Homework Assignment: What Are the Must-See Stops on a Cross-Canada Musical Roadtrip?

This email arrived from Candace in Fort McMurray dealing with the awful fire situation. It’s time for a vacation.

In the next few months, I am road tripping Canada, six weeks to the east coast, two weeks to the west coast.  Where are some cool Canadian music destinations I must visit besides The National Music Centre in Calgary, 25 Dockside Drive in Toronto [home to Corus Radio and 102.1 the Edge!] and, of course, Kingston Ontario.  What is your expert opinion?

Let’s crowdsource this problem. Where do you suggest Candace visit? Some suggestions:

  • You MUST go to the Lower Deck in Halifax (Kathryn)
  • The Key to Bala in Bala, Ontario (Wyatt and about six others)
  • How about Kingston (the origin of The Hip) and PEI for the home of Stompin’ Tom Connors? (Jen)
  • I want to suggest the Burton Cummings Theatre in Winnipeg. Also a maybe a place called The Nook. (Simon)
  • Two of the better music venues I’ve crossed in my travels that you haven’t mentioned are Plan B in Moncton NB and The Casbah in Hamilton. Always passing new and upcoming acts through their doors as well as drawing in established acts. Have a look at their lineups. (Gary)
  • Please tell Candace to visit The Split Crow and The Lower Deck in Halifax. Both are awesome for live, local music.  (Lynne)

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

7 thoughts on “Homework Assignment: What Are the Must-See Stops on a Cross-Canada Musical Roadtrip?

  • August 3, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Unfortunately most of my favourite music stores to visit across Canada have closed in the past couple of years. In Edmonton Black Byrd Music is still a great stop for shopping.

    Venue wise, I always like to visit
    Toronto – Bovine Sex Club
    Saskatoon – Amigos
    Edmonton – The Mercury Room

  • August 3, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    Probably the most obvious, but Massey Hall and the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto both have loads of history (the Horseshoe is a terrible music venue by objective standards but its history and ambiance make it a must)

  • August 3, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    Foufunes Electriques in Montreal

  • August 3, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    Massey Hall and the HRC (ex Friar’s Tavern) for the historic value, in TO. Also the Horseshoe.

    Stratford, ON has also a relation with the Band (Loreena McKennitt and Bieber too).

    The tour stops in Hard Core Logo (and the whole town in 2?).

    Bobcaygeon, ON – for the Hip connection?

    Metal Werks in the ‘Sauga, if you are a metal head (maybe if contacted in advance you can get a tour?).

    The ex Maple Leaf Gardens in TO – kinda sad that it’s now a friggin’ supermarket but it has plenty history, Including the Fab Four.

    From the top of my head.


  • August 3, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    Oh, the church where the Junkies recorded, behind the Eaton Ctr – alas, TO again.


  • August 3, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    This Ain’t Hollywood in Hamilton is also a must stop, for those into the punk and alternative scene, and Hugh’s Room, in Toronto.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.