The 35 Best Blues Clubs in Canada



The blues are alive and well in the Great White North. And the proof is in the venues listed below, the 35 best blues clubs in Canada.

We picked these amazing venues because they excel in one key area. The only area that really counts when it comes to the blues: passion.

All the venues in our rundown have a passion for live blues music. 

It doesn’t matter if the club is dedicated to the blues or occasionally schedules blues acts.

What matters is the quality of their blues bookings. 

We only included venues that steadfastly believe the blues is an important and necessary art form. The following clubs don’t book blues musicians to appease their bottom line, they book blues musicians to appease their soul.

Besides a passion for the blues, which was most important, we also used online sentiment, reviews, social media, types of bookings, ambiance, and reputation as criteria too.

Included in every entry is a list of blues artists. These lists are a small representation of the kinds of dedicated musicians each venue has welcomed to its stage in the past.  

 


Bow Island


Blues at the Bow

229 5 Avenue West
Bow Island, AB

Performers:

  • Dennis Jones Band
  • Mississippi Heat
  • Victor Wainwright and The Wildroots

You'll know that you've reached the Bow Theatre, home of Blues at the Bow, by the neon bow and arrow erected over the entrance.  Here, you'll encounter a blues joint that combines the pristine acoustics of a performance venue with the atmosphere of a neighborhood bar.  One more thing, when you visit Blues at the Bow, make sure you bring your dancing shoes.

 

 

Calgary

 

The Blues Can

1429 9th Avenue Southeast
Calgary, AB
403-262-2666

Performers:

  • Russell Jackson
  • Big Dave McLean
  • T. Buckley Trio

Blues fans in Calgary are lucky.  They live near one of Canada’s best live music venues, The Blues Can.  Every night, there’s at least one gig at TBC.  Their acoustics and sight lines will please even the most demanding of live music fans.  Also pleasing is their dark and intimate atmosphere.  It’s perfect for enjoying the blues.


Tim Williams at The Blues Can.  Image courtesy of blues club’s Facebook page.

 

Dewdney

 

Historic Dewdney Pub

8793 River Road South
Dewdney, BC
(604) 826-4762

Performers:

  • Dustin Harder
  • Brickhouse
  • SwitchCraft

Don’t be confused if blues fans refrain from using the name Historic Dewdney Pub.  Patrons usually refer to this place as the “Church of the Blues.”  HDP earned the honorific because their building was originally a church (opened in 1912) and they organize the epic Sunday Blues Jam.  This rural venue also serves the coldest beer and the most scrumptious dishes.

 

 

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Edmonton

 

Blues on Whyte

10329 82 Avenue
Edmonton, AB
(780) 439-3981

Performers:

  • Tim Vaughn
  • Troy Turner
  • Alex Zayas


Blues on Whyte is situated in the same building as the Commercial Hotel.  So, you can indulge in live blues, and over indulge on other things, without worrying about driving home.  BOW welcomes national and local talent.  Their Saturday afternoon blues jam is a favorite among hardcore supporters of the blues.


Performance at Blues on Whyte.  Image courtesy of blues club’s Facebook page.

 

 

Etobicoke

 

The Blue Goose Tavern

1 Blue Goose Street
Etobicoke, ON
(416) 255-2442

Performers:

  • Whitey & The Roulette
  • Gary Kendall
  • Mike Fitzpatrick

Every Sunday, from 4pm to 7:30pm, fly to The Blue Goose Tavern and enjoy “Blues at The Goose.”  After the set, enjoy a game of pool or shuffleboard.  You can also watch the broadcast of the Blue Jays and/or Argonauts game.  You’ve probably seen this "Hidden Gem in Mimico" before.  It's been used as a backdrop in nearly two dozen movies and television shows.

 

 

Gravenhurst

 

Peter's Players

830 Muskoka Road South
Gravenhurst, ON
(705) 687-2117

Performers:

  • Guy Davis
  • Danielle Nicole Band
  • Popa Chubby

Who’s played at Peter’s Players?  It’s almost easier to list blues legends who haven’t played there.  Nonetheless, Jimmie Vaughn, Johnny Winter, Taj Mahal, and Cameo Blues Band have all jammed at Peter’s.  The venue’s namesake is the extradentary impresario Peter Swanek.  He opened his blues mecca in 2000.

