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Best of Toronto

The Best Strip Clubs in Toronto

Posted by Rick McGinnis / December 8, 2012

Strip Clubs TorontoThe best strip clubs in Toronto have their spiritual home on Yonge St., even if they're actually out on quiet stretches of the Queensway or Dufferin, in heritage buildings near the Don River, or sitting on prime real estate on King West. A third of our list resides on Yonge, in locations that often date back to when they were bars with bands and maybe an MC who told off-colour jokes between sets, back when burlesque was a recent but fading memory and Toronto was till - at least in its own mind - "the Good."

Many of these clubs are family-owned - yes, you read that right - and as venerable as anything else in the town, with histories going back to the late '60s, when loosened city regulations turned go-go girls into topless dancers and Yonge Street went from seedy to sleazy. They look pretty much like you'd imagine - ripped and patched upholstery, neon lighting and walls painted black, with watered-down drinks and a staff of dancers who are either working their way through college or professionals with a kid or two to feed. (Or occasionally somewhere on the way from the former to the latter.)

These are the best strip clubs in Toronto, as voted by readers of this site.

Photos by the author, Jesse Milns and tomms, apta_2050, peruse, Phil Marion, Metrix X, scarboroughcruiser and funkaoshi in the blogTO Flickr pool.

The Brass Rail

The Brass Rail

The Rail doesn't get its name from a stripper's pole, but actually predates this obligatory accessory to the exotic dancer's act. It remains in full garish vigor within walking distance of Rosedale and U of T and some of the city's best hotels, and was the sort of place where you were most likely to spot celebrities during the Toronto International Film Festival. More high profile than upscale, it put itself on the front line of the city's fight against lap dancing, if that means anything to you. More »

For Your Eyes Only

For Your Eyes Only

With valet parking and a King West location, "Eyes" is the strip club for the upwardly mobile. There's a coat check, but on second thought thanks but no thanks. The stage is bigger than a kitchen table, and thanks to its proximity to the city's publishing and PR industry, Eyes has witnessed more than a few memorable evenings remembered by people who really should have known better. More »

Zanzibar

Zanzibar

A lot of good bands once played on the stage at the Zanzibar when it was a Yonge Street showbar and the strip was famous for its R&B and rock and roll acts. That was a long time ago, though, and nowadays you're more likely to see a lovely young lady with a few piercings and a half-finished sociology MA next to a peroxided pro who's paying off her implants before buying a ticket to L.A. to try and make some real money. More »

House of Lancaster

House of Lancaster

The Lancaster has two locations, one in rapidly-gentrifying Bloordale and the other out on the Queensway, in what was once a supper club that gave these clubs their name. The downtown location is a bit grittier, the Etobicoke club more likely to see the odd wet-eyed suburban dad with a hard, faraway look in his eye. Both clubs are likely to feature the same girls with their intriguing Eastern European accents. More »

Jilly's

Jilly's

"Is that place still there?" There are a lot of people who think that the Riverside area would have gentrified a lot sooner if Jilly's and the hotel above it had left the lovely heritage building they occupy. There are just as many locals who disagree, and insist that Jilly's is as essential to the character of the east end as the library down the street. All I know is that it's a great place to find the roadies for bands playing the Opera House after soundcheck. More »

Remington's

Remington's

The only strip joint on the list featuring male dancers, it might be betting a bit of a boost from folks wondering if Magic Mike was realistic. (It isn't.) The crowd was once male only except for Sundays, but women have been given the run of the main floor later in the day, though the second floor is still a boy's club. More »

Club Paradise

Club Paradise

Strip club regulars say this is a well-kept secret, hidden behind a discrete door in Bloordale, with service and quality almost as good as Eyes or the Brass Rail. I say that these are good guys to know if you want to buy cheap furs or have your basement dug out without a permit. More »

