The top 5 nightclubs for EDM in Toronto
Any talk about Toronto nightclubs for EDM must be prefaced by the admission that EDM is a terrible umbrella acronym that encapsulates 30-plus styles of music into a palatable and sugary cereal-like mush of uplifting beats. At least electronica was a better descriptor as the a suffix gives the impression of plural form. But for the sake of mainstream media categorizations, let's just play along for now.
Some of the more common genres that fall into the term include Dubstep, Complextro, Tech-House, and Trap music. Toronto has had a long history of electronic music as a rave mecca in the 90s (maybe thanks to our Commonwealth past) and onwards.
Here's a roundup of some of the top clubs in Toronto to get your underground groove on.
The Guvernment boasts a constantly evolving 100,000 sq ft party space that consists of multiple themed rooms (Koolhaus, Chroma, Surface, Skybar upstairs patio, Haven), and a revolving list of international superclub DJs. Peak seasonal parties to check out are Labour of Love, Decadance and Freedom. The Asian guy that hangs out by the left speakers in the front of the main room is always good for a chat. The Guv, or Guvvy, as it is affectionately called by its patrons is rumoured to be moving further down into Portlands territory closer to its lonely cousin, Sound Academy.
Taking over from former tenants, The Devil's Martini, Uniun is the newest addition to the INK family to cater to neighboring condo-land. The multimillion-dollar interior overhaul features dangly electric blue LED lights that hang like tentacles, or post-modern Christmas lights.
The property at 69 Bathurst St. has passed through many hands over the years but no owners have managed to capitalize on the largish whitespace quite like the current tenants, a coalition of some of Toronto's nightlife mavens (Embrace Entertainment), booking agents and entertainment personalities (Kenny Hotz). You never know when an impromptu Kenny Vs. Spenny challenge might go down!
The original Parkdale nightlife outpost, catering to the heavy demand in electro, rap and everything in between. It was also DJ "Nasty" Nav Sangha's first endeavor, who now owns a stake in The Great Hall, Samuel J. Moore restaurant below it, and the East End's Riverside Public House. The set up is fairly simple but there's enough raised seating and couches to keep you in check for a recharge if you need one. Has anyone figured out how to get that jukebox working?
The Drake Underground
There couldn't be a more fitting title to this venue as it is home to mostly underground music events, fitting of EDM and indie-electronic genres. The space has been hosting the riff-raff (and getting confused looks from the 905ers and hotel guests upstairs) since the hotel's beginnings, echoing the former bombed out party space that existed when the real estate was occupied by Galaxy Donuts.
Another old chestnut of the scene, Footy caters mostly to a European, and informed techno loving crowd bringing in talent that probably wont be heard on Z103.5. High pressure smoke is released at peak moments to get you hyped while the crowd claps along to asynchronous beats. Footwork has just announced that they will be shutting down after eight years but rumours have it that they have been actively looking at new locations, possibly even the Annex Wreckroom.
Photo by Jesse Milns