 

 

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Halifax

 

Bearly's House of Blues and Ribs

1269 Barrington Street
Halifax, NS
(902) 423-2526

Performers:

  • Joe Murphy and The Water St. Blues Band
  • Mark Green Band
  • Blues Lane

As their name implies, Bearly's House of Blues and Ribs is home to great live blues and super-delicious ribs.  Of course, Bearly’s is so much more than that.  It’s an accepting community haunt where people of all persuasions enjoy live music and yummy victuals.  On Wednesdays, BHBR hosts a comedy hour and karaoke. 

 

The Carleton Music Bar & Grill

1685 Argyle Street
Halifax, NS
(902) 422-6335

Performers:

  • Norine Braun
  • Thom Swift Trio
  • Hat Fitz & Cara + Three Finger Shot

The Carleton Music Bar & Grill is the brain child of Mike Campbell and Mike Rhodes.  Their passion and expertise have created one of Canada’s top performance spaces.  This is the premiere destination if you’re into the blues, or just appreciate amazing live music.  Founded in 2008, Carleton has already filled its proverbial mantle with “venue of the year” awards.

 

 

 

Hamilton

 

Mississippi Queen Foods 

635 King Street East
Hamilton, ON
(416) 516-9522

Performers:

  • Jerome Godboo & Eric Schenkman
  • Steve Marriner
  • Suzie Vinnick

Connie Rouble, the Mississippi Queen, is an actual Mississippi native.  She founded Mississippi Queen Foods to bring a bit of the American South, especially “Southern Cooking,” to The Golden Horseshoe.  When she’s not making Canadians’ mouths water, she’s booking musicians skilled in making the blues.

 

 

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Kitchener

 

The Lancaster Smokehouse

574 Lancaster Street West
Kitchener ON
(519) 743-4331

Performers:

  • Matt Weidinger
  • John McKinley Band
  • Alfie Smith

The Lancaster Smokehouse cooks up scrumptious southern style barbeque and sensational blues.  Their meats (as well as their beer and wine) are locally sourced.  All their ingredients are super fresh, and their meals are made from scratch.  You’ll leave TLS with a full stomach and indelible blues licks ringing in your ears.


Performance at Blues on Whyte.  Image courtesy of blues club’s Facebook page.

 

 

 

London

 

The Wortley Roadhouse

190 Wortley Road
London, ON
(519) 438-5141

Performers:

  • Village Blues Band
  • Geoff Masse Band
  • Chris Murphy Band

If you’re looking for a blues club to take the entire family to, you’ve found it.  The Wortley Roadhouse is a friendly, neighborhood establishment that serves terrific food and books gifted musicians, most of whom are proficient in the art of blues.  At WR, you can dance to live tunes, watch the big game, or unwind under the sun on their inviting patio.

 

 

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Maple Ridge

 

Kingfishers Waterfront Bar & Grill

23840 River Road
Maple Ridge, BC
(604) 463-0094

Performers:

  • Pete Sweetzir
  • James Rogers Band
  • Lonesome Sinners

About 45 minutes east of Vancouver, you’ll find Kingfishers Waterfront Bar & Grill.  Billed as Maple Ridge’s first gastropub, this lake-adjacent pub and restaurant consistently attracts top talent to the area.  That’s especially true during their legendary Maple Ridge Friday Night Blues.  Stay the weekend because Saturday they host Date Night, a showcase that focuses on original music.

 

 

 

Mississauga

 

Roc'n Doc's Live Music Grill

105 Lakeshore Road East
Mississauga, ON
(905) 891-1754

Performers:

  • Chuck Jackson
  • Kevin Reid & THE DEDBEATS
  • Matt Zaddy

Roc'n Doc's Live Music Grill serenades the soul with dynamic live music—a lot of it blues or blues related—and satisfies the appetite with memorable morsels and libations.  Whether you come for some 12-bar blues, or some other kind of music, you’ll enjoy Roc’n Doc’s laidback atmosphere and affable servers.

