The top 10 small bars for dancing in Toronto
A good dancefloor is hard to find. If you're not into big club settings, it can be a challenge to hunt down a fun, easy-breezy place to get down on it. No lines, no fuss, just a postage stamp-sized surface to do a little more than nod your head on the spot.
Here's a list of small bars in the city that encourage tight, sweaty dance parties in their spaces.
The Beaver (1192 Queen St W)
This west end staple has something to dance to almost every day of the week. The Beaver is one of the final specs of original cool left on West Queen West and the dance floor, awkwardly found three stairs up from the main floor, is the size of your bachelor apartment. But who cares! There's a disco ball, and some of the greatest small-bar dance nights in the city.
Bambi's (1265 Dundas St W)
Crawl down the super steep stairs intro the wonderfully cavernous bar on Dundas West and you'll stumble into a tiny, dark, but effortlessly sexy dance floor. The DJ is cornered right beside the bar, but the sound system is hype, the (techno, deep house) DJs are high-quality and thanks to the extreme low lighting, it's easy to forget that you're dancing in something the size of a boiler room.
The Piston (937 Bloor St W)
Home of A Digital Needle's Beam Me Up party, the Piston hosts a ton of live music shows and dance parties with one of the more sizeable small-bar dance floors in the city. Tucked away from the main area, it feels a bit like slinking into your creepy uncle's grotto, but without the uncle, creepiness or cave water.
Holy Oak (1241 Blor St W)
From the street, the Holy Oak might seem like your grandma's closet, but step inside and you'll discover it's a full walk-in! This spot has become an expert at throwing a fantastic dance party in its cozy space. Holy Oak gets top marks for musical diversity. Funk nights, dreamy dance music and oddball lounge tunes are played on the regular.
WAYLA (996 Queen St E)
Probably the east end's most lively dancefloor, WAYLA is a crazy cute bar with a deceptive front entrance, eventually leading to the back with a full-out glass DJ booth and seductive little dancefloor. A person has to head directly through whatever dance party is happening to get to the adorable back patio, so forced interaction happens a lot. And that's a good thing.
The Ossington (61 Ossington Ave.)
Walk into the Ossington and you walk directly onto the dancefloor. It's just part of the space, which helps the loose, house party vibe of this Ossingston spot. Loads of monthlies and special guests help pack this place with a special makeout spot in the back.
The Black Eagle (457 Church St)
Yes this is a gay leather bar. Yes there is often gay porn playing on the screens throughout the place. Yes there is a sex maze on the second floor. But beyond all this, the all-inclusive dirty bird has the Village's best dance floor. They have a nutso sound system, lighting and budgets to bring DJs like Horse Meat Disco, In Flagranti, Eli Escobar and Dinamo Azari.
The Steady (1051 Bloor St W)
A tropical tiki-treat on Bloor West. Business in the front, party in the back. Equipped with a island-vibe DJ booth, The Steady throws many monthly dance parties in its slightly legion-esque vibe dance zone. It's small, dark, and gets very hot, which makes for a better place to dance like no one is watching.
Clinton's (693 Bloor St W)
Shake, Rattle & Roll, Get Lo, Fuck It and the odd Choir! Choir! Choir! rehearsal make clinton's a prime dance spot. This is one of the most energetic little D floors in the city with maybe the best sense of humour. People go to Clinton's to drink heavily and dance with both hands in the air and jump.
Handlebar (159 Augusta Ave)
Kensington market's best-kept live music venue also has some fantastic music nights, and a dancefloor a little bigger than your kitchen. If your kitchen was dark all the time and only had booze in it. This tight corner of a boogie space is filled to the brim with vinyl nights, Tropical Thursdays, '60s rock Fuzz Nuggs and synth night on Sundays.
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