Toronto music videos

The top 30 Toronto music videos of all time

The top Toronto music videos of all time take a track that was excellent in the first place and propel it into the great beyond. From CN Tower to Shoppers Drug Mart cameos, if I had a million dollars I'm still not sure if I could make a more quintessentially Toronto video than these.

Here are my picks for the top Toronto music videos of all time.

The Arkells - Knocking at the Door

A Toronto band never made the Esplanade look so good. City views, subway cars, Paul's Boutique in Kensington Market, Union Station and a house party all make this a video love letter to our fine city.

Austra - Beat and The Pulse

Austra's video for "Beat and the Pulse" catapulted them to worldwide indie fame, yet a video that oozes this kind of sexy, creepy, feminist-ish art direction gothness can't help but be firmly planted in Toronto's west-side indie electro-pop scene.

Barenaked Ladies - Lovers in a Dangerous Time

The video for BNL's "Lovers in a Dangerous Time" cover will always touch my heart. Look at those adorable winter clothes. Look at them driving around Scarborough. The huddles and harmonies. This vid reminds us Toronto boys can be super cuddly.

Big Wreck - That Song

Shots of the TTC seem to serve as passports to this list, but "That Song's" quirky and slightly creepy nostalgic elements solidify it as beating with pure Torontonian blood.

Brendan Canning - Love is New

The video starts with a swooping shot of the CN Tower, onto a TTC train and follow's the Broken Social Scenester through Kensington Market with dozens of Toronto musicians scattered throughout.

Cancer Bats - French Immersion

Nothing is more Toronto than angry night biking. Metal's tribute to Toronto and to angry cyclists world wide.

Choclair - Let's Ride

By bike, convertible, motorcycle, or hum-vee, sometimes you just gotta cruise through Toronto with your pals. Though I usually do this with my clothes on — to each their own.

Dido - Here with Me

Follow Dido and her magically low tank top from a warehouse photo shoot and then down Yonge and King West as streetcars pass by. She rudely litters, walks in the middle of the street, and then drops her coat for no one to pick up.

Drake - 5am in Toronto

Drake goes lo-fi for "5am in Toronto" and the track title says it all.

Drake - Started from the Bottom

The first five seconds of this video manages to showcase a huge Toronto Parks & Rec logo. Then Drake is rapping in (fake) snow in and around a convertible and the rest of the video is more or less set in Shoppers Drug Mart.

Esthero - That Girl

Another Pearson airport video, but this one takes things to another level with Esthero trapped in a futuristic box, which also pops up around Bay Street? Clearly she's from another planet and can't handle the Toronto air quality.

Feist - My Moon My Man

Ok, Ok, so 1,2,3,4 comes to mind obviously, but it doesn't quite compare to the Pearson airport choreography and utterly perfect mood and styling of this Feist clip.

Grimes - Kill V. Maim

You'd never know it, but this video was filmed in lower Bay station. Grimes and her rave-y friends (many of whom are Toronto nightlife, dance and drag legends) have a great high-speed time and then a blood-covered dance party.

Kardinal Offishall - The Anthem

"This is where we're calling home" chants Kardinal. The rapper spends a lot of time hitting up Toronto tourist spots, Scarborough, and the club district. If you're ever feeling homesick, this is a video to watch.

Kids on TV - Breakdance Hunx

Kids on TV were born out of Toronto's late '90s and early 2000s queer scene, and this video involved so many quintessential characters from the era. This is a bookmark in gay Toronto's history.

K-os - Crabbuckit

Trinity Bellwoods park never looked so lush and green. Filmed all over West Queen West, K-os then makes his way into some sort of jazzy dance club we all wish really existed.

Leonard Cohen - Closing Time

The late, great Leonard Cohen's 90s jam was filmed inside Club Matador. He doesn't have many scenes on camera, but all the floating people and furniture sure do.

Maylee Todd - Baby's Got It

It sure looks like Maylee and her crew had fun filming this dance-y track. Find her on the beach, don't neighbourhood streets, and in all kinds of friendly, art-like situations.

Maestro Fresh Wes - Stick to your Vision

Be careful under all those hydro wires, Maestro! He raps about Don Mills and Eglinton and drives around St. James Town in this seminal song. This one was directed by none other than Director X, then known as Little X.

Moffats - Misery

The Toronto boy band took a trip to the Island, which provides some great skyline shots. It's just too bad they're so sad, and then they get caught in a huge rainstorm. A preview of days to come?

Nelly Furtado - Powerless (Say What You Want)

Nelly dresses for fall weather in this happy clip that sees her hang out on a couch in the Beach and dance in the streets at King and Simcoe.

Our Lady Peace - One Man Army

Raine Maida and Our Lady Peace hurt and fly all over Bay Street and at the intersection of King and Victoria until you can't take it anymore.

Parachute Club - Rise Up

Have you ever felt like gathering all your super annoying theatres school friends on the back of a truck and parading around the streets of Toronto? Allow the Parachute Club to make that happen for you.

The Pursuit of Happiness - I'm An Adult Now

Toronto still has its bad boy rockers, and Toronto's new bad boy rockers learned everything they know from "I'm an Adult Now." Right? Or is that just a coincidence?

Radio Radio - Cliche Hot

This video from the Nova Scotian hip hop crew is basically a love letter to Honest Ed's.

Romantic Traffic - ‪The Spoons‬

When was the last time you showed a TTC busker some love? This vintage subway vid will tug at your heart strings for a big haired, new romantic Toronto that blossomed for a brief (3 min 58 sec to be exact) moment.

Rush - Subdivisions

A helicopter shot! You know you've made it when the label will give you a helicopter shot. Rush travel from downtown to Scarborough and sweep above the Don Valley Parkway in this intensive investigation into suburban living.

The Shuffle Demons - Spadina Bus

The most famous musical tribute to the TTC will likely always be these goofy, parachute-pant-wearing dudes climbing on the Spadina bus and jamming about how great the Spadina bus was. Plus, there's a sequel.

Tears for Fears - Head over Heels

No clue how the hell this happened, but the UK band's video was shot inside U of T's Emmanuel College Library.

Kal Ho Naa Ho - Kuch Toh Hua Hai

Who cares if Bollwood star Kal Ho Naa Ho is pretending he's in New York. It does a better job of showing off Toronto than most Toronto videos! There's Streetcar dancing and hot dog stand tasting involved.

Lead photo by

Drake


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