 

 

Moncton

 

Plan b Lounge

212 St. George Street
Moncton, New Brunswick
(506) 384-2019

Performers:

  • Jim Dan Dee
  • Garrett Mason
  • The BackYard Devils

Okay… Plan b Lounge is not dedicated to the blues, and yes, blues concerts are few and far between.  It’s on our list because it’s such a wonderful live music venue.  Plan b books top local, regional, and national acts.  Founded in 2009, this “little room with a big heart” has already won the coveted MNB "Venue of the Year" award multiple times.

 

 

Montreal

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Bistro à Jojo

1627, rue Saint-Denis
Montreal, Quebec
(514) 843-5015

Performers:

  • Steph Dumont
  • Freedy Freedom
  • Carlos Veiga

Early shows, those before 9pm, are free.  All they ask is that you tip the performers.  Once 9pm strikes, there’s a cover charge, but Bistro à Jojo is worth the cost.  The world-famous Bistro à Jojo was established in 1975 and welcomes live musicians seven days a week.  Their cozy venue comfortably seats 100. 


Mick Martel and Giovanni Dubuc performing at Bistro à Jojo.  Image courtesy of blues club’s Facebook page.

 

 

Ottawa

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Irene's Pub

885 Bank Street
Ottawa, ON
(613) 230-4474

Performers:

  • Paul Reddick Band
  • The Ghost Town Blues Band
  • Paul James

Irene’s Pub was founded in 1985 under the leadership of Irene Corey.  Today, IP is owned and operated by Kara-Lee and Alex Golota.  Since its inception, Irene’s Pub has been passionate about live music and dedicated to their community.  Lofty words frequently used to describe Irene’s Pub include “special,” “soulful,” and “spiritual.

 

Rainbow Bistro

76 Murray Street
Ottawa, On
(613) 241-5123

Performers:

  • James Armstrong
  • The Troy D Band
  • Paul Reddick

You don’t often hear blues venues described this way: Rainbow Bistro has a “chalet” atmosphere.  In other words, there’s a lot of exposed brick, plenty of timber, a fire place, and two stories.  In Ottawa, The Rainbow Bistro is the home of the blues.  They schedule free matinees five days a week.

 

 

Penticton

 

The Dream Cafe Penticton

67 Colourful Front Street
Penticton, BC
(250) 490-9012

Performers:

  • David Gogo's Blues Bash
  • Little Miss Higgins Trio
  • Roy Forbes

The Dream Café Penticton is more than a live music venue.  It’s a community.  When you visit this colorful Colorful Front Street establishment, you’ll be surrounded by music lovers and cordial revelers.  Their marque is frequently graced by blues practitioners as well as artists proficient in rock, folk, jazz, world, and spoken word.  Founder Pierre Couture has created an unforgettable place to hang out and take it easy.

 

 

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Quebec

 

Saint Alexandre Pub

1087, rue St-Jean
Quebec, Quebec
(418) 694-0015

Performers:

  • Kenny Dupree
  • Charlie Price
  • Jay Sweall

How best to describe Saint Alexandre Pub?  How about an “authentic English pub.”  As for live music, SAP has it going on, and by that we mean they book live music Monday through Sunday.  Blues artists are frequently on their calendar as well as those skilled in jazz, folk, and pop.  Their dishes and pours will definitely enhance your listening enjoyment.

 

 

Saskatoon

 

Buds on Broadway

817 Broadway Avenue
Saskatoon, SK
(306) 244-4155

Performers:

  • Three String Fretless
  • Dustin Harder's Prairie Soul
  • Michael Charles

The legendary Buds on Broadway might as well change their name, every Saturday from 3pm to 8pm, to “Blues on Broadway.”  That’s when they host Saturday Jam Session.  This weekly event is a staple in Saskatoon’s blues community.  Come to hear mind-blowing music, or bring your axe and trade licks with mind-blowing musicians.  BOB also serves great food and drink.


