Toronto – Deep in the heart of Parkdale, amidst all the dollar stores and roti restaurants, lies the Wrongbar. A little bar that opened up a few years ago, the Wrongbar has slowly but surely been building up its reputation as a viable concert option and has found a niche as the go to venue for a lot of up and coming electronic/dance acts. I almost instantly liked the Wrongbar, primarily because it is easy for me to get to and also because on my walk home, I can stop by Poutini for a walk and eat poutine session. I am that simple. Let’s take a closer look.
Formerly known as Dragonfly, the Wrongbar is the product of Nav Sangha and Chris Harper, two well-connected DJ’s in the Toronto scene. Nav Sangha also owns Play De Record on Yonge Street. The Wrongbar made its official debut in February 2008 and has seen its popularity grow since. The capacity of the Wrongbar is 208 and the bar recently applied to expand its capacity to 300, in honor of Gerard Butler’s movie. However, this application was met with much resistence and I don’t know how that turned out.
I consider the Wrongbar to be a smaller venue, along the likes of the Horseshoe Tavern. It’s a venue best suited for new and upcoming bands that have developed an overzealous fan base. There are two bars, one at the front near the door, and one at the back near the the stage. They serve a variety of beers including Parkdale staples PBR and Red Stripe. There are a few beers on tap as well and it’s fairly standard drink prices. I like the fact that the two bars are located at opposite ends of the venue, making for easy access. There is a slightly elevated area on the left hand side of the venue which has some random stools and couches that you can sit on if you wish. The main standing concert area is long and narrow which can feel a bit tight at sold out shows. There are also some lights on top of the stage for a very minor light show. The area near the entrance has some tables and seating for those people who like to view concerts from afar.
The stage at the Wrongbar is elevated perhaps a foot off the floor, so sight lines at the Wrongbar can get tricky if you are standing in the main area and there is a bunch of tall people and the singer is short. However, the elevated area on the left side provides for an excellent viewing experience if you are lucky/early enough to stand near the rails. Because the Wrongbar is kind of small, you generally get a good view of the stage if you arrive early at a show or you are a jackass and have no qualms about pushing your way to the front. If you arrive late at a sold out show, then you may be in tough luck.
I like the Wrongbar. It’s found a nice niche for itself by having a lot of hyped up indie electro bands play their venue and it has a good sound system from what I can remember. Despite the fact that it is in Parkdale, the frequency of the Dufferin bus makes it easy for people coming from the North to get to and there are plenty of decent pre and post food/drinking options. The sight lines are generally what you expect from a small venue but the elevated area on the left hand side makes it a notch above. Check out a show there sometime.