Spotlight on Jazz Bistro!

Civil rights activist and acclaimed jazz musician, Nina Simone once said, “Jazz is not just music, it is a way of life, it is a way of being, a way of thinking.” The story of jazz parallels the pursuit for dignity, civil rights, and equality. Jazz is not just music, it’s a reminder of the struggle and strengths of the people in our past who fought to tear down racial barriers and discrimination. On April 29th we celebrate International Jazz Day to reflect and give thanks to those who came before us.

Yonge St. may have the accolade of being the longest street in the world. But it's also known for forming the basis of Toronto's international reputation as a music city. Some of the biggest names in music, both past and present have made their mark and downtown Toronto remains the centre of the Canadian music legacy.

After sitting idle and empty for eight long years, the building just behind Yonge-Dundas Square was given new life and new purpose as Jazz Bistro, by the vision of Colin and Joan Hunter in April 2013.

Lovers of music and fine dining, and realizing a need for that in the city, they set out on a journey to create a comfortable, creative space to enjoy memorable nights of live performance and great food.  As a music enthusiast and a well- recorded crooner Colin understood the need to respect the performing musicians with a room and stage that complimented and supported their talents and Joan brought that room to life through careful design, a state-of-the-art sound system and a beautiful ‘one of a kind’ Steinway piano called the Red Pops.

For seven glorious years, Jazz Bistro has been host to innumerable concerts and events. Never steering away from their purpose of offering good service and good times. But like many other local businesses, not immune to the current pandemic, the bistro has had to close it’s doors to the public without certainty of reopening. After a damaging 13 months of Covid shutdown, live music businesses, artists and fans — are hoping concerts and tours can return in the near future. 

Victoria and Dundas will once again become a hub for musicians and music lovers alike. Diners will enjoy a great meal, raise a glass of wine in celebration and music will once more flow from a stage graced by some of the world’s greatest jazz musicians from home and abroad.

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