Things to do in Toronto

Live Music in Toronto

Feel the pulse of Toronto in its live music scene. So many venues await you with songs and sounds that reflect the city’s multicultural melting pot.

Multiculturalism helped Toronto become the largest city in Canada. In the process, this heady blend of cultures crafted a creative melting pot that makes the city streets come alive with sonorous sound.

Artists collaborating in various venues make the music you hear just as unique as the city. When looking for things to do in Toronto, look to this list to discover the best live music venues around town.

Old Toronto

When you’re looking for live music in Toronto, head to this neighborhood to find it in spades. Old Toronto is a testament to the city’s rich, dynamic history, including a storied musical past.

1. Roy Thomson Hall

Marvel at Roy Thomson Hall's architectural audacity before you catch a note of the musical magnificence found within. Situated centrally in Toronto’s Entertainment District, this venue boasts a distinctive circular design and an expansive glass canopy that captures eyes and imagination. We love how it looks against the city’s skyline.

Renovations made in 2002 enhanced this already amazing space, creating an acoustic utopia. You'll find a vast array of music here, from stunning symphonies and elegant operas to whimsical children’s shows and rock 'n' roll fantasies. Check its event calendar to find your preferred genre and grab tickets for you and a friend!

Photographer: Ronin

2. Massey Hall

Immerse yourself in euphonic ecstasy when you catch a show at Massey Hall. Built in 1892 and inaugurated with a five-concert festival in 1894, Massey Hall is a timeless testament to Toronto’s commitment to culture.

If the walls here could talk, they’d tell you all about the auditory wonders they’ve heard in the century since the venue’s inception. Just a short walk from Roy Thomson Hall in the heart of Toronto, this musical venue has hosted a whole constellation of stars, from orchestras, symphonies, and choirs to jazz, pop, and rock bands.

3. Meridian Hall

Give yourself over to the beat at Meridian Hall, a music venue in the heart of the city featuring an immersive acoustical design. Formerly known as O’Keefe Centre and then the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, Meridian Hall serves as an essential hub for arts and entertainment in Toronto.

Satiate your senses by indulging in classical music shows at this venue, or enjoy a lively night out with friends when your favorite jazz ensemble comes to town. Extravaganzas with music and dancing also find their home here for a welcome change of pace.

Tickets sell out fast. Keep an eye on Meridian Hall’s event page so you know when it offers a show you want to see.

4. The Rex Hotel Jazz & Blues Bar

The Rex Hotel Jazz & Blues Bar, affectionately referred to as The Rex by locals, evolved from a simple hotel bar to an intimate destination for music lovers throughout its more than 40-year history.

Drawing in diverse crowds attracted to its authentic jazz and blues sounds, this venue has hosted numerous new talents and established musicians over the decades. Enjoy this venue’s nostalgia by examining the memorabilia from past performances that line The Rex’s walls.

This Toronto live music venue maintains sophistication, thanks to the excellent acoustics and elegantly laid-back vibe. But what we love most is how the intimate setting lets the boundaries between musician and listener converge for a rich musical experience.

5. The Cameron House

Visit The Cameron House for the vibrant exterior murals, and stay for the sweet sounds of modern music. Founded in 1981, this live music venue features two performance spaces. The front room boasts an intimate ambiance ideal for folk, indie, and jazz, while the larger backroom hosts louder rock bands.

6. The Phoenix Concert Theatre

Awaken your senses by taking in shows at The Phoenix Concert Theatre. Hosting a diverse array of bands, from local groups to international stars, this live music venue boasts a cozy vibe and room for you and 1,300 of your closest friends. It also brings the community together for special occasions, including Toronto New Year’s events.

Step out onto the main floor to get your groove on, or watch the action from the expansive balcony section while enjoying the VIP bar. This venue also has a small parlor off the main room for private shows.

7. Jazz Bistro

Enjoy a meal and listen to the velvety sounds of the city's best live music at Jazz Bistro. More than just a music venue, this supper club features excellent acoustics that embrace listeners with their warmth and a sophisticated menu that lines up perfectly with the musical entertainment.

Photographer: Chris Bair

8. Adelaide Hall

Explore soundscapes illuminated by shimmering lights and complemented by a warm, welcoming atmosphere at Adelaide Hall. A sweet secret tucked deep in the heart of Toronto, this musical venue features a multilevel layout with a main floor stage.

We love to hang out in the balcony area, where you can directly overlook the stage during rock and electronica shows.

Trinity Bellwoods

Known for its laid-back, artsy vibe, Trinity Bellwoods attracts musicians with the cozy venues that stretch along its attractive tree-lined streets. The area's coffee shops and small bars often have live music and karaoke in Toronto for their patrons, showcasing a wide range of musical genres.

9. Horseshoe Tavern

Give yourself over to the electric feel of the space as bands take the stage at Horseshoe Tavern. Founded in 1947, this legendary venue hosts live bands in Toronto — local talent and superstars alike. Each act, in turn, adds to the story and musical lore of this unique space on Queen Street West.

