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Here are 10 live music spots in Toronto where locals love to get their groove on (and you will too, guaranteed!)

Best Live Music Spots in Toronto
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It’s a typical evening in Toronto, and you’re left twiddling your thumbs, wondering how to inject some excitement into the night. But wait – why not swap the monotony for a melody? 

Luckily, Toronto boasts a hip live music scene. Whether you’re craving soulful jazz or electrifying rock, we compiled the live music venues in Toronto that are sure to turn your evening from dull to ‘dayyumm, that was lit!’

Some venues may offer special packages or discounts on certain nights.

How We Chose the Best Live Music Spots in Toronto

Venue Atmosphere: We considered the overall ambiance of each live music spot, from intimate and cozy settings to larger, more energetic environments.
Sound Quality: We assessed the clarity and balance of sound systems to ensure an immersive and enjoyable listening experience for patrons.
Talent Quality: We evaluated the caliber of musicians and performers showcased at each venue, considering their skill, professionalism, and stage presence.
Venue Accessibility: We looked at the ease of access to each location, including proximity to public transportation, parking availability, and any accessibility features.
Value for Money: We’ve chosen restaurants that provide excellent value for money, offering generous portion sizes, reasonable pricing, and overall affordability.
Drink and Food Selection: We considered the variety and quality of beverages and food offerings available, from craft cocktails and local brews to gourmet snacks.
Event Frequency: We examined how often live music events are held at each venue, including regular schedules for performances, open mic nights, and special events.
Venue Reputation: We looked at the reputation and standing of each live music spot within the local community and among music enthusiasts.
Ticket Affordability: We considered the cost of admission to events at each venue, ensuring that ticket prices are reasonable and accessible to a diverse range of patrons.

1. The Cameron House

The Cameron House
ADDRESS408 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V 2A7

(416) 703-0811


Wed - Sat: 4 PM – 2 AM

Sunday: 6 PM – 2 AM

The Cameron House dates back to 1896 when it started as a hotel. Over the years, it’s become a cornerstone of Toronto’s music scene, with new owner Cosmo Ferraro’s touch bringing a fresh vibe to its timeless charm. 

Speaking of vibe, we love its cozy setting, from the bohemian bar to the captivating murals adorning the ceiling.

Patrons can expect intimate performances on two stages, showcasing local roots acts and folk singers every night of the week. And, their quaint licensed patio provides a hip retreat.

We think their drink prices are fair, with a pint of premium beer priced at $6. Plus, there are daytime deals that are even more budget-friendly.

As with any establishment serving alcohol, they enforce a strict 19+ age policy, requiring all patrons to present valid ID upon entry. 

Note that they’re a cash-only establishment, with an ATM on the premises.


  • 128 years of experience
  • Live music 7 days a week
  • Intimate performances on two stages
  • Local roots acts and folk singers
  • Has a licensed patio
  • Drink prices are cheaper during the day


  • All patrons required to present IDs
  • Cash only

The best place for live music in the city

“The best place for live music in the city for the folks that don’t want the frills. Country, blues, comedy, jazz, you name it- it’s probably there. Beautiful owners with beautiful hearts who truly support artists 🫶 My mom has been going here for over 15 years, and I’m stoked I get to carry on the tradition.”

Lexi S, Google Review

Great place to catch a band play a set or two

“The Cameron House is a great place to catch a band play a set or two, on Queen just off Spadina. No cover, but it’s always a good idea to throw something into the band jug to show your appreciation and gratitude. The beer selection is wide enough that there should be something for most people’s taste. The house beers are all decent. The music often runs later than other venues, so you can come to the Cameron after having seen another show.”

Jeremy Smith, Google Review

2. El Mocambo

El Mocambo
ADDRESS464 Spadina Ave. #462, Toronto, ON M5T 2G8


Sun: 12 PM - 6 PM

Steeped in Toronto’s musical legacy, El Mocambo proudly champions its motto of “Keeping Live Alive since 1948.” 

