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Saturday, November 29, 2014

The top 10 new event venues in Toronto for 2014

toronto event venuesToronto event venues took a leap forward in diversity this year, with vibrant art incubators, loungey clubs, and DIY multi-use spaces welcoming public and private happenings. At any given time, you could step through the doors and could find art shows, live music, comedy, craft sales, or a really good dance party. Add it all up, and you get a Toronto headed for an even more vibrant year ahead.

Here are my picks for the top new event venues in Toronto for 2014.

Jam Factory

This open-concept loft space, located upstairs from Merchants of Green Coffee in Riverside, does octuple duty as a live concert space, a party venue, and even a rentable shared office space (during the day).

Geary Lane

At the forefront of Geary's transformation from an industrial sidestreet to a burgeoning culture hub is this new multi-disciplinary space. The dark, cavernous room boasts a surprisingly refined vibe, while the events calendar runs the gamut from avant-garde performances and visual art installations to live music.

Artscape Youngplace

Artscape breathed new life into a long-empty Shaw St. school, overhauling the building into a modern, airy hub of studio spaces and galleries (including the Koffler gallery, which hosts pieces from local and international artists).

Social Capital

The Black Swan's upstairs room has long hosted comedy shows, but now it finally has a name (and a beefed-up calendar to match). The Social Capital books standup, burlesque, improv, and all manner of indie theatre.


That weird little fake Sev-Elev in Chinatown? Turns out it's the hub for an artists' collective of the same name. The tiny gallery space primarily handles visual arts, but has also hosted live shows (including some Wavelength gigs).


Taking over the former Neutral space in Kensington Market, Coalition has already been making a name for itself as a good event venue for DJ nights or anything involving ladies in minidresses. The self-styled urban lounge also doubles as a comedy club.


This multi-purpose space just east of Spadina on College makes the most of their tiny footprint with a busy calendar of art shows, concerts, performances and craft events.

Propeller Coffee

The Bloor and Lansdowne coffee roastery serves up some mean caffeine, but their high-ceilinged, concrete-floored space has played home to parties, art shows and fashion pop-ups. (They even do weddings.)

District 28

Capitalizing on the swaths of space available in the movie studio-land near Logan and Eastern, District 28 has the real estate for over 3,000 guests. Formerly the Mountain View Coffee Factory Outlet, the cavernous white-walled space can be converted into a space for anything from art shows to lavish receptions.

The Theatre Centre

A massive, multi-million-dollar renovation converted a former West Queen West library into this "live arts hub and incubator." All manner of community-based programming goes down here, from craft shows to hackathons - though, naturally, performance art takes centre stage.

What did I miss? Add your suggestions for new event venues in the comments.

Photo of the Theatre Centre by Andrew Williamson.

by Natalia Manzocco via blogTO

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