Toronto music venues

The top 5 new live music venues in Toronto from 2014

New music venues in Toronto this year blew my expectations. A ton of spaces opened their doors to the city's thriving music scene, from new bars with solid setups to an impressive number of artist-run DIY spaces. We saw shows at 811, Coalition, the HMV Underground, the newly opened Smiling Buddha basement (adding to big changes in the main venue upstairs), and the revamped Tattoo. Sonic Boom re-opened on Spadina, and even the art-focused Aga Khan Museum is hosting concerts (including an upcoming Tanya Tagaq show in March).

Here are my picks for the top new live music venues to open in Toronto this year.

Jam Factory
Riverside now boasts one of Toronto's best warehouse venues thank to Jam Factory, the east end's newest concert space and current home of Feast in the East's live music series and more. Find it above Merchants Of Green Coffee.

Coda
At the start of the year Toronto's dance fans had their fears dispelled by Coda, which moved into the old Annex Wreckroom space. The Entertainment District's loss of Footwork was the Annex's gain. The club's been consistently sporting some of the most exciting bookings in the city, and made our list of the year's top parties.

Geary Lane
Joining S.H.I.B.G.B's as another DIY Geary Avenue venue, Man Finds Fire's new contemporary arts and performance space aims to put expression first. The warehouse play host indie concerts, experimental shows, and dance parties, including Mansion's upcoming Ruins NYE bash. The upstairs patio seals the deal in the summertime.

Junction City Music Hall
Squirreled away in a basement, Junction City Music Hall joins the neighbourhood's growing music scene on Dundas west of Keele. A recent addition of bright new typography on the narrow doorway makes the venue a little less difficult to spot, but the concerts, flea markets, and vintage arcade games inside are still a bit of a Toronto secret.

Ratio
Toronto's newest artist run music venue and multi-use space on College east of Augusta is keeping busy, hosting multiple events per week from concerts to film screenings to art pop ups, most with an experimental bent. Go for the programming, stay for the cozy (and nice) apartment-style seating.

Did I miss your new favourite concert space? Let us know which venue captured your heart this year in the comments.

Photo of Jam Factory by Matt Forsythe


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