It started out as a fancy dinner spot but ended up being the go-to for live music gigs. Since then, it has hosted epic concerts with big names like the Rolling Stones and Elvis Costello.

In the 2020s, local celebrity investor Michael Wekerle breathed new life into the venue with an extensive renovation. Today, El Mocambo stands as a neon-lit homage to classic rock, boasting crisp sound and lighting across its two stages. 

Beyond its musical heritage, it also has its own label and recording studio, supporting both emerging talents and established artists. 

We appreciate its accessibility features on every floor and a balcony area for VIPs

While tickets might cost you a bit, we think soaking up the vibe and history at this iconic spot is totally worth it.


  • Over 76 years of experience
  • Has two stages
  • Hosted the Rolling Stones and Elvis Costello
  • Has its own label and recording studio
  • Accessibility features on every floor
  • Balcony area for VIPs


  • Costly tickets

Hands down one of the best venues I’ve ever been to

“This is hands down one of the best venues I’ve ever been to for a show. The music was amazing, the atmosphere was stellar and the staff were all incredible. I can’t wait to go back. Thank you, Elmo!!”

Matt Dixon, Google Review

Great venue and great night out!

“Great venue and great night out! Van Halen Invasion and Trucker Mouth kept the energy up all night! Sat in the mezzanine (vip) and had a great view of the show! We will be back.”

Jim Harmer, Google Review

3. History

ADDRESS1663 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4L 1G5

(416) 260-5566

OPERATING HOURSMon - Sun: Open 24 hours

History Toronto, which opened in 2021, is a joint venture between music powerhouse Live Nation and Drake. This 35,000-square-foot space manages to maintain an intimate vibe, offering great sightlines no matter where you’re stationed.

With a two-tiered general admission area and various VIP spaces, including cozy boxes and a chic upper level, you’re spoiled for choice. 

We opted for VIP, and we were treated to an elevated culinary experience courtesy of the Food Dudes, plus exclusive amenities like private bathrooms and bartenders.

As for the entertainment, we love their diverse lineup, from electrifying electronic acts to soulful R&B sensations and everything in between. 

And, the venue’s entirely cashless, with mobile-only tickets and refillable water bottles. We also appreciate their gender-neutral bathrooms, multiple coat-check areas, and convenient $5 parking options.

Sadly, we heard reports of sound mixing issues, with the mic’s volume being lower than the music.


  • 35,000-square-foot space
  • Two-tiered general admission area 
  • VIP spaces with exclusive amenities
  • Diverse music lineup
  • Entirely cashless
  • Gender-neutral bathrooms
  • Multiple coat-check areas


  • Sound mixing issues

One of the best live music venues in the city

“One of the best live music venues in the city. Intimate with exceptional sightlines from anywhere in the venue. Acoustics are amazing everywhere as well. They offer premium seating with fantastic service, good food options, and great alcohol selection. The staff is very friendly and professional throughout.”

Emmanuel Evdemon, Google Review

Absolutely loved this venue

“Absolutely loved this venue. The place was really clean, bathrooms were spotless. Security were great, staff were friendly. And the sound of the show I seen was amazing! If there’s a band you like playing here do yourself a favor and buy tickets. Definately on my go again list.”

Jason Fortune, Google Review

4. The Reservoir Lounge

The Reservoir Lounge
ADDRESS52 Wellington St E, Toronto, ON M5E 1C7

(416) 955-0887

OPERATING HOURSWed - Sat: 7:30 PM – 2 AM

The Reservoir Lounge, open since ’97, is a jazz dive where even Michael Bublé polished his silky voice before hitting the big time. 

Stepping in feels like a time warp to the 1920s, with exposed brick, black-and-white jazz photos, and a cozy bar surrounded by tables straight out of a Prohibition speakeasy.

Their lineup is a jazz lover’s dream, featuring everything from Juno winners like Tyler Yarema to soulful groups like DeeDee & The Dirty Martinis. Don’t miss Shane Philips’ Motown magic every other Wednesday.

