit of Happiness
The Ugly Ducklings
the_real_neo / October 12, 2013 at 02:06 pm
and Lighthouse.
the_real_neo / October 12, 2013 at 02:09 pm
also Skinny Puppy and Zon.

Brad Elabdi / October 12, 2013 at 02:09 pm
How many artists on this list have a hit that lasted 7 consecutive weeks at Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, Number 2 in the UK and was ranked No.84 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 90s. That artist is Toronto's own Snow, the song "Informer".

Call'em a one hit wonder if you like but hard to negate those facts if this list is based on the most famous.

Another glaring error is the super talented Sean Paul.
dosesofreality replying to a comment from Brad Elabdi / October 12, 2013 at 02:23 pm
@Brad Elabdi

Learn to read dude! The title says Famous Toronto BANDS, not solo artists! FYI, pretty sure Sean Paul is Jamaican!
Ryan / October 12, 2013 at 04:25 pm
Where's Justin Bieber?
Sarah / October 12, 2013 at 07:14 pm
Lowest Of The Low!
Deryck / October 12, 2013 at 08:49 pm
The Shuffle Demons!!
Brad Elabdi replying to a comment from dosesofreality / October 12, 2013 at 09:18 pm
There are 7 solo artists on the list you illiterate knob
Garfield / October 12, 2013 at 11:53 pm
The Ghost Is Dancing!
Living in Toronto or From / October 13, 2013 at 12:32 am
I just saw City and Colour in vegas play to 2200 people and before that I saw him in Niagara on the Lake headline to 20,000 people.
Jesse / October 13, 2013 at 01:37 pm
Ummmmm, you forgot The Band. That's pretty ignorant.
Toronto Jim replying to a comment from Friar Canuck / October 13, 2013 at 08:19 pm
ST Catharines is spelled the way I just did.
This mistake is made all the time.
Toronto Jim replying to a comment from the_real_neo / October 13, 2013 at 08:30 pm
What about the whole punk scene in the 70's.
You did have the Demics but how about the Viletones, the Diodes and others who passed through the Beverly tavern and the Crash and Burn. I know the writers were not even born yet but really do some research.
Were Red Rider from Toronto?
What about the Pursuit of Happiness. Moe Berg did come from here.
Toronto Jim replying to a comment from Living in Toronto or From / October 13, 2013 at 08:32 pm
Isn't he from St Catharines too.
Rob / October 14, 2013 at 02:13 pm
It's amazing that for the majority of the time, BlogTO readers and writers don't consider anything north of Bloor as Toronto but yet are now trying to claim bands/artists from all over the province as from Toronto.

mezimeen / October 14, 2013 at 05:00 pm
boner / October 15, 2013 at 12:08 pm
^^^ trombone
Jeb replying to a comment from Brandon Wilson / October 17, 2013 at 10:52 am
Frontline and Skinny Puppy are both from Vancouver
TDotRome / October 17, 2013 at 05:09 pm
Yeah, omitting Kardi is pretty weak.
nork sporkler / October 17, 2013 at 09:21 pm
fuck you dumbass. RUSH RULES!!!
Jason Hogan / October 17, 2013 at 09:38 pm
Drake is a hack, terrible rapper, and isn't a musician.
Mark / October 18, 2013 at 08:15 am
Ummmm.....Triumph? Toronto? Max Webster? C'mon guys, if you want a proper list, you have to be realistic...
Rolly / October 18, 2013 at 08:27 am
haven't been relevant in years but Triumph was back in the day.
Mr / October 18, 2013 at 12:58 pm
WHERE IS S A G A ????????
Anthony O'Neill replying to a comment from no / October 18, 2013 at 06:53 pm
^^^^Fuck this person
Anthony O'Neill replying to a comment from no / October 18, 2013 at 06:57 pm
Sorry, the guy who said Fuck Rush. Fuck him.
WFC replying to a comment from nonbelieber / October 19, 2013 at 01:17 am
no. i cannot allow you to lie. Rush is the most famous band on there. there is no argument, no opinion, only truth.
Arrow replying to a comment from dosesofreality / October 21, 2013 at 12:59 pm
Solo Artists, aka, not bands:
* Drake
* Feist
* deadmau5
* Owen Pallett
* The Weeknd
* Peaches
* K'naan
* Serena Ryder
* Diamond Rings
bob / October 23, 2013 at 09:26 pm
Doesn't take much to be considered by famous by 'Staff' at BlogTO.
Provus / November 7, 2013 at 03:12 pm
How could you miss one of the greatest new artists - Slave To The SquareWave.
chris replying to a comment from alex / November 7, 2013 at 03:19 pm

