lost punk clubs toronto

The top 5 lost punk clubs in Toronto

The punk scene in Toronto has a long and storied history. From jam-packed, sweat-stained basement clubs to full scale riots on outdoor stages, our city knows how to entertain danger. Still home to some of the country's finest punk and hardcore, Toronto has its fair share of venues to welcome our aggressive tendencies, but there are a great many that we've lost along the way.

Here's a selection of punk rock bars that are gone but not forgotten.

Larry's Hideaway
If there's a prototype for the scuzzy dive bar, Larry's certainly fit the bill. Before there was even such a thing as an all-ages show, it was the easiest club to sneak in to as a young punk kid. Housed in the basement of the Prince Carlton Hotel, amongst the junkies and prostitutes that inhabited the building, punk, metal and experimental music found a de facto home.

Crash N' Burn
Crash N' Burn opened in 1977 and has come to be recognized as the first punk club opened in Toronto. Run by pop punk legends The Diodes, it may also be the first DIY, artist-controlled space known to our city. It was short-lived though as complaints from the buildings other tenants, The Liberal Party of Canada.

The Big Bop
One memorable thing about the Bop was that it got so hot in there that the walls would be sweating. An even better reason to remember it is that it hosted some of the greatest talent to roll through Toronto. Oh and the sound was pretty great. Not strictly a punk club, it welcomed veterans like Cro-Mags and Dayglo Abortions as well as up-and-comers like alexisonfire and Billy Talent.

Siesta Nouveaux
Siesta Nouveaux was proof positive that punk wasn't just anger and frustration but also community spirit. The minimalist space carried the unhinged enthusiasm of a suburban basement show to the big city. In giving local kids a place to hang out and hear something outside the mainstream, Siesta Nouveaux clearly secured its place amongst our city's historic venues.

Club Rockit
It might be more known as the club from Scott Pilgrim vs The World, but Club Rockit holds an interesting place in Toronto punk history. Widely seen as a place for pay-to-play battle of the bands schemes, Rockit also filled in the cracks with bands like Dillinger Escape Plan who absolutely lit the place up, exorcising the ghosts of high school gymnasium talent show heroes everywhere.

What did I miss? Add your most missed Toronto punk venues in the comments.

Photo of Larry's Hideaway


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