Toronto Music Band

7 Toronto music venues with weekly showcases

Toronto is a great place for a variety of concerts, with a number of bands always making sure to make a pit stop here on their tours. But for those looking for a bit more of a routine, many of the city's venues also offer weekly music series that show off lots of local and international talent. From bluegrass nights to indie showcases, here's a rundown of some of Toronto's best weekly shows.

Elvis Mondays at the Drake Hotel
Elvis Monday is the city's longest running indie showcase. For 27 years now, the weekly showcase has hosted a number of local and international acts including Billy Talent, Peaches, Blind Melon and even Beck. Best part? It's free!

Crosswires at the Garrison
After Wavelength ended its weekly series in 2010 - it continues on as a monthly series at various venues across the city - cofounder Doc Pickles decided to continue the weekly tradition with his new series entitled Crosswires. Launched late last year, Pickles now hosts these pay-what-you-can shows every Sunday at the Garrison, where Wavelength left off. "For me, Sunday night is where the action is, and after a respectful two year hiatus the time is ripe to devote my surplus attention to the finest night of the week," Pickles wrote in a blog post when he announced the new series. "When the devoted indie weirdoes and noisy experimentalists of our community are free to pursue their experiments in sound and community."

Dave Bookman's Nu Music Nite at the Horseshoe Tavern
In the late 90s, Toronto's legendary Horseshoe Tavern joined forces with 102.1 The Edge to create Dave Bookman's Nu Music Nite series. Instead of charging for shows by up-and-coming acts and dealing with potentially small turnouts, this Tuesday series offers no cover and bills packed with local and international acts. Acts such as Spoon, Kathleen Edwards, Thrush Hermit and The Strokes have played Nu Music Night.

TGIF Friday Jazz Series at Lula Lounge
Friday nights at Lula Lounge offer a full evening of entertainment. For $49, you can receive a three-course meal along with a show from a TGIF Friday Jazz Series featured artist. And if that wasn't enough, dance lessons and live salsa will take place after the jazz series.

High Lonesome Wednesdays at the Silver Dollar
The Silver Dollar is home to High Lonesome Wednesdays, a weekly bluegrass series which has been taking place at the famed venue for 15 years now. Buy yourself some cheap beer, soak up the atmosphere and imagine you're sitting somewhere in Appalachia.

Weekly showcases at The Rex
The venue that guarantees the best weekly jazz series is the famed Rex Jazz & Blues Bar. Every night of the week hosts a different weekly series, from U of T Jazz Ensembles every Monday to performances from Hogtown Syncopators every Friday and Danny Marks and Friends every Saturday, The Rex always has a steady rotation of great jazz acts every month.

Weekly showcases at the Tranzac
One of Toronto's underrated live music venues — and a busier place than you might think given its off-the-main-drag location — the Tranzac hosts two weekly showcases: Open Mic Mondays and Bluegrass Thursdays. Both nights guarantee a laid-back evening in an intimate venue.

Photo by Alisdair Jones in the blogTO Flickr pool


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