The 5 best bars/pubs to catch live music in Toronto

In Toronto, we’re totally spoiled by world-class music from almost any genre. And what’s better than getting your drink on with a few friends while catching an awesome band play a live show at a great pub? We uncovered our five favourite bars and pubs for watching live music, so grab your friends and get ready to get down.

  1. The Cameron House

Located at 408 Queen Street W, this intimate boho bar features live music seven nights a week featuring up-and-coming blues, jazz, rock ‘n roll and exciting local bands. Rated as one of Toronto’s best no-cover music venues by Zagat, this is a must-see venue filled with great vibes, tasty liqueurs and brews from abroad.

Location: 408 Queen Street W

Hours: Monday-Saturday 4 pm-2 am, Sunday 6 pm-2 am

  1. The Hole in the Wall

When everywhere else closes early and calls it a night, the Junction neighbourhood gets red hot at the Hole in the Wall. Known for its hipster-friendly ambiance and delicious food, this tiny bar is a local gem for live music and craft beers. Featuring 10 local Canadian brewers on tap, stop by for a night filled with dim lights, great music and frothy refreshments.

Location: 2867A Dundas Street W

Hours: Monday-Friday 4 pm-2 am, Saturday-Sunday brunch 11 am-3 pm, open until 2am

  1. The Dakota Tavern

It’s not that common to get your honky-tonk on in Toronto, but you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, the Dakota is one of the best spots in Toronto to catch live blues, country and folk. Walls adorned with vintage American cowboy goods make us want to grab one of their signature whiskeys and trade in the floppy toques for cowboy hats. As Toronto’s only noteworthy country music venue, this is a fantastic place to kick your boots off and enjoy some Southern twang.

Location: 249 Ossington Avenue

Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 8 pm-2 am, bluegrass brunch Saturday-Sunday 10 am-2 pm

  1. Bovine Sex Club

As the name suggests, when you walk into this club and pass underneath the twisted metal objects plastered to the front of the building, you’ll be entering a strange world of graffiti and metal. Metalheads, indie rockers and grad students all love the Bovine Sex Club for its unique tackiness and diverse musical talents that keep this place rocking every night. As a favourite local venue for those that take their partying seriously, the Bovine gives off an electric atmosphere, and despite its harsh appearance on the outside, everyone here is very friendly on the inside.

Location: 542 Queen Street W

Hours: Monday-Sunday 9 pm-2 am

  1. The Horseshoe Tavern

If you haven’t been to one of Toronto’s most famous institutions of rock, now’s the time to pay it a visit. Some of the most famous rock bands in history have played here, including the Rolling Stones, the Ramones and the Police. Largely credited as a “launch pad” for local bands, you never know what soon-to-be-famous artist you might share a pitcher with at the Horseshoe.

Location: 370 Queen Street W

Hours: Monday-Sunday noon-2:30 am

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Born on the Prairies, Erin Cardone grew up knowing there was more to life than canola fields and AAA Alberta Angus. So she escaped, living in Europe and Australia, white-knuckling it through plates of calf brains and raw horse meat, and learning languages she can't remember anymore. After a stint as a jaded, skeptical journalist, she changed tack and began writing rather awesome blogs and showing businesses that advertising is dead, so long live social media, with her businesses Legendary Social Media. She now splits her time between various Canadian cities, Costa Rica and wherever else the wind blows.

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