Kingston’s best places to catch live music

A brief guide to the local music scene

Kingston is home to a diverse range of venues.
Curtis Heinzl
Whether you’re a seasoned Kingston veteran or an incoming first-year student, knowing the top venues to catch live music is key to having a great time in the Limestone City. 
From country to punk, Kingston is sure to have something up your music alley, so we’ve compiled a list of venues sure to be popping throughout the year.
                                                                        The Mansion
The Mansion’s name is appropriate: it’s a big old house on Princess Street. Don’t let its exterior fool you, though—inside is a bustling bar that is a favourite among students. 
Just a short walk up the stairs, you’ll find The Mansion’s live music venue which hosts new artists every weekend. They regularly host weekend-long events chock full of up-and-coming artists from across the country, such as their Spring Reverb event and punk rock weekend.
Not to mention, karaoke lovers will find a place for them at the Mansion every Wednesday where they can count on a fun-loving crowd to sing along with them.
In September, The Mansion will host its Music Festival. The bar has loads to offer avid live-music fans and rookies alike, making it a must-visit for all Queen’s students.
                                                                      The Grad Club
The Grad Club is an entirely student-run venue right on campus. 
Contrary to the name, The Grad Club welcomes both graduate and undergraduate students and is a vital point of connection between Queen’s and the broader Kingston community.
The Grad Club serves up a plethora of musical performers and events. Most recently, the venue has hosted Elliott BROOD, an alternative country group based out of Toronto. 
Beyond performances, The Grad Club offers trivia nights and karaoke if you’d like to try your hand at creating some live music yourself. It also has an ongoing partnership with Union Gallery, which showcases works from Queen’s artists. 
Overall, the Grad Club is a great place to immerse yourself in the Kingston arts scene.
                                                                     Musiikki Café
Musiikki is tucked in a corner on Brock Street, but the action insideis unmissable. 
It’s got a cute and cozy downstairs, where you can grab  a coffee and do a bit of studying. When you’re done, you can grab a drink and head upstairs for intimate performances from local artists. 
If you’re looking for non-stop live music, Musiikki’s got you covered—they run shows from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. daily. For a full list of their lineup, head over to Musiikki’s Instagram page.
                                                                      The Toucan
If you’re looking for live music and good Irish craic, then your next stop is The Toucan. 
Named after your favourite toucan (no, not Toucan Sam), this bar serves more than Guinness and sports games. There’s live music every Monday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
The Toucan offers more than just Irish fiddle tunes. July events included Relatively Minor, a jazz-funk outfit, and Sweet Pete & The Heat, a collection of local musicians playing an array of funky blues music. Check out their live music page for more information.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the live music venues available for your perusal in Kingston. Feel free to explore and experiment—there’s sure to be something you love. 

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.