Rebel nightclub

Toronto doesn't want to be home to the biggest nightclub in the world

The ownership group behind Toronto's Rebel nightclub and Cabana Pool Bar just won the right to squeeze another 830 people into their massive entertainment complex at Polson Pier.

Will locals be mad about more noise, more trash and potentially more violence? Probably — but it could have been so much worse.

Powerhouse Corp., the company that operates what used to be The Docks, had originally applied for a license to to host more than 15,000 people at a time between Rebel and Cabana — 7,584 guests inside and another 7,971 on the patio.

This would have seen Toronto's eastern waterfront become home to the largest nightclub on Earth.

Fortunately for all of the neighbours and politicians who objected to that happening, Powerhouse's application was shot down... mostly.

A Licence Appeal Tribunal decided last week to expand the venue's capacity, according to the Toronto Star, but not by as much as its owners had hoped.

Rebel can now hold 4,565 people at a time which, while less than a third of what was proposed last year, still makes police quite nervous.

The nightclub, formerly Sound Academy, has long been known to tick off neighbours with its thumping music and noisy parties. Like many large clubs, it has also seen its fair share of violent assaults.

Earlier this summer, a man was rushed to hospital with gunshot wounds after a fight broke out in the parking lot and, last October, a double homicide saw two young men lose their lives in the same location, both of them fatally shot.

Toronto rapper Tory Lanez literally punched a fan in the head mid-concert just last month at Rebel, and Cabana has produced some of the most viral brawl videos of our time (no offence to Pizza Pizza).

Then there are all the suspected overdoses, sexual assaults, car thefts and fights. In total, 60 such incidents have occurred in or around the venue this year alone.

"We do have public safety concerns about what this could mean," said police spokesperson Mark Pugash to The Star on Sunday.

"Our job remains the same, which is to protect public safety, but that doesn't diminish for a second the concerns we have."

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Music

Win a Beaches Jazz Festival season pass

Toronto shops slammed with orders after record store day lands on reopening weekend

Massey Hall announces its re-opening after 3 years and here are what the first shows will be

The history of the most spectacular theatre Toronto probably ever had

Toronto just approved outdoor live music this summer but only in certain neighbourhoods

MuchMusic is relaunching as a TikTok channel

Jimmy Fallon mistakes No Frills grocery store for an actual band and it's hilarious

Hidden Toronto venue that was a favourite for weddings and concerts is permanently closing