Toronto Music Industry And Trends

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The Best Music Venues in Toronto

Another reason why tourists love the city of Toronto despite its hectic environment is the fact that it has the best music venues in the entire country. Plus, many thriving independent musicians keep the town alive and lively by playing their music of different genres in various corners of the city. What’s even more exciting is that Toronto is not only limited to bars and pubs but it also has historic concert halls where great crowds and renowned artists share their talents and affair for music. Three of most visited and beloved music venues are the following.

  1. Dakota Tavern

If you’re looking for a pub with a good laidback atmosphere, cold beer, and of course, a live music, then Dakota Tavern is the place to go. What’s even more interesting with the Dakota Tavern is that they serve big platters of delectable food from breakfast to late night, and have various genres of bands that differ every week, like blues, country, bluegrass bands and many more. Plus, the barista gives beer samples to customers to help them decide on which beer pint they’ll have to start the night.

  1. Massey Hall

On a different note, if you feel like going to a classic, historic kind of music venue, the Massey Hall is a great place to drop by. The grand old concert hall hosts hundreds of concerts from different genres possible and even musical and stage acts. The “Grande Dame” of all the music halls of Toronto has 2,700 seats available. Hence, one can surely get comfortable seats to get relaxed after a long day of work and tours.

Massey Hall

  1. Lee’s Place

Last but not the least, is the Lee’s Place. This is, however, different from the first two. This is where you’ll go if you love rock, loud, live bands. Seats are placed at the sides and a pit for dancing is set up front. When visiting Lee’s Place, new comers should expect mosh pits, lot of dancing and long night of rock music and party. Over all, Lee’s Place is just right for musically inclined people who would appreciate a crowd in a rather small and intimate place.

A Day in the Life of a Toronto Musician

Let me tell you straight up, being a musician in Toronto, or anywhere for that matter, isn’t easy. The Toronto music scene is alive and well, and people are always on the lookout for new talent, the next big thing. That’s great, but it also means I have to be on my toes all the time.

It’s a Job

People ask me what’s the secret to becoming successful in the business, and I always give the same answer: being a musician is a job. Some people think it’s all about wine, women and song, but I can tell you right now it doesn’t work that way. I have to do promotions, send out press kits, promote my stuff on the web, write songs, record and of course put on a good show.

It’s not as easy as it sounds, because while it’s a job it’s not like a regular 9 to 5 where you get off at 5 and have the weekend off. In my case the day can end at 3 in the morning following an evening show, and after a few hours of sleep I need to get up and promote my new single on the radio, online or go to the recording studio.

Local Muscian

And that’s just for starters. It’s one thing to do nightly shows here in Toronto, but I also go on the road and do shows throughout Canada, and believe me, spending hours on the road and rocking it up at night can be taxing. I’m not saying it’s no good; I love being a musician, but I just want to show you that it’s not as easy as some folks make it out to be. You still have to work.

Prepare for the Unexpected

One of the things that I’ve learned as a Toronto musician is that you have to be prepared for the unexpected. One time I was in such a hurry to go to the studio that I managed to lock myself out of my house. I never thought it would happen to me, but it did, and I felt panic because I didn’t have a duplicate key.

Fortunately my manager was able to get in touch with a local Toronto locksmith who helped me get the the door open. That only happened to me once, but once was enough so now I got the locksmith’s number on my mobile in case something happens.

Getting locked out of my own house was unusual, but it’s part of the life of a Toronto musician. I also have had to put up with disputes among band members, glitches during the show, promo mix ups and the occasional drunk in the crowd. Most of the time the Toronto crowd is nice, which is why I like to do shows here, but every now and then there’s an unruly guy or a commotion in the audience.

But for all the struggles, I love being a musician, and I wouldn’t exchange it for anything else. It’s fun, frenetic, and more than a little crazy yeah, but I won’t have it any other way.

The Top 5 All Time Toronto Rappers

Toronto is not just known for its fun and exciting pubs and jaw dropping historical halls but it is also known for having several  of the most talented and famous rappers in the entire country. The top five rappers who are celebrated and have brought the city’s pride are as follows:

    1. Choclair

Kareem Blake, also known as Choclair is considered one of the top 5 all time rappers in Toronto. He is known as one of the influential leaders of the Canadian hiphop regeneration from the mid to the late 90’s. He was also popular because of his hit album “Ice Cold” and single “Let’s Ride”, which won a “SOCAN” award. He has had 5 albums and his latest one was “Flagship” back in the year 2006.

  1. Dream Warriors

The Dream Warriors is composed of a duo, Capital Q. and King Lou. The duo has been known in Toronto because of their contribution to the jazz rap movement in the early 1990’s. Their album, “And Now The Legacy Begins” is considered as one of the best alternative hip hop records of the golden age. They have had 4 albums in which the latest is “The Legacy Continues”, released in the year 2002.

  1. K-Os

Another famous all time rapper in Toronto is Kevin Brereton, famously known as k-os. He has been one of the country’s leading hip hop stars. His music is focused on spiritual and positive message, created with a diversity of genres which include jazz, reggae, funk, rap and rock.


  1. Maestro

Another celebrated artist in the hip hop scene is Wesley Williams, popularly known as Maestro. Recognized as the “godfather” of Canadian hip-hop, Maestro is the first Canadian rapper who has had a Top 40 hit,”Let Your Backbone Slide”, which at this day continues to be the best selling single in the Canadian hip-hop history.

Kardinal Offshall

  1. Kardinal Offishall

Popularly known as Kardinal Offishall, Jason D. Harrow is considered not only one of the best rappers in Toronto but also the best hip-hop producers of the country. He is acknowledged as the “Hip-hop ambassador”, has released 5 albums, and has won 10 awards since the year 1999. The latest award “Juno Award for R&B/Soul Recording of the Year for ‘Can’t Choose’” was just given this year.