which one of those bands are from Toronto ?
Max / November 10, 2013 at 12:24 pm
The Birthday Massacre FTW! Such an amazing band!
Matt / November 10, 2013 at 01:19 pm
I think Paris-by-way-of-Toronto-by-way-of-Calgary Feist has been a little too all-over-the-place to be called "homegrown." Her formative musical experiences were in Calgary, and her most famous work was recorded while she lived in France, and I'm pretty sure she lives in a rural area well outside the GTA now. There is the BSS connection though.
weathermakerr / December 2, 2013 at 01:51 pm
Hey the list is "most famous", not "most relevant today" so yeah, Triumph would belong on there and Rush pretty much has to top the list along with some others that 'Neo' mentioned. But Max Webster? Ah, regrettably, no - a great band but not all that well known beyond the local scene even while they were together. Same with McKenna Mendelson Mainline which is too bad. Then again, there's a bunch of other more recent acts people have suggested that I'd say don't belong. But Drake? Okay not a band and regardless of whether you like him, he's definitely famous enough to make the list.
Kalle Lilleberg / December 7, 2013 at 07:11 pm
Hello,Born in toronto in `61 Been living in Finland since `85. There are 2 Toronto bands Which have the respect of northern europe,The first is Anvil,the second is Max Webster.The rest on your lists,other than the band are unknown over here. Rush is corparation.Saw Anvil last summer in helsinki,cost 32$CDN. A week later Rush did a arena gig,tickets were 147$CDN. Anvil is a Canaidian tresure and Canadians themself don`t releze it. Give Lips a metal for his work or at least help him finance his next album, Take care.
John Redmond / January 1, 2014 at 10:34 pm
TRIUMPH is all time #1 from Toronto
Rush a close 2nd
The Band #3
Most of the others give me a break -
bar bands !!!!
de Taiwantonian / March 1, 2014 at 12:54 pm
Inspired by the wealth of musical talent that Toronto has produced over the years (some of which are mentioned in this article), I decided to make a compilation video featuring Toronto musicians and their songs:
Celeste / April 19, 2014 at 03:36 pm
Platinum Blonde are still pretty popular. They filled up Nathan Philip Square for a free concert.
Connor / September 18, 2014 at 12:22 am
Rog / February 3, 2015 at 03:51 pm
What about TRIUMPH!!!! are you kidding me. Huge omission.
Alexandra / March 30, 2015 at 04:01 pm
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ALLAN FRY replying to a comment from no / May 14, 2015 at 03:33 pm
Jesus Iris / May 25, 2015 at 03:43 pm
+++++1 for Owen and Feist, of course.

And please, take care of my little love who is arriving to your town, REALLY SOOOOON
MisterLJ / May 31, 2015 at 08:56 am
Famous does not equal talented. Drake is a joke. He's the rap equivalent on Justin Bieber and shouldn't be getting any press, yet BlogTO has some weird fascination with him. Why is that?
Also, Feist is from Nova Scotia, not Toronto.
Chris replying to a comment from alex / May 31, 2015 at 11:03 am
Toronto bands.... not Vancouver bands....
Bart replying to a comment from the_real_neo / May 31, 2015 at 03:20 pm
Great list. You could add the Paupers, Luke & the Apostles, Modern Rock Quartet, Mandala, and a second time for the Ugly Ducklings.
Maria / June 29, 2015 at 09:31 pm
Under Owen Pallett you reference The Mountain Goast; it's "Goats".
Jordan Kariappa / July 8, 2015 at 09:06 pm
Jordan Kariappa - Singer Songwriter/ Engineer in Toronto
Jimmy Breeze replying to a comment from the_real_neo / September 5, 2015 at 12:38 pm
Let's not forget MOXY, the band TORONTO, WIRELESS, GODDO, many
Jono / October 16, 2015 at 10:44 am
No Dragonette? For shame
MH Studios Toronto / January 6, 2016 at 06:41 pm
Nice list! Keep it up guys!
Ryan replying to a comment from mike in parkdale / January 17, 2016 at 10:36 am
Ron Sexsmith is from St. Catharines.
Rob / April 16, 2016 at 08:28 pm
What about Platinum Blonde?
Other Cities: Montreal