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Rockin’ bands and roaming hands

Linsmore Tavern

1298 Danforth Ave.

The Linsmore, one of the east-end’s two remaining traditional hotel taverns, has been spilling beer on its carpets since 1934.

Like most extant hotel taverns, the upstairs rooms have become apartments or storage units. So, don’t go thinking you can rent a room for that special someone you just charmed by doing “Cool Hand Luke” with their pickled eggs.

Today, the Linsmore is all about drinking and grooving to cover bands that crank out anything relating to the words rock, roll, country, and western.  Never hip and hop.

It’s packed on show nights, so prepare to be poked and prodded.  And maybe even pinched by someone like the elderly lady who grabbed my bottom and said I reminded her of her late husband Harold.

The Nitty-Gritty:

Jacksoul Poster: No

Price: Affordable by live music venue standards.
$5.25 a pint until whenever they feel like charging $6.25
Bottles: $3.75 without band $5.25 with a band.
You can try wearing earplugs to get out of paying the extra $1.50 when the band is playing, but the staff wasn’t having it from me.

Service: Friendly. Fast. And hard of hearing thanks to Jim Marshall.


Toronto Reformation. 

In the late 60s many local taverns re-decorated their walls with Tudor styling.  This makes sense as drinking was huge in Tudor England, especially with royalty.

Factoid Alert:

Each year King Henry VIII had over 600,000 gallons of beer with his feasts.  (Hank, I want to party with you.)

Washroom facilities:

Clean. But this degree of corporal flexibility comes in handy navigating the men’s washroom.


Overall clean. There are sporadic odours but don’t complain because the house rule is “he who smelt it dealt it.”


Live bands, TVs, jukebox, coin-op pool table, and spontaneous Beat poetry by users of the nearby methadone clinic.


Great place to throw up

The horns, that is.  Remember all those 80s hair bands? Cover bands doing Whitesnake, Poison, and Trixter abound at The Linsmore.

Save money on winter clothing

This tavern is seconds from Greenwood subway. So, in winter, if you have indoor door-to-door access to a subway e.g. Manulife Centre Apartments, you can train it to Greenwood and straight into the bar without a jacket, toque, or gloves.  Or maybe even a shirt.

Built-in icebreaker for the shy

Ask a regular why it’s Linsmore with one “n”. (The place is located on Linnsmore Crescent with two “n’s”.)

Historic pre-launch pad

In the 70s and 80s, thousands pre-drank here before taking their bags of toast to The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the nearby Roxy Theatre. 

The Roxy 1970s

Large Double-Double, please. The Roxy Today

Suggested musical accompaniment:

Time Warp” by Richard O’Brien

The Last Call:

Dive Bar Mike recommends this bar for live music fans, lonely hearts, yogic contortionists, English history enthusiasts, and the Randy Bobandies of this world. 


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