Lee’s Palace on Bloor St. West in Toronto


Lee’s palace is a fabulous place to see a band. The history of the bands that have played there is long and legendary! It is Toronto’s premier alternative Rock venue.

The first floor is where the bands play and the top floor, called the Dance Cave, is where … well all the dancing goes on!

The list of past performers are a who’s who of international Alternative Rock bands. My favorites that have graced us with their musical presence were Shuffle Demons, Nirvana, Grapes Of Wrath, Tragically Hip, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Pursuit Of Happiness, Forgotten Rebels, Scott Merritt (a good old Brantford boy), The Lemonheads, Crash Vegas, Gaye Bikers on Acid, Goo Goo Dolls, The Tea Party, I Mother Earth, The Headstones (Hugh Dillion), Smashing Pumpkins, Spin Doctors (guitarist is from Toronto), The Rembrandts, Blind Melon, Philosopher Kings, Ed The Sock (he is a real sock!), Collective Soul, Oasis, Big Sugar, Toad The Wet Sprocket, Better Than Ezra, Alanis Morissette, The Presidents of The United States of America, Great Big Sea, even Yoko Ono played there in 1996 (with her and John Lennon’s son Sean in the backup band Ima!). As a side note: the best band that I ever saw there was called Needy Fingers, with world renown bassist Todd Williams! Cerafim, now called Counterpoint, performed there as well! Now that is an impressive line up!

The venue known as Lee’s palace has been open since 1985, It is located at located at 529 Bloor St. W. Toronto in The Annex section of the city. I have been in this place so many times that I can’t remember. Maybe it had something to do with earlier visits to Ye Olde Brunswick House only a hop, skip and a stagger away! Anyways, I just love that place!

The hall itself originally was opened in 1919 under the name of Allen’s Bloor Theatre. Part of the Allen’s theatre company that was started off by it’s owners in Brantford Ontario. Across the street is another great hall called The Bloor. Check out the video if your into local history.

So who else out there had a good time in this Toronto Landmark that they can remember! Go ahead, test out your old grey matter and write back here soon!

Lee’s Palace, Keep on Jammin’

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  1. says

    I think the interior layout they’ve had for the past 8 years or so sucks. It looks like a dive. Previous, it was more artys with weird sculptures hanging from the ceiling. Also the stage was lower then it is now.
    The guy who used to book the bands for the longest time, (I can’t remember his name) was a bit of an ass hole but a straight forward and honest ass hole. Upon booking a band, he would give each band colour coded tickets so that each band got paid depending on how many people came out to see that particular band. He would also give out a detailed info sheet which listed things like the phone numbers of the other bands, which band was supplying the drum kit, time schedule etc. A great way to keep the show organized. He left around the late 90’s and since then, Lee’s has taken to charging bands to rent the space (pay to play).

    With society as a whoie going out less and less, I fear the days of playing for free are coming to an end as venues make their money from bar sales. Lack of people means lack of bar sales which means the venues have a hard time paying rent. It’s no wonder some of them are charging rent or bar minimums.


  2. says

    I have not been inside Lee’s Palace since we bought our house Wilton. I used to love seeing bands there and meeting up with friends.

    I only went up to the dance cave once or twice but when I did, it was great. Man I miss that place! I guess there comes a time in one’s life when you have to chose between having a good time and paying the mortgage … the mortgage always wins! We are poor in wealth but rich in equity!!!

    The guy who arranged all the bands sounds like he knew what he was doing … to bad he was so socially challenged?

    You make a GREAT point about today’s society! We desperately need to find more innovative ways in which to help the arts! Any idea’s Wilton?