V is for the best and worst Toronto venues

In Frosh /

Ryerson may not have a music program, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of great spots around campus to catch, or play, a good show.

For cozy, ultra-local gigs, check out the Oakham Café in the SCC. The RSU uses the space for open mics from time to time, including one on Thursday, Sept. 6, as part of this year’s Week of Welcome.

Once you’ve mastered Oakham, you can move on to Ryerson’s other campus venue and beloved pub, the Ram in the Rye. While the live music at the Ram doesn’t include any open mics, you can always hop on stage for a drunken bout of karaoke. (Journalism vs. RTA, anyone?)

If your ambitions happen to stretch beyond the boundaries of campus, though, your best bet is the Starbucks on the northwest corner of Church and Gerrard. The coffee shop offers up hour-long sets on weekends to anyone brave enough to compete with the drone of coffee- making machines and sixteensyllable drink orders.

It may be a bit of a leap, but on Sherbourne, a few blocks northeast of the Starbucks, you’ll find the Phoenix Concert Theatre. You’re not likely to be playing there, but it’s the closest thing to a legitimate venue you’ll find anywhere near Ryerson.

That is, of course, unless you count Massey Hall, the iconic concert theatre at Shuter and Victoria Streets that dates back to the late 1800s. It hosts a far more impressive collection of acts than any of the venues mentioned thus far, but it’s also the most expensive.

On a student budget, don’t be expecting to attend too many shows here. Instead, flock to Yonge-Dundas Square, where entertainment is free, frequent and surprisingly highquality. Whether it’s for NXNE, Indie Fridays or for no reason at all, you can’t go wrong at that price

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