dance cave toronto

Dance Cave

Dance Cave is a decades-old late night club open almost exclusively at 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, housed above live music venue Lee’s Palace in a hundred-year-old building.

The dance hall is known for non-stop throwback DJ sets playing indie and alternative, and is frequented by students from nearby universities, especially because cover is free before midnight or with a student ID, and still cheap at $10 otherwise.

Dance Cave Toronto

The one-of-a-kind space is indeed cave-like, high sloping ceilings decorated with trippy, primal-feeling line designs that resonate with Al Runt’s iconic colourful murals covering the exterior of the building.

Dance Cave Toronto

The layout of the space is unlike a lot of other clubs, five picnic tables seating about six each at one end of a dance floor flanked on both sides by recessed booths.

Dance Cave Toronto

Oh, and behind the picnic tables, of course there’s a beat-up old foosball table, a loonie per play.

Dance Cave Toronto

Draft beer ($6.50) includes pedestrian Canadian, Belgian Moon, Lagunitas, and Pilsner, though there are other options for tall cans ($8.25) and bottled beverages starting at $6.

Dance Cave Toronto

Most seem to opt for efficient mixed drinks, however. It’s credit or cash only, but there is an ATM right on site.

Dance Cave Toronto

Since I never actually came here as a kid myself, to me the scene most closely resembles one of my middle school dances. DJ Trevor, off to the side of a stage crowded with dancing kids, spins the likes of MGMT’s “Kids” and Kanye West’s “Gold Digger” (which everyone screams along to, especially the pre-nup part). 

Dance Cave Toronto

Apparently we have entrepreneur Ed Silverberg to thank for converting the building from a movie theatre to a cabaret in the late sixties, which included turning the upper-level balcony into a speakeasy space which is now Dance Cave.

Dance Cave Toronto

The venue became Lee’s Palace with Dance Cave above it in the 80s, run by a Korean-Canadian entrepreneur whose last name was really Lee. In 2006 both spaces were taken over by Collective Concerts, who also now run the Horseshoe.

Dance Cave Toronto

Dance Cave actually continues to pay homage to its history with events like Showdown: A Game Show Cabaret. While Friday and Saturday nights The Cave is pretty much guaranteed to be open for dance music every week, the club is open the occasional Tuesday, Thursday or Sunday for other DJ sets and live performances.

Dance Cave Toronto

Photos by

Hector Vasquez


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Dance Cave

2 Upcoming Events
Date
About the Event
Location
  • March 9

    Jimbo is joined by Kojak and Lucious for a night of live original rock and roll music.

    Learn more about Jimbo at: https://linktr.ee/jimboband

    Tickets are $15.

  • March 28

    The 2023 Dance Cave 90's Reunion was absolutely insane with over 400 of you packing the legendary venue!

    You asked us to do it again, so we're doing it again...

    DANCE CAVE 90’s REUNION 2024!

    DJs Shannon • Morgan • Dwight • Mr. Pete

    Long Weekend Thursday, March 28th 2024

    Doors 9pm – Cover $15 At The Door

    529 Bloor Street West, Toronto

    Dance Cave was a destination and home fo...

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