If you wanted to, you could see a different music show every night of the year. There are endless opportunities to see live music in Toronto and discover new talent. From amateur open-mic nights to sold-out megashows, there’s something for every music lover in this city. We think the best shows can be caught at Toronto’s medium-sized venues. Here’s a list of our favourites:
1. The Horseshoe Tavern – 370 Queen St W
This venue is one of Toronto’s most coveted. It has a reputation of booking only the best acts, and artists know this, so it’s a privilege to perform there. And you really feel this as an audience member. When you can tell the band is enjoying their time on stage, it just makes for a better experience.
2. Massey Hall – 178 Victoria Street
Massey Hall is truly a piece of Toronto history. It is both an Ontario Heritage Property and a National Historic Site of Canada. The rich history is reflected in its architecture—its neoclassical façade stands out amongst the skyscrapers and billboards that make up the neighbouring Dundas Square. Massey Hall remains to be one of the few seating-only venues to watch music. It makes for a different kind of experience—one that has you more focused on the amazing sound than the person blocking your view.
3. The Great Hall – 1087 Queen St W
Another historic landmark, The Great Hall was built in 1889. It underwent extensive renovations in 2016, which enhanced the venue’s interior detailed without compromising character. The result is a more functional reinvention of the unique space. The layout is awesome for seeing music—watch from ground level or head up to one of the two upper wings and watch from above.
4. The Danforth Music Hall – 147 Danforth Ave
Steps away from Broadview Station is this east-end gem with a rich history, too. It opened in 1919 as a movie theatre, and has since become one of the best music venues in the city. It has a large capacity, but the sound and view are excellent from any position.
5. The Opera House – 735 Queen St E
What do you know; another historic landmark. The Opera House provides a slightly more intimate concert experience, as it’s smaller than the previous venues. It’s maintained its vaudeville theatre architecture from the 1900s, but boasts modern lighting and sound equipment.