Toronto music fans have been filling The Garrison for a few years now. It was long overdue for a visit from us!
As a relatively new venue to the Toronto music scene, having only opened it’s doors circa 2009, The Garrison has certainly made a name for itself. It’s been home to showcases for Wavelength Music Festival, NXNE and CMW, and Toronto music fans have been filling the tiny room for a few years now. It was long overdue for a visit from us!
The Garrison has a neat setup, with a bar/restaurant in the front, with the music venue in the back. The restaurant offers a delicious Mexican menu, similar to the style of the Sneaky Dee’s menu. Food ranges in price from $4.50 for tacos, or $12.50 for a party platter. Drinks are also a very reasonable price, with friendly bartenders and a great selection of local beers. Tall boy cans will run you about $5-$6 and draught beers are around $6-$8.
With such a small capacity, approximately 300, the shows become immediately more intimate. The room is small, but wide allowing for a great view of the stage, and is very dark, highlighting the performers. Typically home to the indie music scene, the venue also welcomes the odd DJ act, which was my first introduction. The room had a very loud, “boomy” sound, which can be great, but the vocals were pretty hot, causing some distortion. Overall though, the sound guy did a great job keeping the room pumping and was able to sit back and enjoy the show.
The music venue is all standing room, but we loved the spot we snagged by the bar. Just behind the sound booth and right in front of the bar, we had a ledge for our drinks and space to lean and get comfortable. The shows are just too much fun to want to sit anyway. I also loved how easy it was to get to the font of the room, right beside the stage to get to the washrooms. Two individual washroom stalls, men and women’s, gave you a bit of privacy. The stalls were modest, but were certainly clean.
Shapeshifter @ The Garrison
Located at 1197 Dundas St W. Toronto, the venue isn’t the most convenient to get to via public transit, but you can take the TTC to Ossington Station, then make the 20 minute walk down to Dundas. Otherwise, street parking near the venue is super cheap, paying a mere $3 for the night.
With such a great experience on my first visit here, it certainly won’t be my last. Especially now that I know they serve great Mexican- my fav.