The top 21 bars for dancing in Toronto by neighbourhood
Bars for dancing in Toronto run the gamut from your humble, local watering holes to sprawling rooms with bumping sound systems. Scattered city-wide, what these bars all have in common is the right soundtrack to get you moving, preferably with a drink in hand.
Here are my picks for the top bars for dancing in Toronto by neighbourhood.
Perched atop the live music venue Lee's Palace is Dance Cave, a certified Bloor Street institution for dance parties. Grab a cheap beer and hit the massive dance floor, play some foosball, or catch your breath at one of their scattered picnic tables.
It might just look like a plain old bar at face value, but head behind the curtain at The Piston for their weekly disco parties on Fridays. They also have live Indie Nights and a throwback 90s-themed party called It's All Good, happening every third Saturday of the month.
If you’re itching for some salsa, look no place else than Lula Lounge. This longtime grand hall has been throwing latin parties for years. Head there on Friday and Saturdays for a group salsa lesson before the live band hits the stage for a night of dancing and mojitos.
To find Big Trouble Bar, head up the stairs sitting next to the hot pot spot, Sichuan Ren. It gets crowded quickly, but it won't be long before the crowd starts dancing to the tunes of the live DJ, getting very drunk off peach baiju beneath some Chinese lanterns.
Parts bar, coffee shop, and drag show destination, The Drink is a multi-purpose venue in the heart of Toronto's gay village. Their signature cocktail (a mix of coffee and liquor) will definitely get you revved up for their house music parties on Saturdays or Rnb Thursdays.
Stirling Room definitely doesn't get half as busy as the clubs on King West, but you'll get a similar vibe, minus the hassle of waiting too long in line. Their Stirling Saturdays bring a mix of house, hip-hop and top 40.
Mahjong Bar is a bustling spot, and while not everyone in there will be dancing, that doesn't mean you can't. Those who want to groove just have to make some space for themselves somewhere between the diners and people lining up for drinks at the bar.
There's plenty of dance parties happening at Farside, a quaint bar populated with cozy couches and a DJ booth built right into the bar. A big projector screen means visuals to go along with their electronic and global grooves nights.
A favourite spot for a girls’ night out, stagettes, and for people to just get plain sloppy. Rock ‘n’ Horse is the kind of place where you can get outrageous to some country music (cue Old Town Road) then ride a mechanical bull.
Live bands and DJs hit the floor at 3030 from Thursday to Saturday. The vibe varies from day to day, though they do have a lot of reggae nights. One thing's that for sure is their selection of draft beers: 16, to get you in the dancing mood.
The sprawling, upstairs space that is Round is always hosting a number of eclectic dance parties. Expect it to be typically wall-to-wall busy, especially for their queer Cherry Bomb events or their themed Business Woman's Special parties.
Expect a lot of university students at Clinton's, who head to this sweaty little tavern for its plethora of genre parties like Worst Behaviour (rap and hip-hop) on Saturdays, Get Lo on Thursdays, or their throwback Decade nights.
Early Mercy took over the old Grand & Toy space a few years back, transforming it into a spot for messy weekends that people dress to impress for. Those who aren't too distracted by the TV screens (or too busy getting drunk) find this a suitable spot to get their groove on.
WAYLA is literally the only place to dance in Leslieville, so good thing it's a great little party space. This spot throws dance parties about every weekend, and while they rarely get buck wild, they still manage to drum up enough energy to properly keep the floor full and arms in the air.
Again, not many places to get down to the floor in Liberty Village, but Locus 144 would be the closest thing to it. It's a lounge, but there are lively DJs and people move their bodies from time to time.
People get wild at Come See Me, I mean, with the abundance of shots with chicken and waffles, how can you not? Tinged in neon pink lights and equipped with cozy booths, there's room for both dancing and pigging out: the perfect combination.
It doesn't get more quintessential on Toronto's favourite strip than The Ossington, a reliable spot for busting out your moves. The action happens in the back area of the bar, where essentially everyone is dancing. Just arrive early-ish because it can get pretty packed.
Despite the fact Parts and Labour is closed, The Shop is still thriving downstairs with a new makeover and its usual ceiling-bangers. Head into this dark hole between Thursdays and Saturdays for hip-hop, trap, and events like Duro.
Rivoli does a lot: food, drinks, a pool hall upstairs, and in the back, a room dedicated to live music and performances. Their most famous party is definitely Footprints, which brings quality house, depe house, funk and soul, courtesy of some of Toronto's best DJs.
It doesn't get more latin than Latin Fiesta, where it's probably better if you speak Spanish (though who needs that when you have the language of dance). Definitely one of the most low-key spots on the list, the dance floor might be small, but it’s never empty.
Pretty much a pit-stop for all things music- and party-related is the Drake Hotel. Maybe you're heading downstairs to the Underground for a live DJ set, or you're hitting the ground-floor lounge for the newly-located Beam Me Up Disco! party.
Hector Vasquez of Dance Cave, With files from Phil Villenueve
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