burlesque toronto

The top 10 burlesque shows and clubs in Toronto

Burlesque shows in Toronto add some flavour to regular nights out with zesty displays of body positivity in venues across the city. Whether as a side act or a main feature, there are a handful of bars and clubs in the city that use the old tassel-shimmy trick to titillate the crowds.

Here's a round-up of bars and clubs that regularly feature burlesque.

Revival

Allow yourself to be seduced by empowered acts like Les Femmes Fatales, who regularly perform at this Little Italy institution. Revival is also home to Kitty Night Toronto, a burlesque event that rolls around on every second Saturday of the month.

Painted Lady

This narrow bar serves up a variety of themed and cultural events, but its spiciest might be its Funk’n’Soul Burlesque night. The bartop dancer is more a sideshow than a main act at this Ossington bar, but she might still prove a distraction when trying to grab a drink.

Lula Lounge

While this bar in Brockton Village is mostly known for its Latin nights, a couple of running Burlesque shows are bringing the heat too. Knockout and SIZZLE! are both recurring events that feature new and old burlesque acts.

Round Venue

Paying homage to different artists and themes every show, this small bar in Kensington Market has honoured iconic divas like Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey as part of their burlesque Tribute series.

Social Capital Theatre

Treat yourself to a classy burlesque act at this comedy bar on the Danforth. The Highbrow Burlesque show is on monthly for those who want to stimulate the senses in fancy fashion.

Bovine Sex Club

Fittingly, this Queen West spot has a weekly themed burlesque series called Pussy Whipped Wednesdays. Drop by on hump days and enjoy the lineup of provocative dancers and DJs.

Cherry Cola's

Why sit on the couch and watch Netflix when you can finish off your weekend at this velvety Queen and Bathurst bar and enjoy their Sinful Sundays show, which features local acts, drag performances, and special out-of-town burlesque performers.

Rivoli

The back room of this Queen West stalwart is where you’ll find Reveal Me, a monthly show which features a mix of burlesque newbies (referred to as ‘virgins’, obviously) and more established performers.

See Scape

Trans-friendly nerd-haven See Scape isn’t just a gaming lounge in the Junction, it’s also the home of the Toronto's Nerd Girl Burlesque troupe. Taking their performance inspiration from a slew of geeky subcultures, they’re sure to make your sweaty hands drop whatever D&D tile you’re holding. Check out their show on the second Friday of every month.

Ballet

This lounge on Lower Ossington feels more like an EDM club but you can expect to see burlesque dancers most days, though they won’t always be dancing (they stick to lounging seductively, sometimes).

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns at Ballet


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