Sink or swim. That’s the motto many comedy clubs use for their amateur nights. I personally would use Fly or Dive, as it encompasses the levity of greatness and the gravitas of slamming into the ground near the speed of sound due to being miraculously unfunny.
Spirits Bar hosts of Canada’s longest running comedy Open Mic Night, they have been at it since 1994! What were you doing in 1994? Do you remember? Standing in a room full strangers? And for free?
It all begins on Wednesdays at 21:00 but come at least 45 minutes early to guarantee a good seat. Let Jo-Anna Downey, the ‘mama’ of the show guide you with her deadpan, laissez-faire humour through the list of comics both new along with odd surprises peppered in, like when Robin Williams crashed her 40th birthday show.
Comedy aside, Spirits, after the renovation, has 2 patios for those great Toronto summer nights. Personally, I prefer the one at the back as it is larger and a bit more private.
The best part? Only locals know about Spirits since Hayden Street is one of those small streets that ends in a cul de sac and most Torontonians easily forget it even exists. Still, the patios do fill up during Happy Hour. During the week, they love their sports and have TVs everywhere.
It is located just minutes southeast of Yonge and Bloor. Come for the comedy, stay for the inexpensive beer and patios and the sports.
Note: Ask about their evening food/drink specials, they vary.