The top 10 bars for up and coming DJs in Toronto

Bars that host lots of up and coming DJs are where to go if you’re serious about spinning, or just want a fun night out with a soundtrack that’s guaranteed not to suck. Techno, EDM, house, Afrobeats, Latin…whether you want to play it or dance to it, there’s something for everyone at these hangouts.

Here are my picks for some great bars for up and coming DJs in Toronto.

The Shop

Located in Parkdale, this subterranean spot with UV artwork and mini bottles of champagne knows how to keep the party going with a full roster of seasoned DJs every weekend. Home of the famous Boosie Fade hip hop party that’s been running for years, you’ll also hear U.K. garage, pop, and Latin-infused Afrobeats.

Mahjong Bar

This secretive Ossington and Dundas haunt serves up Asian fare and cocktails as well as beats, regularly playing host to such up and comers as Sophie Jones and Mike Don’t. Expect dancehall, rap and house.

The Fountain

This Dundas West haunt doesn’t have the most space or the most regular programming, but the DJs here are always quality. They’ve hosted events for collectives such as Yohomo in the past, and their relatively open calendar means if you want to take to the decks, the opportunity could very definitely be yours. 

Lucky Shrike

Home to all vinyl night Mixed Business, this dive on Dundas West hosts DJs every couple of weeks. 

The Embassy

Craft beer, cocktails and solid DJs on the regular are the order of the day at this Kensington cash-only affair. 

Handlebar

This Kensington bar hosts live music as well as DJ nights, such as the Decades Dance Party where DJs and music eras change on the hour.

The Delaware

Bloordale Village is home to this party spot with DJ nights every Saturday, where you’ll likely hear Latin and deep house sounds.

Bassline 

This bar boasting a dance floor in Bloorcourt features near-nightly DJs spinning everything from techno and trance to Afro-Latin, warehouse and tribal. They also host open deck nights.

Gladstone

This historic hotel on West Queen West has multiple venues that can accommodate all kinds of DJs and events. In addition to DJ nights, they also do live music, music bingo, drag nights, karaoke and music video dance parties. 

Come See Me

Little Italy has this cool hangout with lots of Insta-worthy neon and just as many DJs. Expect hip hop, throwbacks and the like from decks that take up residence at the front of the bar.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez at The Shop

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