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Best of Toronto

The Best Blues Bars in Toronto

Posted by Phil Villeneuve / June 24, 2016

blues torontoThe best blues bars in Toronto are like walking into your grandma's house and smelling that favourite dish she makes. They make you feel good and at home, even if the music itself tells of sorrow and heartache. Know what I mean? These are places that give the city a little bit of extra soul through raw emotion and amazing musicianship.

Here are the best blues bars in Toronto.

The Rex

The Rex

A jazz and blues powerhouse on Queen West, the Rex has been around forever. There is literally live music every single night with 19 shows a week, and world-renowned musicians are commonly known to stop by, so keep your ears and eyes open and you're in for a treat. More »

Fat City Blues

Fat City Blues

Step outside of Toronto and into New Orleans with this deep south-style blues bar. Not only do they have nightly live shows, but inside it's covered in rustic wood finishes and feels like a cozy Bayou shack. They also serve "Big Easy" drinks, po' boys and seafood to keep you vibing with the theme. More »

Jazz Bistro

Jazz Bistro

Live music goes down six nights a week at this Victoria St. bar beside the Senator. It may be a jazz bar officially, but what jazz musician doesn't get the blues? The food is classic bistro style and the vibe is classy cool. Check the schedule for blues bands hitting the stage. More »

Hugh's Room

Hugh's Room

This place is my kind of jam. It's a laid back, neighbourhood bar with an amazing cast of rotating and guest musicians. If you get a gig at this Roncesvalles blues joint, you've earned the respect of many here in Toronto. The food is good, so you'll want to take in dinner and a show, but it's the live music that'll keep you coming back for more. More »

Grossman's Tavern

Grossman's Tavern

You've walked by this self described "home of the blues," dozens of times. It sits on Spadina, just south of College, and blasting from inside you'll hear guests like The National Blues Jam, New Orleans Connection All Star Jazz Band and Miz Debbie and the Don Valley Stompers belt out their best. It featurs the city's longest running Sunday night jam session. More »

Gate 403

Gate 403

This is a piano bar where you'll hear both jazz and blues from mostly local musicians. It's kind of like the Cheers of blues bars - everyone knows everyone, it's super friendly, and sometimes an uptight psychiatrist comes in for a cocktail or three. More »

The Cameron House

The Cameron House

The legendary music house casts a wide musical net beyond jazz and blues, but there are shows seven nights a week, so you're bound to stumble upon some bleeding hearted slide guitar player. There are usually two shows a night, plus the back room! With a great drink selection and a room of music lovers, you'll be among your people here. More »

Black Swan

Black Swan

Established in 1972, this much-loved Danforth blues tavern has live music every night of the week. There's also a lively comedy scene just in case the lyrics get you down. The beer selection is decent, and the constant flow of rock and blues is even better. More »

N'Awlins

N'Awlins

N'awlins might attract a lot of tourists, but it also host some solid live music via weekly jazz and blues shows. The tight room can get very busy, but that only adds to the atmosphere when there's a live show. This is the best spot to stop before or after a TIFF screening if you like music to make you feel something. More »

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