Nightlife Things To Do
Toronto nightlife top things to do range from visiting bars, pubs, dancing, music, concerts and late night restaurants.
While it may not be the city that never sleeps, Toronto certainly loves to stay up late. Toronto is known for its energetic nightlife that offers options for a wide range of tastes.
Bars and Pubs
When it comes to bars and pubs, Toronto certainly does not suffer from any shortage. Locations all over Toronto are popular spots for bars and pubs but they tend be found along the main streets of the city and various major intersections.
Yonge and Bloor Streets
Yonge and Eglinton
Bloor and Spadina
Queen and Ossington
King and Spadina
Church and Wellesley
A wide range of drinking establishments are found in the city, from hole-in-the-wall bars, to booming clubs, to classy martini lounges. Irish style pubs are particularly popular in the city, and can be found just about anywhere. Go there for a pint or two, and don't forget to enjoy pub food favourites like wings, nachos and sweet potato fries. Live music and karaoke are often featured as well.
For those looking for bars with cheap drinks, they tend to be outside of the downtown area, especially west of the city centre. The areas around College and Bathurst and Queen West have some very popular pubs and bars that have cheap drinks.
For those looking for a place to have a drink and watch the game, Toronto has many sports bars as well. Although they can also found throughout the city, many are located along Front and King Streets close to the sports venues downtown. Just be aware that if there is a hockey game on television, it will likely trump any other sports.
Dancing and Going to the Club
Toronto has many clubs that cater to those who want to have a night out dancing and partying. Toronto's unofficial "club district" is located downtown along Richmond Street, where revelers flock on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights to dance to top-40 beats. Meanwhile, King Street West is another neighbourhood known for its bustling nightlife. Bars and clubs pack the area, with a focus on a (slightly) more mature demographic.
Another popular area for bars and clubs is located in the west end along Ossington Avenue and where it meets Queen Street West. This neighbourhood features smaller bars, art galleries and music venues that are geared towards a hipper, trendier crowd.
Meanwhile, located downtown in the Church and Wellesley area is Toronto's Gay Village, another popular spot for bars and clubs which are frequented by those looking to party regardless of sexual orientation. Every year at the end of June, Pride Week turns the neighbourhood into a massive non-stop party that draws hundreds of thousands of people.
Music and Concerts
Toronto has a booming music scene, and on any given night there are numerous shows to check out. Big name artists and tours regularly pass through Toronto, but there are also so many good local bands to check out. Local shows tend to be featured in clubs along College Street and Queen Street West, while bigger shows are often held in venues in the downtown core, such as the Air Canada Centre and the Molson Amphitheatre.
During the year, there are also many great music festivals that occur across the city that attract bands from around the world. Canada Music Week in March and the North by Northeast Festival in June are two of the biggest such events, with shows spread out over dozens of venues across the city. As an added bonus, during those events many bars have extended hours, with some serving drinks until 4 a.m.
If you're looking for the jazz scene, Toronto has that too. The Reservoir Lounge and The Rex Jazz and Blues Bar are two of the most popular jazz and blues venues in the city. Meanwhile, in the summer the city hosts the Beaches International Jazz Festival, a huge event where bands line the streets for over 2 kilometers along Queen Street East.
One of the city's most well-known festivals is the Toronto International Film Festival. Known in the city as "TIFF", this yearly film festival takes over the city for 11 days every September. The event is one of the biggest film festivals in the world (Time Magazine called it, "the most influential film festival, period"), but it has become more of a celebration than just about movies. Gala events and parties dominate the city during that time, and people go about the hobby of spotting one of the hundreds of celebrities that flocks to the city.
There are also dozens of smaller movie festivals that occur throughout the year, and focus on more specific tastes. The Toronto After Dark Film Festival is an event that has been growing in popularity, and it features horror, sci-fi, action, and cult films. Another big movie festival is Hot Docs, a documentary film festival that takes place in May, and is North America's largest such event.
Late Night Restaurants
A busy night out in Toronto is always better with a little late night eating, of which there are no shortage in the city. Late night food options tend to be conveniently clustered in the same areas as bars and clubs, where choices include 24 hour diners, pizza, burritos, Jamaican patties and poutine. Of course, the reigning champion of late night food is Toronto's Chinatown, centered on the area of Spadina Avenue and Dundas Street just west of downtown. Many restaurants there continue serving favourites like chow mein and crispy beef until 4 and 5 in the morning.