Toronto Nightlife: Music, Dance, And Laughter
Toronto has so much to offer after dark in the way of music clubs, dance clubs, and comedy clubs. Let’s deal with each of these and guide you to the areas where things are hopping. When you visit, be sure to check the weekly (Thursday) EYE magazine and NOW magazine available free in outdoor boxes and inside bookstores and other places in the city’s core. These will have all the current club listings and locations.
In music clubs, one can enjoy the full range from reggae, R&B, hip-hop, salsa, jazz, folk, rock ‘n’ roll, karaoke, et cetera. The main streets where numerous clubs are found in the central city are Bloor West, College Street and the Kensington Market area, The Danforth, Queen Street West, Spadina Avenue, and Yorkville. Each one has its own ambiance and crowd-scene so be sure to call or ask around to find one that suits you.
Mostly, the places start getting lively after 10 p.m. and continue until 3 a.m. Depending on whether there are guest artists or not, a reservation may be taken. If you just want to choose a street and walk around checking out the scene, College Street would be a good bet as one of the newest trendy areas of the city for the young and young at heart. For jazz at its purest, the Top of the Senator in the Yonge-Dundas area is a reliable old-timer with other jazz clubs scattered throughout the city but reachable by public transport.
Dance clubs are centred on College Street, the Yonge-Eglinton area, St. Clair West, and Yorkville. Some have dress codes and others are come-as-you-are, so check ahead to find the right one for you or just take a chance and enjoy.
Toronto has few dinner theatres but there is one that is unique and very popular. The Famous Peoples Player Theatre is close to downtown. It is a black-light theatre show featuring life-size props, puppets and actors (6-10 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday). This group has wowed them in Las Vegas and is special. Another dinner-entertainment possibility is Second City, a permanent comedy revue spoofing Canadian goings-on in the downtown area.
Comedy Clubs are both in the city and the suburbs. The old standby is Yuk-Yuks with two central locations (Yorkville and Yonge-Eglinton) and the newer Comedywood in the Bloor West-Avenue Road area. Performers change regularly and often feature a well-known headliner. Call ahead for times and featured comedians.
There are many café-bistro places which feature live entertainment once or twice weekly. These offer the diversity of a variety of foods and entertainment in the same location. They are also listed in EYE and NOW, the latter having the more complete listings. If you want to check out the nightlife scene before you arrive, here are some handy web sites to surf: