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, coffee cups in hand, eyes cast down at cell phones.
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 (even rowdy middle ages) in need of a good time.