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Lee's Palace is a famous rock concert hall on Bloor Street in Toronto. It's famous for the vivid graffiti that decorates the front fa̤ade and for bringing in some of the most well-known acts to come through Toronto. Its great location makes it an appealing spot for students from downtown schools like the University of Toronto, Ryerson U. and George Brown College. On weeknights, you'll find it's a little more mellow and tends to cater to older patrons with shows that feature goth rock, mod music, punk, indie and more.
The venue was established in the mid-1980s by Korean Canadian entrepreneur, Chong Su Lee, and then changed ownership in 2001 when Collective Concerts bought it. The building consists of two floors of 5,000 square feet each and dates all the way back to the early 1900s, when it reportedly used to be a bank. It also had a stint as a luxurious suburban movie house before Mr. Lee purchased it and became interested in turning it into a music venue.
Lee's Palace is one of the most well-regarded live music spots in the city. It is known for featuring intimate shows with great acoustics and for having a jam-packed schedule of artists almost every night of the week. Local Canadian bands such as Moist, Barenaked Ladies and The Tragically Hip, as well as international stars like Nirvana, The Magnetic Fields and The Red Hot Chili Peppers, have all played at Lee's Palace.
Lee's Palace is an open layout concert hall that can accommodate over 500 people on the ground floor, which is where the main stage is located. The top floor is a nightclub called, "The Dance Cave," which opens on the weekends. Ticket holders can stand anywhere in the room, so it's best to show up a little early to score a good spot to watch your favorite bands perform. Concertgoers can then pop upstairs to The Dance Cave if they still have energy after the show.
Toronto is one of Canada's most cosmopolitan cities and it has a longstanding history of producing awesome musicians and hosting great shows in all genres. The large amount of college students in the area means that kids sometimes line up at various venues to check out their favorite acts -- all the more reason to book tickets in advance! There are many other great music venues, too, especially if you're into rock and alternative music. Check out Adelaide Hall on Adelaide Street and Rebel on Polson Street for great lineups all year-round.
Before turning into a music venue, Lee's Palace was a movie house called Allen's Bloor Theatre -- they held their premiere screening on March 10, 1919.