Topher Mils Band performing at Buds on Broadway.  Image courtesy of blues club’s Facebook page.

 

 

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Toronto

 

Alleycatz Restaurant Lounge

2409 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON
(416) 481-6865

Performers:

  • Red Velvet
  • Sound Parade
  • Otto & The Pilots

Alleycatz Restaurant Lounge welcomes a variety of artists to Yonge Street and that includes bona fide blues men and women.  Every Wednesday at 7pm, Andrew "VooDoo" Walters hosts Midtown Blues Jam.  Alleycatz is a handsome venue with superb lighting, exciting accents, and elegant stone work.  Their menu is the cat’s meow.

 

Cadillac Lounge

1296 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON
(416) 536-7717

Performers:

  • Pete Anderson
  • Robert Gordon
  • Tinsley Ellis

Cadillac Lounge is a lot of things.  It’s a blues venue, bar, restaurant, and community member.  What’s it like at the Cadillac Lounge?  Paraphrasing what owner Sam Grosso wrote on his establishment’s website, it’s a place where you might hear Hank Williams on the jukebox while Dean Martin and Johnny Cash tip back a few at the bar.

 

Gate 403 Bar & Grill

403 Roncesvalles Avenue
Toronto, ON
(416) 588-2930

Performers:

  • Julian Fauth
  • Fraser Melvin Blues Band
  • Darcy Windover Band

Every night, Gate 403 Bar & Grill brings outstanding live music to the Roncesvalles Village.  Most of the acts they book play blues or jazz.  Gate 403 is a classy establishment; it has the feel of a piano bar.  While you’re there, enjoy a selection from their incredible menu as well as a refreshing cocktail or two.

 

Grossman’s Tavern

379 Spadina Avenue
Toronto, ON
(416) 977-7000

Performers:

  • Hold the Bus with Rebecca Campbell
  • Cedarstrip Rocketship
  • J.D. Stone and The Dread Rider

You can’t have a list of the top blues clubs in Canada and not include Grossman’s Tavern.  It was founded in 1943 and is often referred to as the “Home of the Blues.”  Grossman’s also books folks, jazz, rock, and roots acts.  The best part about GT is there’s never a cover charge. 

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Hugh's Room Live

2261 Dundas Street West
Toronto, ON
416-533-5483

Performers:

  • John Hammond
  • Guy Davis
  • Three Kings

Hugh’s Room Live is all about diversity.  They book an array of distinguished musicians including renowned blues masters.  Meanwhile, their kitchen serves a diverse range of savory dishes.  HRL is the perfect size, artists have ample room to perform, but it’s small enough to still feel intimate.


Performance at Hugh’s Room Live.  Image courtesy of blues club’s Facebook page.

 

The Linsmore Hotel

1298 Danforth Avenue E
Toronto, ON
416-466-5130

Performers:

  • The Gary Cain Band
  • The Legendary Castaways
  • The John Findlay Band

The Linsmore Hotel books bands on Friday and Saturday nights.  At the time of comprising this list, Blues Sunday was being held down by Jermone Tucker Band.  Besides great live music, The Linsmore also offers dart boards, several large-screen televisions, and a pool table.  The hotel opened in 1934. 

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N'Awlins Jazz Bar & Grill

299 King Street West
Toronto, ON

Performers:

  • Joe Bowden
  • Brooke Blackburn
  • Collin Barrett

N'Awlins Jazz Bar & Grill is a quaint and cozy music venue that’s also a fantastic place to grab a bite to eat.  Their menu leans towards Cajun, Creole, and Italian fare.  Despite having “jazz” in their name, N’Awlins frequently schedules talented men and women who perform the blues. 

 

The Orbit Room

580A College Street
Toronto, ON
(416) 535-0613

Performers:

  • The Dave Murphy Band
  • Pretzel Logic
  • Jordan John

The Oribit Room is just plain cool.  Not only can you catch amazing blues acts, you can also catch acts specializing in jazz, funk, and rock.  Situated in T.O.’s “Little Italy” neighborhood, The Orbit Room was founded in 1994 by Tim Notter and Alex Lifeson.  Yes, that Alex Lifeson, the guy from the rock band Rush.