We sipped on finely crafted cocktails like martinis and specialties such as the Pomme de Henny while enjoying the tunes. And, if you swing by on Thursdays, we recommend snagging half-price oysters before 10 PM!

For weekend dinner, secure a reservation at least a week ahead. The place fills up fast, and its cozy quarters mean it can get a tad crowded.


  • Over 27 years of experience
  • 1920s Prohibition speakeasy ambiance
  • Hosts jazz, Juno winners, soul, and Motown groups
  • Serves alcohol
  • Half-priced oysters before 10 PM on Thursday


  • Book well in advance
  • A bit cramped

Music is excellent and worth the price of the cover

“Awesome place!! The music is excellent and worth the price of the cover. We ordered the Reservoir Sliders, the Mushroom pastry( I don’t remember de name) and the Martinis were excellent.”  

Samer Hijjawi, Google Review

One of the best spots in the city to enjoy live music

“We been going to The Reservoir Launge for years. The staff is super amazing. Musicians are so talented and amazing we love them all. The manager Ray is always very professional and friendly. This is one of the best spots in the city to enjoy live music and amazing service, food and atmosphere. That’s why we recently choose this venue for our wedding. I highly recommend this place for your outing.”

Daniela Durisova-Young, Google Review

5. The Emmet Ray Whisky Jazz Bar

The Emmet Ray Whisky Jazz Bar
ADDRESS924 College St, Toronto, ON M6H 1A4

(416) 792-4497


Fri - Sun: 4 PM – 2 AM

Located in College Street since 2009, The Emmet Ray embodies character over flash, offering a cozy, unpretentious spot for live music lovers. It’s also named after the enigmatic gypsy jazz guitarist Emmet Ray.

Run by brothers Andrew and Derek Kaiser, this bar showcases local talent, with jazz acts like Ruth Jones + Friends and the David Park Trio gracing its stage. 

And with over 230 whiskies from around the world, it’s a haven for whisky enthusiasts like us.

Take it from us — don’t miss their delectable pâté and cheese platters, which we nibbled while enjoying their awesome music. And if you’re there on a Monday, join the fun with “$1 whiskey shot” nights.

We admire their annual harvest festival fundraiser, which supports worthy causes like the Native Arts Society and Toronto Indigenous Harm Reduction.

Sadly, we heard reports of rude servers. It’s unfortunate when a server’s demeanor doesn’t match the relaxed atmosphere of the place.


  • 15 years of experience
  • Showcases local jazz talents
  • Over 230 whiskies from around the world
  • “$1 whiskey shot” nights
  • Annual harvest festival fundraiser


  • Reports of rude servers

Extremely cozy vibes and talented artists!

“Extremely cozy vibes and talented artists! Amazing ambience and cheap cover (even cheaper) when you make a reservation. Hidden jazz gem in the city. Highly recommend the japanese whiskey flights!”

Kristen Aguilar, Google Review

You can tell they actually care about the artists

“Fantastic place with a great vibe and real heart. They accommodated our big group of 10 at very short notice and were so understanding via email, especially given it was a Friday night. Ace vibes, amazing Disney jazz tribute, super friendly staff that were really attentive despite how busy it was. Hope to visit many a time. You can tell they actually care about the artists and the guests. Highly recommend the kimchi poutine.”

 Ashwin, Google Review

6. Danforth Music Hall

Danforth Music Hall
ADDRESS147 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K 1N2

(416) 778-8163

OPERATING HOURSMon - Tue, Thurs - Fri: Open 24 hours

Since 1919, The Danforth Music Hall has evolved into a premier live music destination in Toronto. Since its renovation in 2011, it’s been attracting both local and international artists, providing a fantastic experience for its 1,400-person capacity crowd.

With its slight incline and fantastic sound and lighting, every spot in the venue offers prime views of the stage, ensuring an unforgettable concert experience. 

