Toronto is has been said has two seasons – winter and construction, but that does not stop its rabid music populous from going out and contributing to some of the best nightlife in North America. With its vibrant culture that extends beyond just Drake, we asked Toronto born and house music DJ and producer Demuir to give us a guide to the city. Read on to learn about the places to go out, where to grab your pre-drinks, a place to escape on a warm Sunday and much more.
Demuir just released his new Technocolor Part 2 EP, expanding on his palate of vibrant techno. You can stream below or pick up here.
We like a good drink, so where are the top spots to head to before a night out?
Bar Chef is the my place of choice for unique and creative cocktails. Aside from the beautiful ambience and unique mixologist craft going on here, it's located in Queen West, which is considered to be an art friendly part of the city.
I jump at any excuse to pop in to see Frankie and the crew! My favorite drink is the Vanilla and Hickory Smoked Manhattan (as seen in the pic below).
Where can you find the best clubs / late night venues in town?
Similar to what is being experience in many cities, Toronto is still holding on to a few select venues with each delivering their own niche. Spots like One Loft, Nest, and Coda are the standouts currently. Even some smaller and more intimate venues offer a nice vibe like The Red Light bar and Bassline Music Bar (where I first started out) on the city's west side provide a groove.
Brunches are a weekend staple, which spots stand out for you?
I love a good meal! Stand out for brunch is Mildred's Temple Kitchen for their Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes in Liberty Village or Drake Hotel on Queen West where they have all day brunch. The pancakes are delightfully sinful.
Best dirty late-night street food option?
This one is easy and is a guilty pleasure of mine. Street meat. Well done spicy Italian Sausage to soak up that alcohol right at the corner of Bathurst and College. Don't judge me.
Where can we shop for records and music memorabilia in Toronto?
It's not unusual to catch me diggin' for records at my boy Aki's Cosmos Records also located in Queen West. Most of the samples from my TruSkool and From Black to Technocolor albums are a result of my visits to the store or time in the coveted, "invite only" warehouse. Many respectable producers and DJs go through his stores when they're in town or to get inspired. People like Pete Rock, Madlib, Questlove, DJ Spinna, Gilles Peterson, and more have a strong addiction to this spot. Got mad love for these guys!
Your Sunday escape plan when you need to get away from it all?
I'm a chill person in general. Sunday escapes in the summer are found on the Lakeshore followed by a visit to Cheese Boutique. This place offers fresh baked goods and a crazy assortment of cheese like Truffle Gouda from Amsterdam. They even showed me a wheel of cheese Ben Affleck had ordered and stored there, for which he paid $100,000. In the winter, my ass is inside!
Something everyone should do when visiting Toronto, but probably hasn’t?
People should experience Roy Thompson Hall. Most will likely go to the CN Tower because it's widely publicized and part of Toronto's skyline, but Roy Thompson hall has a magical exterior design and the acoustics inside are even more amazing for great concerts. It's worth checking out.
A track that reminds you of your childhood in the city?
Taking me back here, but I first heard Main Source's, "Live At The BBQ" at The Rivoli, in the back room, at a party named after this song. Nas' verse is so damn compelling and I big up this song as my Toronto track because the producers are from Toronto.
What are other great exports that come from Toronto, music or otherwise?
Toronto's contributions to modern day music are definitely in the mix. From legendary rock band's like Buffalo Springfield (Neil Young) and Rush (Geddy Lee) to hip-hop (Snow, Maestro Fresh)