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.




Many people have a phase of life where when the phrases "Cheap" and "Booze" go together, they get all sorts of excited. If that phase is currently on for your right now, Bar 244 (named for the address on Adelaide) has $3 drinks all night, which...  Read More


9
Downtown


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 I don't want to be a downer). Toronto's Barhop doesn't require that you engage in a tour of the city. There is more than...  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




Steam Whistle Brewery makes a Canadian pilsner that they are rightfully proud of. This local beer maker is located right near the Roger's Centre and the CN Tower. It is a perfect stop on the Toronto tourism train. The beer recipe has been...  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


N'Awlins
Photo courtesy of N'Awlins


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


4
Downtown
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




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


1


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


Map

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

×