toronto nightclubs

Toronto looks to crack down on illegal nightclubs

With the upward trend of dance floors shrinking, and the city's long history of pushing nightclubs and large dance spaces out of downtown, it's no wonder many restaurants and lounges are taking initiative and trying to create space for people to boogie.

There's just nowhere else to go.

A new report from CBC claims an increasing number of entrepreneurs are applying for restaurant licenses and then turning their spaces into dance clubs after 11 p.m. 

City councillor Jim Karygiannis, who represents Ward 39 and co-chairs the city's municipal licensing and standards committee, is pushing for the city to look into the issue.

It's a tough situation given that the city very rarely gives out licenses for nightclubs these days.

When we reported on the state of things last summer, city planner Dan Nicholson explained that "the evolution of the restaurant industry has brought about the advent of the resto-bar, which has created lots of great places to eat and further blurs the line between restaurants and bars." 

In order for a business owner to get a rarely granted entertainment license, they have to make sure they're located in a properly zoned part of the city.

They then have to prepare detailed security, noise and crowd control plans, something that's not realistic for a lot of smaller venues in the city who just want to let the people dance.

According to the CBC, the municipal licensing and standards department has charged 158 establishments for using a restaurant license to operate a nightclub. This has resulted in a total of $39,750 in fines.

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns


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