If you work in the music industry in Canada, it’s no secret that Toronto is where you’ll find the most action. Between the Canadian Opera Company, the National Ballet, the hundreds of festivals like NXNE and CMW that take place every year, it’s a no contest. No doubt, Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver – among other Canadian cities – have plenty to offer in terms of musical experiences, but for sheer quantity and variety, you simply can’t beat Toronto.
One of the most obvious reasons that Toronto has such a vibrant music scene is the fact that it is a massive city – the fourth largest in all of North America – that comprises an incredible cross-section of cultural traditions. Thus, you can see jazz, Latin dance, bluegrass, folk or electronic music pretty much any night of the week.
If you’re into seeing popular indie rock bands like Spoon and The War on Drugs, or big name rappers like Vince Staples and Kendrick Lamar, they come through often and perform at venerable venues like The Phoenix, Massey Hall and the massive Air Canada Centre where the Leafs and Raptors play home games.
Then again, there are lots of small clubs that fulfil a particular niche demand. The Lula Lounge, for example, hosts bands performing salsa and Cuban jazz, with dance lessons on certain nights. The Tranzac Club often hosts folk and bluegrass music, and the iconic Rex Hotel near Queen and University hosts jazz music every night of the week.
The music scene in Toronto, while it can feel overwhelming, is also incredibly inclusive. There are plenty of open jams and workshops and even adult choirs. If you seek out the best place for music lessons in Toronto and develop some skills on a given instrument, you could be participating in a weekly jam before you know it.
If you like opera and ballet, you’ll be pleased to know that it is possible to secure tickets for a reasonable price under certain conditions. If you’re under thirty years of age, the opera company offers you a discount on tickets – it’s a popular program however, so make sure you reserve those seats as soon as they go on sale. Unless the performance is totally sold out, ballet and opera tickets can be acquired at a discount on the day of. You’ll need to show up at the box office as soon as it opens, so hopefully your work schedule has some built in flexibility.
Seeing a live orchestra performing huge music by successful artists such as, Mozart or Wagner is such a rush, and while most people are so plugged into their phones they’ve forgotten the magic of live music, treating yourself to a live symphony can be awe inspiring.
If rock music is more your thing, then you can hit up The Horseshoe Tavern anytime for your fix. Tuesday night is set aside for up and coming bands and entry is free, and most other nights cover is still pretty reasonable. There’s also Lee’s Palace and The Opera House for great rock music and during the summer you can catch all variety of music at outdoor festivals like Field Trip, Electric Island and Camp Wavelength!
So go ahead, take advantage of Toronto’s massive music scene – the world is at your doorstep!