We love that there’s no shortage of refreshments to keep the party going, with its four bars on the main floor and a full bar on the second floor.

They also host an eclectic mix of acts – not just live music – from Amos the Transparent to X Ambassadors. 

And with convenient paid parking options nearby, getting to the venue is a breeze. 

Just remember, outside food and drink aren’t allowed, but there’s a refreshments counter by the front door for your convenience.


  • Has been around for 100 years
  • 1,400-person capacity crowd
  • Slight incline and fantastic sound and lighting
  • Four bars and a full bar
  • Convenient paid parking options nearby


  • Outside food and drink are not allowed

Great sound quality, love the vibe here

“Always enjoy this intimate venue, great sound quality, love the vibe here. The Cowboy junkies were amazing! I hope this venue remains well taken care of as its historic value adds a special element to the experience.”

Connie Brown, Google Review

Pleasantly surprised by how good the acoustics + lighting were

“Great venue. Was pleasantly surprised by how good the acoustics + lighting were and the floor design makes it so that anyone (of at least average height) has a clear view of the stage. Small bathrooms which can have a long wait time when there’s a rush so you want to plan breaks for when there’s relatively little traffic in that direction.”

Henry Uku, Google Review

7. Horseshoe Tavern

Horseshoe Tavern
ADDRESS370 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V 2A2

(416) 598-4226


If you’re looking for a slice of Canadian musical history, look no further than the Horseshoe Tavern in Queen West. 

Since 1947, this spot has been a go-to for live music, from emerging talent to iconic acts like Willie Nelson and The Rolling Stones. You never know what you’ll catch here – whether it’s a Daft Punk cover band or your local bands like Arcade Fire or July Talk. 

Inside, we found two distinct vibes. The front bar is where you can sip on a variety of brews while chatting up fellow patrons, and the back performance area has its own bar and checkerboard dance floor. 

While the taps lean toward the mainstream – think Rickard’s and Coors – there’s still something for everyone here. 

But be prepared: they take their ID checks seriously. Also, keep an eye out for the occasional inattentive staff member.


  • Over 70 years of experience
  • Hosted Willie Nelson and The Rolling Stones
  • Known for local bands
  • Two bars, front and back
  • Has a dance floor


  • Reports of inattentive staff

Hosts excellent live music performances

“Horseshoe Tavern is a fantastic spot with a great vibe! They host excellent live music performances and offer pool tables for some extra fun. Highly recommend for a lively night out!”

Hamid Tahmasebi, Google Review

Such an intimate little place to listen to a band

“Such an intimate little place to listen to a band and have a beer or two. Lol. Sounds great! The staff were great. Just an overall great place to go see a band. Glad I did.”

Shawn Cadamuro, Google Review

8. Glenn Gould Studio

Glenn Gould Studio
ADDRESS250 Front St W, Toronto, ON M5V 3G5

+1 833-205-5574


The Glenn Gould Studio shines as a top-notch venue for live performances and events. Named in honor of the legendary Toronto pianist, this 340-seat concert hall boasts superb acoustics that are perfect for chamber music, jazz, and spoken-word shows.

Attending a performance here is a treat for the senses – from the first-class sound and lighting to the comfortable seating with no bad sightlines. 

Plus, it’s not just about the music; the studio also serves as a premier event space for various functions, adding to its versatility and appeal.

During our visit, we appreciated the reasonable prices at the concession stand and the warm hospitality from the staff. The distinct Canadian vibe, with nods to Gould’s legacy scattered throughout, added an extra layer of charm to the experience. 

However, we couldn’t help but wish for a larger lounge area since we felt it was a tad too cramped.


  • 340-seat concert hall
  • Superb acoustics
  • No bad sightlines
  • Premier event space for various functions
  • Reasonable prices at the concession stand


  • Tiny lounge area

Sound quality is beautifully enhanced

“Wonderful place to perform! The Toronto Concert Band plays there a few times a year and the sound quality is beautifully enhanced. Staff are also friendly and helpful.”