Fairbanks Hotel

Fairbanks Hotel

This gray-painted bunker on Dufferin north of Eglinton does its best not to look too inviting, and it looks nothing like the garish strip clubs of movies and TV crime shows. The low-profile Fairbanks makes the Bada Bing Club look like Epcot Centre. The owners have admitted that they're sitting on the land hoping to sell it for condos. On a cold weekday, the sign outside said it was open, but the doors were locked tight. More »

Filmores

Filmores

It looks like a strip club from an old movie, and occupies a bend in Dundas East that has made it a high profile downtown landmark. Many years ago you'd find delivery drivers from the Simpsons warehouse filling the tables at lunchtime. Today it's supposed to be the entry level club for dancers working their way up to the Zanz or the Rail. One day its neon sign will be in a museum. More »

Discussion

18 Comments

John / December 8, 2012 at 07:09 am
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Money well spent.
Birchmount Ellesmere / December 8, 2012 at 07:27 am
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No mention of Caddy's? We Scarberians deserve a titty shoutout too.
Shawn / December 8, 2012 at 08:14 am
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How many people have done the "Danforth and Eglinton combo?"
Start off the night at All-Star Bowling, then proceed to Rumors for an hour or two and finish off the night at Caddy's (some actually finish off their night at the Eglinton Inn with a trip to the STD Clinic in the morning). My night ends at Caddy's though.
Local / December 8, 2012 at 08:32 am
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Caddys should have definitely been on this list. Jillys definitely should not
Lol / December 8, 2012 at 09:08 am
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Of course it's a 'Rick' who does the stripclub special. What's in a name right Shawn?
Joh / December 8, 2012 at 12:54 pm
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Club Paradise recently go rid of thier iconic neon sign. I slice of Bloorsdale history go forever. Why would the trash that sign? It's almost as if owners have no class or something?
V.P. Kingston replying to a comment from Local / December 8, 2012 at 01:04 pm
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You ain't never been to Jilly's I bet.
Local replying to a comment from V.P. Kingston / December 8, 2012 at 04:35 pm
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Ill take that bet. It's around the corner from me. Unless you're looking for c section Sally it's nae the spot
silence! replying to a comment from Kim / December 8, 2012 at 05:55 pm
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shush you, i love this review!
Gabe / December 9, 2012 at 09:34 pm
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I've been to most of these... They good spots!!!
mohammed / December 10, 2012 at 12:10 am
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What would be more interesting is history of strip clubs in Toronto.

I'd been here 1 week when friends took me to a small strip club on Lombard, same building that is 6pints that was Duggan's that was Denison's brew pubs. The place was no bigger than a student's apartment.
Slice / December 15, 2012 at 03:11 pm
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I feel like this isn't a list of the best strip clubs in Toronto so much as it is a list of all strip clubs in Toronto. I do however love that they are getting reviewed. Sounds like a pretty good day at the office.
Angie / January 15, 2013 at 02:15 pm
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Caddy's should have DEFINITELY replaced Jilly's.
andy V / July 1, 2013 at 08:34 pm
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Zanzibar sucks! Drinks are way overpriced(for Peeler bar) and talent sucks
GGnotell / August 22, 2013 at 01:03 am
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Actually, I only went in Brass Rail once, and it was because the owner had found my wallet on the street and I went to retrieve it. He was an amazing guy. Sorry the comment's not about stripping :)
bob replying to a comment from Birchmount Ellesmere / October 20, 2013 at 07:36 am
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2787 Eglinton Ave. E.
Toronto, ON M1J 2E1
ph: 416.266.4600
Management@CaddysTheGentlemansBar.com
Lukman / February 4, 2014 at 01:45 pm
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Fell out of bed feeling down. This has breeitgnhd my day!
Dave / March 29, 2014 at 12:04 am
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I know a lot strip club owners in Toronto. There are a number of alternatives to visiting a strip club. Personally, I order a stripper over to my house with a few buddies, and we have a blast.

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