You don’t have to spend big bucks and go to huge venues to listen to awesome live music in Toronto.
Everyone knows about Budweiser Stage, Echo Beach, The Pheonix, and Danforth Music Hall, but there are so many more laid back spots you can go to to check out live music in the city.
Check out 10 low-key places to check out live music in Toronto below.
725 Queen St. E
Jasper Dandy is an all-day pub, sports bar and music venue located right down the street from the Opera House. The bar has some arcade games, tons of old concert posters, and a 200 person music venue in the back. Local and touring bands regularly take the stage here on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Also, Dine Alone Records is affiliated with this bar so it’s not like your typical open mic night.
The Baby G
1608 Dundas St. W
The Baby G is owned by Shaun Bowring, who is also behind The Garrison and used to be the booker at Sneaky Dee’s. This venue has two rooms and two bars, one located in the front and one in the performance area. They also have $6 PBR and Pilsner. Music and cheap beer? Count us in!
194 Queen St. W
Over the past 40 years, The Rex has kept jazz alive in Toronto. Open every night, this venue hosts a whopping 19 shows every week! The large venue has a laid back, retro feel, so head to The Rex to check out some silky jazz tunes.
The Cameron House
408 Queen St. W
The Cameron House hosts live music seven nights a week. With tons of eye-catching murals, two music lounges, varying genres of music, and lots of beers, this venue is a go-to spot for Toronto music lovers!
1184 Bloor St. W
This bar/restaurant/music venue/microbrewery hybrid is run by a group of musicians and music lovers. Two deep rectangular rooms are separated by doors, where one side is a restaurant and the other side is a music hall. Charlotte Cornfield, the venue’s booker, is a musician herself, so she knows what to choose to best satisfy the crowds!
The Horseshoe Tavern
370 Queen St. W
This iconic Toronto tavern has been open since 1947. Although anyone who knows the history of the ‘Shoe knows that this hot spot is the opposite of underrated. The bar and concert venue has hosted super legendary acts, such as Willie Nelson, Conway Twitty, The Band, Stompin’ Tom, Blue Rodeo, The Police, The Talking Heads, The Ramones, The Bare Naked Ladies, The Rolling Stones, and way more. The list is honestly endless, and of course The Tragically Hip played this legendary spot. In fact, the Hip’s song Bobcaygeon even references the venues iconic checkerboard floors.
This Toronto bar has been hosting live entertainment seven nights a week since 2012. They strive to support musicians and DJs who are willing to push boundaries and explore new and daring sounds, so head to Handlebar to check out some rad new tunes.
431 College St.
Sneaky Dee’s has been blessing Toronto with its dive bar atmosphere since 1987. Known for its graffitied walls, delicious nachos, and its upstairs concert venue, this spot is a legendary Toronto go-to! Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, and Feist are just some of the well-known bands that have played at Sneaky Dee’s.
The Dakota Tavern
249 Ossington Ave.
Located in a basement on Ossington, The Dakota is a hidden gem in the city. The Dakota Tavern is known for its rustic look and feel. Illuminated by tons of twinkling lights, this bar does a great bluegrass brunch and hosts tons of local musicians on their Instagram-worthy stage.
1197 Dundas St. W
The Garrison, located on Dundas St. W, is a small-venue with a very laid back atmosphere. The Garrison has a wide selection of craft beers. Although they don’t have a set menu, they sometimes bring in food trucks to feed the crowds. The stage and concert space is great at The Garrison, and the sound quality is good, but be warned, it gets pretty hot in there.