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Music

The top 10 rehearsal studios for music in Toronto

Posted by PO Karim / July 19, 2014

Rehearsal studio music TorontoThe top rehearsal studios for music in Toronto perform that necessary function few non-musicians give much thought to: a pass to be as loud as you possibly can. Musicians know what I mean. You're in a band, you need to practice. Neighbours may not care for your art (your art is going to wake the baby/freak out the Pomeranian), so unless someone in your band has access to a fully-detached property with a deep basement or a sound-proof garage, you're going to need a rehearsal space.

When choosing an hourly rehearsal space price is often a determining factor - most Toronto spaces run from $15 to $30 per hour. Then there's location, quality of gear, ease of booking, scheduling flexibility, and the cleanliness of available studios. I've listed Toronto's finest rehearsal spaces not by ranking by in alphabetical order - different needs for different deeds, different rooms for different tunes. Now make like MC5 and kick out the jams!

Here are the top 10 rehearsal studios and spaces for music in Toronto.

A Musik Zone
Location: 748 Broadview Ave.
Contact: 416-462-1731, art.zone@bell.net
Price: starting at $20/hr.
The studio at A Musik Zone has seen 27 years of bands and artists passing through at Broadview & Danforth. Four rent-able rehearsal rooms are available, three by the hour, two of which are large enough for mini concerts, if you're ready to rock for an audience. The fourth room is a monthly rental space.

Array Music
Location: 155 Walnut Ave, M6J 3W3 (Queen and Niagara St)
Contact: 416-532-3019
Price: $21/hr Sun-Thurs, $31/hr Fri-Sat.
This space just south of Trinity Bellwoods specializes in orchestral, composition and interdisciplinary arts clients. Array Music functions as a rentable rehearsal studio as well as an event venue. Pianos, drum kits, and P.A. systems are rentable for flat rates and block bookings of 10 hours or more receive 15% discount. It's home to the Array Ensemble and features a yearly concert season, an artists-in-residence program, workshops and special events. Finally, a place to practice my timpani.

DC Music
Location: 360 Muster Ave, M8Z 3C7 (Bloor and Kipling)
Contact: 416-234-0222
Price: starting at $15/hr ($10/hr for drum room).
DC Music is a full-service music industry production house. In addition to rehearsal studios beginning at $15/hour, they offer a soundstage for touring pre-production and video production, t-shirt printing and custom merchandise services, an artist development program, a music academy, they host concerts and special events, and boast a client roster of top-selling international recording acts. Truly a one-stop shop. A premium room, a drum room, and a soundstage are available at varied rates.

Decibel House
Location: 14-244 Brockport Drive, M9W 6X9 (Hwy 27 and the 409)
Contact: 647-430-8155
Price: starting at $20/hr.
Decibel House offers a clean professional rehearsal experience with quality gear and acoustically treated rooms. Studios are available monthly or by-the-hour, and money-saving incentives are available to artists booking large blocks of time, or pre-paying online. They also feature a large showcase room for bigger bands or more intricate set-ups.

Encore Rehearsal Studios
Location: 76A Geary Ave, M6H 2B5 (Dovercourt and Dupont)
Contact: 416-537-3542
Price: $20/hr.
Encore Studios is a boutique rehearsal space catering to clients that prefer a more laid-back, low traffic atmosphere. The rooms are well-equipped and all clients are given personalized service. The location also doubles as a venue and features concerts and special events throughout the year.

The Groove Room
Location: 15 Towns Road, M8Z 1A2 (Kipling and Horner Ave)
Contact: 416-259-3325
Price: starting at $40 for two-three hours.
Two guitarists who were "unimpressed" with the rehearsal studios available in the city started The Groove Room in 2007. They make it their mission to provide top-quality gear and service at affordable rates. They even have a dedicated drum room for drummers who need to practice on their own without a fully-equipped studio. Cleanliness and comfort are a priority. Budget rooms are available at a discount for $40/3 hours; $50/4 hours; $10 each additional hour.

The Jam Space
Location: 500 Keele Street unit 301, M6N 3E4 (Keele and St. Clair)
Contact: 416-722-7363
Price: $15/hr.
This second floor warehouse in The Junction boasts 2,500 square feet of rehearsal space including a 1,000 square foot rehearsal room and professional backline. They also offer photo, video and graphic design services. Even as jam spaces go this place is pretty relaxed - just make sure you load in all your gear before you get locked into the building.

