New live music venues in Toronto have given us even more opportunities to support both local and international artists. We got to see shows at a number of unusual spaces, including the Unsound Festival at the Hearn Generating Station. Parkdale's Wrongbar became Miss Thing's, we almost lost the Velvet Underground and we also saw Magpie's Taproom rebrand as Dundas Video this year. Let's see what 2016 brings.
Here are my picks for the top new live music venues in Toronto.
As a restaurant, microbrewery and a bona fide venue, Burdock is somewhat of a destination on Bloor Street West. Its intimate, artist-driven music hall boasts a full calendar of shows that won't usually cost more than $15 at the door.
Nest replaced the Ryze nightclub at College and Bathurst, bringing with it an LED light show and an impressive DYNACORD sound system. The 13,000 square-foot space plays host to local and international DJs - just beware of the cover if you're looking to visit on a Friday or Saturday night.
Fat City Blues
You'll want to venture to Little Italy if you're looking for Cajun-style food (like jambalaya and shrimp po' boys) and jazz and blues tunes. Inspired by New Orleans, this bar and restaurant features live music nearly every night of the week that it's open as well as a side patio in the spring and summer.
Shameful Tiki Room
This West Coast import brings the quintessential tiki experience to Toronto with puffer-fish lamps and rum-infused beverages. The newly opened space also features live music across a number of genres, including rock and rockabilly. Best of all, there's no added cover if you happen to wander in while an artist is playing.
Back in the early 2000s, this Parkdale space was known as the Tennessee Tavern. Now, it's harkening back to its roots after spending a number of years as The Sister and Mitzi's Sister. This west side venue has a full roster of shows, including karaoke nights on Mondays, meaning that you too can take to the stage.
What's your favourite new live music venue in Toronto? Let us know in the comments.
Photo of Nest by Jesse Milns.
by Amy Grief via blogTO