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Ottawa Music Guide: Top 12 Ottawa Venues For Live Music

By MATÍAS MUÑOZ

Ottawa-Music-Venue

Ottawa Music Venues: Rich Aucoin gets up close with the crowd at Café Dekcuf (Photo: Ming Wu)

OTTAWA MUSIC VENUES: Babylon Nightclub
This Ottawa music venue in the city’s Centretown neighbourhood is home to artists of all kinds, showcasing hip hop groups one night and indie rockers the next. There’s plenty of room for dancing, but also lots of comfy seating for those who enjoy catching up with friends. See what’s on this week by clicking here.
• Babylon Nightclub, 317 Bank St., 613-594-0003, babylonclub.ca
Map and Reviews

OTTAWA MUSIC VENUES: The Black Sheep Inn
Nestled in the beautiful town of Wakefield, Quebec just a 25-minute drive from Ottawa, this historic music venue is a must-visit. Some of Canada’s best musicians have graced The Black Sheep’s stage, making it a prime stop for many notable bands passing through Quebec and Eastern Ontario. It has become legend in Canada’s music folklore history. See what’s on this week by clicking here.
• The Black Sheep Inn, 753 Riverside Dr., 819-459-3228, theblacksheepinn.com
Map and Reviews

OTTAWA MUSIC VENUES: Bronson Centre
As one of Ottawa’s few mid-sized venues, the Bronson’s unlikely conversion from a community centre into a music hall actually makes a lot of sense. Although there is seating and and it features a dated layout, the size of the venue attracts many notable musicians. While shows are not as frequent here as they are at dedicated music venues, the Bronson Centre books wisely and normally attracts a strong crowd. See what’s on this month by clicking here.
• Bronson Centre, 211 Bronson Ave., 613-237-5550, bronsoncentre.ca
Map and Reviews

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Ottawa Music Venues: Diamond Rings plays Ritual Nightclub in downtown Ottawa (Photo: Ming Wu)

OTTAWA MUSIC VENUES: Café Dekcuf
Located directly above Mavericks (see below), this music venue is known for profiling local bands, making it a great place to take in some local culture. It’s a small space — a capacity of around 150 — filled with energy. It’s not uncommon to see bands come off the stage and play songs amongst the crowd. See what’s on this week by clicking here.
• Café Dekcuf, 221 Rideau St., 613-244-5000, cafedekcuf.com
Map and Reviews

OTTAWA MUSIC VENUES: The Daily Grind
If you like intimate surroundings, then this is your place. Being the smallest venue on this list, one might not think much goes on there. However, depending on the evening, there can be anyone from a peaceful singer-songwriter to a hard-rock band that has filled the café to capacity. See what’s on this week by clicking here.
• The Daily Grind, 601 Somerset St. W., 613-233-2233, thedailygrindartcafe.com
Map and Reviews

OTTAWA MUSIC VENUES: Mavericks Bar
This venue is a staple in Ottawa’s music scene, providing a good mix of smaller, local acts and more well-known ones. Located just down the street from the Rideau Centre, it is accessible and provides a little more space for patrons than other places around the city. See what’s on this week by clicking here.
• Mavericks Bar, 221 Rideau St., 613-562-3941, mavericksbar.com
Map and Reviews

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Ottawa Music Venues: Landon A.R. Coleman plays Raw Sugar Café (Photo: Ming Wu)

OTTAWA MUSIC VENUES: Mercury Lounge
The lounge-style ambiance here makes for a more mature, relaxed vibe. Dim lighting and smooth live music make this Ottawa venue an ideal hangout for adults of all ages. Mercury Lounge is in the middle of the ByWard Market, close to other fine restaurants and nightlife spots. See what’s on this week by clicking here.
• Mercury Lounge, 56 ByWard Market Square., 613-789-5324, mercurylounge.com
Map and Reviews

OTTAWA MUSIC VENUES: National Arts Centre
This beautiful, multi-purpose arts facility sits along the Rideau Canal in Ottawa’s downtown core. With several stages of varying size, this arts venue is capable of holding larger crowds with rowed seating in Southam Hall, or more intimate concerts at the Theatre, Studio or Fourth Stage.
• National Arts Centre, 53 Elgin St., 613-947-7000, nac-cna.ca
Map and Reviews

OTTAWA MUSIC VENUES: Pressed
This quiet gourmet sandwich bar on Gladstone is bursting with all kinds of events. There is an aura of creativity that resonates from this place—and is showcased by the variety of acts that perform, from poets to live bands. This Ottawa venue uses its spaces to its full potential. See what’s on this week by clicking here.
• Pressed, 750 Gladstone Ave., 613-680-9294, pressed-ottawa.com
Map and Reviews

Ottawa-Music-Venue-Zaphods

The Rolling Stones shooting their music video for “Streets of Love” at Zaphod Beeblebrox in Ottawa’s ByWard Market

OTTAWA MUSIC VENUES: Raw Sugar Café
This quaint little café at the edge of Ottawa’s Chinatown is the definition of independent. Some of the best indie bands from Ottawa and around the country love the comfy living room-style atmosphere, which almost feels like a house show at times. There is a sense of warmth to this venue like no other in Ottawa. See what’s on this week by clicking here.
• Raw Sugar Café, 692 Somerset St. W., 613-216-2850, rawsugarcafe.com
Map and Reviews

OTTAWA MUSIC VENUES: Ritual Nightclub
Known to throw some wild events, Ritual is the natural home for electronic, hip hop and DJ sets. With big sound and a long bar, this venue is a favourite amongst experienced partygoers. It is also conveniently located adjacent to the Rideau Centre in downtown Ottawa. See what’s on this week by clicking here.
• Ritual Nightclub, 137 Besserer St., 613-680-7661, Facebook page
Map and Reviews

OTTAWA MUSIC VENUES: Zaphod Beeblebrox
Located in the heart of the Ottawa’s ByWard Market, Zaphod Beeblebrox—simply known as Zaphod’s to locals—is a prime stop for touring musicians and is probably the most well-known in Ottawa. The Rolling Stones shot their 2005 video for “Streets of Love” here! See what’s on this week by clicking here.
• Zaphod Beeblebrox, 27 York St., 613-652-1010, zaphods.ca
Map and Reviews

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