PRB: Pro Rehearsal & Backline/Cherry Jam Studios
2 Locations: 33 Villers Street, M5A 1A9 (Cherry Beach); 154 Islington Ave, M8V 3B6 (Islington and Lakeshore)
Contact: 416-693-1816
Price: Islington Ave starting at $55 for 3 hours; Cherry Beach starting at $60 for 3 hours.
With two locations bracketing the south-east and south-west ends of the city, PRB has established themselves as one of the top names in Toronto. Their client roster is a who's who legendary recording acts (AC/DC, Adele, KC & the Sunshine Band, QOTSA, Justin Timberlake) and they've provided backline gear to the likes of The Junos, Beaches Jazz Fest, and Canadian Idol. But you don't have to be a superstar - all are welcome.
Note: PRB will soon re-brand as Cherry Jam Studios, and their new website will allow for online bookings.

Ratspace
Location: 1278 Dupont Street
Contact: 647-705-8605, booknow@ratspace.com
Price: starting at $30/hr.
Rat's studio east of Lansdowne and west of Dufferin on Dupont boasts a list of clients including Death From Above 1979, Metric, and The Weeknd, any of whom you might see loitering outside as you lug your own fucked up, barely working gear into their lush rehearsal studios. Their single room is rather idyllic by practice space standards: 14" ceilings, 900 sq ft of space, wi-fi, two washrooms (!) and best of all, an engineer who will hook you up with a monitor mix at the start of your session. Day rates are available for $275.

The Rehearsal Factory
3 Locations: 178 Front Street East, M5A 1E7 (Front and Sherbourne); 660 Richmond Street West, M6J 1C2 (Queen and Bathurst); 330 Geary Ave, M6H 2C7 (Dufferin and Dupont)
Contact: 416-366-1525
Price: starting at $15-25/hr.
If you've ever played in a band in Toronto, you've probably jammed at a Rehearsal Factory. Their three downtown locations makes them easily accessible, they have several different price points for different types of hourly and monthly rooms, and bookings can be done online. Although you can often hear the metal band next door while you practice your acoustic set, for convenience and location they can't be beat. Pro tip: if you can make (/afford) the drive, their Mississauga location is pretty swanky, roomy, and often quieter.

BONUS

Ruckus Rehearsal & Recording
Location: 15 Towns Road, M8Z 1A2 (Kipling and Horner Ave)
Contact: 647-284-2964
Ruckus keep it on the down low - they didn't respond to my email and could not be reached by phone. Very little information available on their website. Anyone know if this place is awesome or not?

Did we miss any great Toronto jam spaces? Are you renting out your garage? Let us know in the comments.

Writing: PO Karim. Photo: Rehearsal Factory.

Discussion

6 Comments

JimmyB / July 19, 2014 at 09:28 am
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I play in a 9-piece classic funk band, and our drummer is in Etobicoke. We use Ruckus all the time now, and it's well worth it. It's inauspicious looks belie the fact that the gear is in good shape, the rooms are comfortable, and they have free bottled water in all the rooms.

There's only one bathroom, but it's clean and includes toilet paper and soap, which is more than a few of the above spaces can say.

As a reference point, we've also used Decibel House extensively, and they're really great to work with, great gear, nice space. Ruckus absolutely holds up, if a little rougher around the edges.
Audio Blood / July 22, 2014 at 01:25 pm
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Such a great resource for musicians! Also keep in mind, the odd time venues will rent out their space to bands they've established a working relationship with to rehearse!
John replying to a comment from JimmyB / August 22, 2014 at 06:01 pm
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Hey...just to clarify things, Ruckus offers rooms for rent on a monthly basis only.

Maybe you found yourself at the Groove Room...they operate fantastic hourly rehearsal spaces in the same building, and offer free bottled water.

We found these guys after bad experiences at the rehearsal factory and they're now our go-to jam space.
Damian / August 26, 2014 at 06:07 pm
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Seems everyone has something bad to say about Rehearsal Factory. Maybe one day they will get their sh!t together. My band and I refuse to go there due to bad experiences.

For us, the Groove Room is perfect. We tried DC Music but we couldnt hear ourselves over the loud Metal bands.



Rehearsal Factory / August 29, 2014 at 09:47 am
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Thanks to Po for including Rehearsal Factory in this list.

Damian - We take pride in offering professional studios with quality gear and great service! If you've had any issues in our studios, please contact our head office at info@rehearsalfactory.com with your feedback so that we can continue to improve our services.
Max Éden / October 1, 2014 at 09:04 pm
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Just 25 min north from the 401 on the 404.
We Have 9 Rooms Pro gear vented The rooms are engineered for live sound!!
www.thejamspot.info
1166 Gorham st Unit 3 Newmarket.
905 898 2526

Pease and Rock on!

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