In musical terms, Toronto is the New York City of Canada. The city is the country’s musical proving ground and the catalyst to fame, fortune, and global touring for many of Canada’s biggest stars. Drake, for instance, is from Toronto and one of the biggest names to call the city home. So is Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd, and Shawn Mendes. Steppenwolf and Rush made the moves here back in your parents’ day, and Avril Lavigne, originally from Belleville, Ontario, cut her chops here. So did her ex-husband, Deryck Whibley, and his band Sum 41.
The coolest thing about all of this is that you can actually visit many of the clubs where these artists played on their way up, and no matter what time of year you visit, there’s likely a major headliner in town. Here’s where to see them, along with Toronto’s rising talent, on a trip to the city.