 

The Rex Hotel Jazz & Blues Bar

194 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON
(416) 598-2475

Performers:

  • Wynton Marsalis & Lincoln Center Orchestra
  • Harry Connick Jr.
  • Derek Trucks Band

Yes, The Rex Hotel Jazz & Blues Bar is known more for the former than the latter, but it attracts enough blues artists to make our list.  The Rex opened in 1951 and has been a premiere live music venue since the late 1980s.  Listen to music, dine on remarkable food, and imbibe liberally.  You can always sleep it off in your own hotel room.

 

 

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Vancouver, B.C.

 

Cottage Bistro

4470 Main Street
Vancouver, B.C.
(604) 876-6138

Performers:

  • Match Box Blues
  • Blues de Jour
  • Shelly Kantrow

Come to Cottage Bistro to relax, enjoy a beverage, and experience ear-pleasing live music.  On Saturday night, CB hosts a can’t-miss Blues & Root Jam.  Although this list is about blues clubs, we should probably mention that they dedicate Mondays to jazz.  CB is proud of having Vancouver’s best selection of single malt Scotch.


Performance at Cottage Bistro.  Image courtesy of blues club’s Facebook page.

 

The Fairview Pub

898 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC
(604) 872-1262

Performers:

  • Arsen Shomakhov Trio
  • Hells Gate Blues Band
  • Rez Blues

The Fairview Pub is a good-looking venue that consistently plots a robust lineup of live entertainment.  They made our rundown because blues artists regularly grace their venerated stage.  In between sets, enjoy quality libations or shoot some stick on one of their pool tables.

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Pourhouse Vancouver Restaurant

162 Water Street
Vancouver, BC
(604) 568-7022

Performers:

  • The Poorboy Trio
  • The Burying Ground
  • Jesse Waldman

This Vancouver institution is amazing.  Pourhouse Vancouver Restaurant’s food is to die for and their beverages are divine.  They serve wine, beer, and coffee—try all three.  Musically, their marquee is devoted to an eclectic mix of artists, but they generally focus on blues, jazz, and folk.  The Pourhouse resides in a building that’s north of a century and contains a 38-foot bar.

 

Revel Restaurant & Lounge

238 Abbott Street
Vancouver BC
(604) 687-4088

Performers:

  • Louie Quinn
  • William S Taylor
  • Laurie Coyle & Marshall Zahlek

Thanks to Revel Restaurant & Lounge, the blues are alive and well in Vancouver’s Gastown district.  Also thriving are the genres of jazz, roots, and rockabilly.  Tuesday through Saturday, from 4pm to 6pm, Revel hosts a set of boogie piano.  Enjoy the music while sipping on a selection from their Bourbon-rich cocktail menu.

 

The Yale Saloon

1300 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC
(604) 428-9253

Performers:

  • The Wheelgrinders
  • The Neon Stars
  • Honky-Tonk Dilettantes

The used to be THE place in for blues in Vancouver but they have unfortunately stopped their blues shows and jams. But we thought they deserved a mention. The Yale Saloon is a "country blues BBQ."  At the heart of what they do is their penchant for “Southern comfort cookin’.”  Yale also boasts a mechanical bull, an attentive staff, and plenty of room to host your event or party. 

 

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Winnipeg

 

Times Change(d) High & Lonesome Club

234 Main Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba
(204) 957-0982

Performers:

  • The Perpetrators
  • The Mudmen
  • Carolyn Mark with The D. Rangers

Times Change(d) High & Lonesome Club is known as “Winnipeg’s finest honk tonk.”  That means you can catch solid bluesmen as well as rock, country, and roots artists.  Times Change(d) has a dive bar feel but it wears that description like a badge of honor.  While you’re there, make sure you sample their menu.  You won’t be disappointed.


Performance at Times Change(d) High & Lonesome Club.  Image courtesy of blues club’s Facebook page.


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