Nightlife Spots That Put the Word 'Entertain' in Toronto's Entertainment District

Toronto’s Entertainment District is a stretch of downtown, running roughly from Queen Street West on its northern edge and south to the lakeshore, with Spadina Avenue and University Avenue along its west and east borders. This is where the action is: the shopping, hotels, restaurants and theatres. During the week, it is filled with busy commuters who rush to work, Starbucks cups in hand.

There’s certainly plenty to see and do in the Entertainment District during the day, yet the excitement continues when the sun goes down. For about 20 years, from the 1980s to the early 2000s, nightlife in the Entertainment District was centered primarily around the large dance clubs that opened in early 20th century warehouse spaces. The club crowd was a vibrant presence most nights of the week, bringing large numbers of young people into the area while also prompting older crowds to stay away.

A shift in thinking and city planning over the past decade has seen many of these clubs close. As condos sprouted as quickly as seedlings in spring, the number of Torontonians who live in the Entertainment District has substantially increased from just a few hundred to several thousand. The change has caused a growth in the nightlife options available. Where clubs were once dominant, you’ll now find sleek cocktail lounges and the perfect pub for an after-work pint. Today’s Entertainment District is no longer just welcoming to rowdy youth. It is for all ages in need of a good time.

Right near the CN Tower and Air Canada Centre, this is a great bar to go to before the game or to watch the game itself. Craft beers and rare imports will make it hard to decide what you are drinking. Ask for little tastes of a wide variety to...  Read More

Real Sports Bar
Photo courtesy of Real Sports Bar Facebook page

From press conferences to large scale versions of game night, The Real Sports Bar doesn't pull any punches. It treats you, the sports fan, and your relationship with your team with the utmost respect. Right beside the Air Canada Centre, on game...  Read More

The Rex Hotel Jazz and Blues Bar
Photo courtesy of The Rex Hotel Jazz & Blues Bar Facebook page

Toronto has a thriving jazz scene and The Rex has been at the forefront. Open since the late 1980s, they have more shows than anywhere else with world-renowned musicians and top local talent. The decor is minimal and the vibe is relaxed. Some...  Read More


You may be able to have too many shoes, but you can never have too many brew pubs (too much beer is another thing, but we don't want to be downers). Toronto's Barhop doesn't require that you engage in a tour of the city. There is more than...  Read More

Toronto's Entertainment District has changed frequently over the past decade or so as tastes and consumer demands shift. But N'Awlins has been a fixture in the neighbourhood for years. Its success can be traced to offering a nightly schedule of...  Read More

Second City
Photo courtesy of Second City Facebook page

Toronto's Second City has churned out some of the best of the best of epic Canadian comedy talent. We are talking Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Michael Myers, Catherine O'Hara, Gilda Radner, Martin Short and...  Read More

Everyone loves a good Joe Mama joke (except if that Joe Mama joke is directed to your mama). Joe Mamas may fall under the umbrella of restaurant with everything from tenderloin to steak n' shrimp to fill your belly, but it is much more than...  Read More

When it comes to Fynn's of Temple drinking policy, the short answer is that you should do it. Whether it is their highly recommended brunch with $4 Mimosas and Caesars or a hefty dose of beer every night of the week, Fynn's extends their Irish...  Read More

DEQ Terrace and Lounge
Photo courtesy of Ron Starr

Wear something fancy and indulge in an equally fancy cocktail at the Ritz Carlton's elegant DEQ Terrace and Lounge. During the winter, cozy fireplaces and furnishings inspire patrons to hunker down. During the summer, the fireplace will follow...  Read More


Ping pong used to be about as cool as shuffleboard. Well, we better keep our eye out for a shuffleboard resurgence, because Susan Sarandon made ping pong hot. The SPiN clubs have popped up around the US and now Toronto to bring a little friendly...  Read More


Meet Courtney Sunday

Courtney Sunday has lived in England, Switzerland, Canada and the US, finding her way into the professions of freelance writing and yoga teaching in between travel opportunities. She learned...  More About Courtney

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