5 Great Toronto Buskers

Outdoor musicians making the Toronto soundscape a better place

We’ve all walked by street musicians in this city it’s not often we really stop to hear the music. But there really is talent on the streets of Toronto. Here is a list of some great outdoor musicians.

Jeff Burke
Burke plays bassoon and theremin and is usually found on the TTC on the northbound platform at Bloor Station. He loops and layers his music ala Final Fantasy, creating a larger than life sound in the bustling station. He’s been in this spot for quite a few years and is known for his grin as well as his musical talents.


 

Turbo Street Funk
This six-piece funk band can sometimes be found playing Queen and Spadina, King and John, or Yonge and College. Their’s is big, funky sound, of the type not typically found on the sidewalk, so when you do come across them, it’s a real treat. They’re also regular crowd pleasers at Toronto’s Scotiabank BuskerFest in August each year.


 

The Complete Street Band
This is a community project, with an open call to any musicians who’d like to join their weekly rehearsals. The group gets together from 3-5 p.m. most Saturdays between May and December at the Fields Church at Bellevue Avenue and College Street. They’ve performed at outdoor festivals around the city, including the Bicycle Musical Festival that takes place in Liberty Village every September.

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Leo Zhang
Zhang has played the cello around the TTC on and off since 2004. He’s a classically trained cellist, known for performing at the end of the Yonge line at Finch station. He learned the hard way about permits – having been fined the first time he set up shop. While TTC-permitted musicians are shuffled around the underground spot, Zhang is known to provide soothing background music, helping to relax the mad crush of commuter traffic.


 

Snooky Tynes
Tynes is a funk-inspired solo percussionist typically found performing around Yonge and Dundas Square. His 60s and 70s funk covers are as instantly recognizable as he is sitting behind his kit in wild hats, star-shaped sunglasses and dreads. Every once in a while passersbys get a real treat when Tyne brings his kids and wife with him to perform as the Snooky Tynes Family Band.