10. The Dakota Tavern

A small but mighty musical space, The Dakota Tavern offers a sanctuary of sound for those who want to listen to the best in bluegrass and country.

Soulful twang envelops the crowd, and time stops for a moment as the aural enchantment takes center stage in this intimate venue. Low ceilings, checked tablecloths, and vintage decor give this tavern a super-homey vibe and look.

11. Lula Lounge

Liven up your night out in the city by stopping by the Lula Lounge to indulge in Latin and world music. This Toronto live music venue combines dining and dancing in one seamless experience. It has salsa bands and DJs on deck every Friday and Saturday night, and dance professionals are on hand to help you learn the steps.


Also known as Old York, the York neighborhood blends the old with the new with amazing alacrity. The area was once a city all its own before Toronto absorbed it into its cityscape. As such, this area of the city has its own rich heritage and unique community appeal.

12. Lee's Palace

Lee’s Palace captures the raw, unfiltered spirit of the Toronto live music scene. This two-story venue features a concert space on the bottom floor that hosts indie, rock, punk, and alternative bands. Upstairs, you'll find a Dance Cave that holds regular house parties for those nights when you want to let loose and lose yourself in the music.

13. CODA

Electronica music enthusiasts flock to CODA in Toronto to vibe with top-notch DJs and bands from around the globe. We love how the state-of-the-art sound system and great acoustics envelop revelers, inspiring them to hit the spacious dance floor and move to the groove into the wee hours of the evening.

14. Koerner Hall

Indulge in premiere performances at Koerner Hall, part of the Royal Conservatory of Music. With seating for more than 1,000 people, this venue evokes an intimate ethos and has a unique design tailored to acoustic optimization.

Undulating oak panels on the walls create a sanctuary of sound, wrapping you in the warmth of every note to transcend the ordinary.

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Situated in Toronto’s east end, Leslieville comes alive with sound nightly, from impromptu street performances to bustling world-class venues. This creative energy draws visitors from far and wide to indulge in its smooth mix of indie bands, jazz ensembles, and every genre in between.

15. The Opera House

Don’t let the name fool you. There’s no opera at The Opera House at all. Instead, it features an eclectic mix of electronic, rock, and indie tunes.

We love how this music venue, with a capacity for 950 people, offers a dynamic sound experience usually only found in larger nightspots. The venue's historic building only adds to its mystique.

16. Hugh's Room Live

Folk, blues, and jazz lovers rejoice! Hugh’s Room Live knows what you want and gives it to you whenever the doors open. Well-loved for its inviting ambiance, this nonprofit venue for live music in Toronto spotlights storytelling in melody and lyrics. It also hosts artist talks, collaborations, and workshops to foster a stronger sense of community.

South Riverdale

Tucked away just east of the downtown core, South Riverdale serves as a home base for a diverse artistic community. Here, you can find an eclectic array of record shops and music studios, bringing live music in Toronto to the forefront. Intimate venues and larger spaces offer rooms for local talent and touring acts to play songs for adoring crowds.


Walk down to Polson Pier to enter Toronto's 45,000-square-foot REBEL music venue. With its mission to redefine the city’s nightlife, it combines a nightclub atmosphere with concert-quality shows.

Meander through the various rooms to take in endless sounds and sights. State-of-the-art sound and lighting systems create an immersive experience, and we love it.

18. Budweiser Stage

Don’t limit yourself to indoor spaces. Get your groove on in the great outdoors at Budweiser Stage. Formerly known as the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, this expansive venue hosts major live music events. With enough seating for 16,000 people, this venue makes top rock, pop, and country shows even more electric and exciting.

North York

North York sits north of Downtown Toronto, featuring a blend of urban and suburban spaces. Although this neighborhood may not have as wide of a variety of music as the downtown area, it still has venues that delight and entertain.

19. The Aga Khan Museum Auditorium

Navigate complex symphonies of sound from the Islamic world at the Aga Khan Museum Auditorium. Dedicated to cultural exchange through music, this venue features 336 seats for events, including musical and dance performances. The musical offerings here complement the museum’s goals of educating and inspiring all who enter its doors.

Photographer: Hardeep Singh

20. Meridian Arts Centre

Go on aural adventures with other music lovers at Meridian Arts Centre. Although this Toronto live music treasure has seen several name changes since its inception in 1993, high-quality entertainment has remained a constant.

Distinct spaces within, each with a unique charm, ensure auditory excellence whenever a performance is presented here.

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Experience the Rhythms of Toronto Through Its Diverse Music Venues

The Toronto live music scene has something for everyone, from the haunting harmonies of classical concertos to the provocative pulse of hard rock legends. But the music doesn’t begin and end with these venues.

Escape the ordinary and come to one of our shows in Toronto. We'll have you on the edge of your seat as our acrobats perform out-of-this-world gravity-defying aerial feats that make you gasp in awe. Come aboard — we're expecting you!

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