red light bar toronto

Beloved Toronto bar is closing after more than a decade

A beloved bar for bourbon on the rocks in Toronto has announced that it's closing for good. 

After more than 11 years at Dundas West and Lakeview, The Red Light's red light will go dark.

Bar owner Nic Savage took to social media today to break the news, stating someone had bought the property from them during "this unprecedented shutdown."

"We've had some of the best times and the honor of hosting what we think are some of the best parties the west end has ever seen, but after 11+ years our doors are closing," he wrote. 

"Our love and deepest thanks goes out to all who were a part of this over the years, and it warms our hearts to know that bathroom #2 was broken one last time before it was all over." 

The Red Light, which was originally launched in 2009 as the more mature sister bar of Sweaty Betty's, had become one of Dundas West's most treasured and unpretentious watering holes for Whiskey Wednesdays and DJ sets. 

According to Savage, The Red Light, which had been ordered closed on March 16 along with all others bars and nightclubs in Toronto, wouldn't have been able to make ends meet during the closure, so having a buyer step in was their "best possible outcome". 

On what will become of the space, Savage said: "They will be reopening as a new bar. The Red Light leaves with us." 

Regulars of the spot are now flooding the comment sections with messages of support and sadness for the loss of yet another Toronto staple. 

"Oh my god no!! This was the first bar I ever drank at the night I arrived in Toronto, was a regular for the last 7 years," said a user on Facebook. "Thank you for the warm welcome and the many great nights. So sorry."  

Goodbye, TRL, your tagged up washrooms and wall of whiskey will be missed.

Lead photo by

Eugen-Sakhenko


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