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

BY COURTNEY SUNDAY for 10 Best on March 2018

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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 20thcentury 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.

10

BAR 244

ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT

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Photo courtesy of www.facebook.com

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

BAR HOP

DOWNTOWN

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Photo courtesy of www.facebook.com

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 let's not bring the mood down). Toronto's Barhop doesn't require that you engage in a tour of the city. There is more than...  Read More

8

REAL SPORTS BAR

DOWNTOWN

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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

7

STEAM WHISTLE BREWERY

DOWNTOWN

Photo courtesy of Steam Whistle Flickr page

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

6

N'AWLINS

ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT

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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. Its success can be traced to offering a nightly schedule of live...  Read More

5

SECOND CITY

DOWNTOWN

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

4

FYNN'S OF TEMPLE BAR

ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT

Photo courtesy of www.facebook.com

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

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DEQ TERRACE AND LOUNGE

DOWNTOWN

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Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Toronto

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

2

SPIN TORONTO

DOWNTOWN

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Photo courtesy of www.facebook.com

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

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TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX

ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT

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Photo courtesy of www.facebook.com

The TIFF Lightbox is one of those places that helps to solve the conundrum "I'm bored!" without transforming into a Smartphone. This building is set up to allow you to watch all of the film festival favorites, as well as the fantastic films that...  Read More

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