Sarah’s Spots: Exploring Toronto’s Live Music Venues

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The Rivoli, 334 Queen Street West

The Rivoli is one of the go-to hangouts for those who frequent Queen West, and for good reason. With its classy, yet reasonably priced restaurant in the front (featuring great burgers and a good overall selection), its sleazy looking entrance to a solid music venue in the back, and its little-known swanky pool hall and bar upstairs, the Rivoli is undoubtedly one of Toronto’s hidden gems.


As a music venue, the Rivoli’s back room acoustics aren’t bad, and they’re great for seeing local or has-been bands up close. The venue’s setup is barebones, which means you’re likely to bump into the bass player at the bar after their set. That said, the room features the perfect amount of sidewall seating for wallflowers and make-out sessions — or for when you’ve had one too many shots of Cuervo and need a break from dancing. Most importantly, the cheesy twinkle lights make it the perfect venue to grab that coveted Insta-worthy concert pic.


My Recommendation: Good venue for indie or acoustic artists. Bring a friend and enjoy a lowkey night on the town. Better yet, The Riv makes a great date spot. Grab dinner and see some local talent (be sure to snap a cute couple selfie under the lights!), then head upstairs for some (more) drinks and a game of good ol’fashioned billiards.


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