Hey Toronto Punk!
Hey Toronto punk, I’m going to list my favourite venues! Ok, so my list might be a little bias because as a musician, how clubs treat me when I play them definitely affects my opinion of them. I will also take into account which ones I actually go to. My focus for this blog will be more on D.I.Y. shows.
772A Dundas St W. (Dundas & Bathurst)
It brings in great quality touring punk and metal bands as well as hosts great local shows. Sometimes the bar is used by larger promotion companies such as Collective Concerts, when they need a medium sized venue to host a punk crowd. As a local punk artist in Toronto, what I like about this bar is that they remember you. They will message you directly if they are interested in having you put on a show and will have you as an opener for a larger band if they need one.
More info at: https://www.facebook.com/HardLuckBar/
282 Augusta Ave. (Kensington Market)
The sound of the underground! A bar near and dear to my heart as I played the first Lauren Spike show there! It was nice that they gave lil’ ol’ me a chance. Great atmosphere and great place to play. This bar features a large stage, pinball machines and a couple couches placed around the venue for lounging. It is located in Kensington Market, right off College street on Augusta. Very nice staff and D.I.Y. vibe. I have seen many underground shows here that other venues might not have hosted. More info at https://www.facebook.com/coalitiontoronto/
300 College st. (above Rancho Relaxo, just look for the Pink door)
The new kid on the block! Stop, Drop & Roll has been opened since the last week of December in 2016 and has already hosted legendary punks The Dead Boys, among others. Across the street from Coalition, they recently did a joint show with the other venue where patrons could buy wrist bands and attend both club’s shows. Talk about supporting the scene, what a concept! The staff and people involved in this venue are really working hard to pump up the scene. Check it out if you haven’t already! More info at: https://www.facebook.com/stopdroprollto/
542 Queen St W.
Talk about legendary, this Toronto punk club has been rockin’ it since early 1991! It is a must see location for anyone new to or visiting Toronto. The bar itself is used in a lot of Canadian movie and TV productions such as Orphan Black. When you visit, you’ll see why. It’s “the bar with all the crap on the walls”! The list of legendary punk bands that have played here is endless. Open 7 days a week, it’s hard NOT to play here as a punk band! The bar features great walk-in traffic and a home crowd. More info at: http://www.bovinesexclub.com/website/events.php
200 Bathurst St. (Queen and Bathrust)
Cherry Colas’ is not what you might normally think of when you think of a “punk Toronto venue”. It’s a bit too pretty, but don’t judge a book by it’s cover. This venue is not afraid to book indie punk bands. In fact, I’ve seen more “punk” bands play here than other so-called “punk venues”. The regulars at this club are not afraid to start a pit when things get a little punkified as well.
More info at: https://www.facebook.com/cherrycolasrocknrolla/