Caitlin Hunt, Google Review

Amazing sound system and super friendly staff!

“Amazing sound system and super friendly staff! Was a part of an Indian classical concert organized by Raagmala.”

 Paramita De, Google Review

9. Grossman’s Tavern

Grossman's Tavern
ADDRESS377 Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2G3

(416) 977-7000


Since 1943, Grossman’s Tavern has been the spot for blues, bluegrass, roots, folk, jazz, and rock enthusiasts alike, drawing in crowds with its nightly live performances.

Its roots trace back to its beginnings as a humble cafeteria turned jazz hotspot. Over the years, it’s seen the likes of Amanda Marshall, Blue Rodeo, and Jeff Healey grace its stage, cementing its status as a launching pad for emerging talent.

Despite its slightly disjointed layout, with pillars dividing the front bar area from the dimly lit performance space, we think Grossman’s exudes a charm that’s hard to resist. 

We really like their patio – the perfect spot to kick back with a cheap draft beer and soak in the laid-back ambiance. 

However, be prepared for some rough edges, as poor communication and occasional encounters with less-than-friendly staff can put a damper on the experience.


  • Over 80 years of experience
  • Hosted emerging talent which became big acts
  • Charming hole-in-the-wall vibe
  • Nice patio
  • Cheap draft beer


  • Poor communication and unfriendly staff

Oldest open-stage jam in the city

“Toronto’s Home of the Blues … Classic venue and perfect milieu for old time Blues and Rock’n’roll. Oldest open stage jam in the city. A storied past too long to detail here, Grossman’s has seen just about everyone in Torontonian and Canadian music on its stage. A must for fans and players alike …”

Paul Comeau, Google Review

Sat & Sun afternoon jazz here is phenomenal!

“The Sat & Sun afternoon jazz here is phenomenal! As I sit and watch “ The Happy Pals”, on a Sat afternoon, I think, “This is my happy place.” I bet the music in the rest of the week is great too. Laid back, this place.”

Evelyn White, Google Review

10. The Rex Hotel Jazz and Blues Bar

The Rex Hotel Jazz and Blues Bar
ADDRESS194 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1Z1

(416) 598-2475

OPERATING HOURSMon - Sun: 9:30 AM – 11 PM

The Rex Hotel Jazz and Blues Bar has been a staple of Toronto’s music scene for over four decades. With over 60 shows per month, this family-run jazz club showcases the best of Canadian talent and touring groups from around the globe.

Despite its world-renowned status, it remains refreshingly affordable, welcoming both seasoned jazz aficionados and newcomers alike. From the Shannon Butcher Quartet to University of Toronto student jazz ensembles, the lineup offers something for everyone.

Open from 10 AM to 11 PM daily, we’re stoked that they host two live music performances every single day, letting you catch your favorite acts in action. 

While reservations aren’t accepted, we recommend arriving 15-30 minutes early for you to snag the best seats. 

And don’t forget to grab a bite from their pub-fare menu to keep the music-fueled vibes going strong!


  • Over four decades of experience
  • Over 60 shows per month
  • Comparatively affordable
  • Hosts two live music acts every single day
  • Onsite restaurant has a pub-fare menu


  • Walk-ins only

Great club to see the best of Canada’s jazz talent

“Incredible afternoon of jazz with Swing Shift. This is a great club to see the best of Canada’s jazz talent, and enjoy a pint. Plus the prices are reasonable, and staff ever attentive. But get here early if the show doesn’t have reservations, as if fills up fast….its that good!”

Jim Turnock, Google Review

If you have some love for jazz you must go there for a show

“We went for an evening jazz show and it was amazing. The restaurant is certainly a hidden gem in Toronto. If you have some love for jazz you must go there for a show, which is $10 that we paid. And apart from that they have a lot to offer for eating and drinking. (No VEGAN options) so we didn’t have anything.”

Arundeep Jassi, Google Review