This review is based on our experiences during the span of multiple visits to REBEL from approximately January 2019 – March 2019.
Immediately when entering REBEL, you get a sense for the sheer magnitude of the venue, and for those who are visiting for the first time, little do they know that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Formerly known as Sound Academy – but now re-renovated, REBEL is easily Toronto’s largest nightclub venue, with a massive main area with 3 large bars, a VIP balcony section overseeing the main dancefloor, known as “The Purple Room” – a dedicated rap and hip-hop room and a Tech / House EDM floor upstairs called “Noir”.
REBEL’s “Noir” Booths
Rebel is most popular for its sheer size, as it is able to hold a massive amount of people, and is a venue frequently used for events and concerts. This venue has something for literally everyone. With an extremely diverse crowd, and attracting people of all demographics from the city, you won’t find a party quite like this anywhere else.
For those who remember the larger Toronto venues from years back, live Guvernment, or Circa, this will definitely give you a throwback feel.
Overall the venue is very similar to a large Las Vegas nightclub, with a Toronto spin.
Booth / Bottle / Bar Service / Drinks
The main bar located near the back usually has several bartenders ready to serve a multitude of mixed drinks and beer in tall cans. Overall the bar service is quick and the bartenders are very friendly. REBEL also has exceptional bottle service with friendly staff, always happy to help, and again overall great service. Despite the large size of the venue there are always staff around to help with ordering bottles, and short wait times. The price for drinks here are the standard club prices of $8-12 dollars.
“The Purple Room” Bar
Vibe / Atmosphere
REBEL has a unique vibe and atmosphere unlike any other, its sheer size is immediately felt with its extremely high ceilings which hold a multitude of lights and lasers. Rebel’s an energetic, stimulating experience that consistently delivers every time we go. This club is very reminiscent of large clubs in Miami or Vegas with it’s one of a kind lighting, and well-balanced sound system that has the right amount of punchy, body vibrating bass without being overly muddy and obscuring the mids and highs. You’ll find a wide range of people in different groups, but this is a club best for large groups of friends and big birthday parties with bottle service and booth. Additionally, oftentimes Rebel will have shows being performed on the main stage, similar to those you might expect in Vegas. Definitely the only venue in Toronto doing something like this.
REBEL’s Main Dancefloor/Stage Area
Early night (11:30 PM -12 AM) Early on REBEL is a little more relaxed, and plays chill house music and house remixes. Early on there will be small groups of people scattered across the huge dance floor and hanging out near the bars, usually drinking, socializing or doing some dancing.
Midnight (12:30-1 AM) As the night goes on and booths filled with patrons, so do the regular crowd who are coming to experience everything REBEL has to offer, especially those attracted to the niche areas of the venue (such as the Noir room for its Tech/House/EDM). At this time it REBEL usually hits it’s peak of the night. You’ll often have a hard time navigating the dancefloor, so make sure not to lose your friends if you decide to venture into the main dance area at this time or later in the night.
Late night (1-2:30 AM) At this point REBEL is hitting its peak and usually stays strong just due to the fact that it has such a large crowd capacity. Due to the volume that the club can hold, the party usually will not die out until the club is ready to close.
The crowd here at Rebel as mentioned previously is made up of multiple age groups and multiple demographics. If you are looking to party with one particular crowd, or age group, that’s not what you’re gonna find here. Patrons range from those new to the club experience (19 years old) to those veteraned to it (I am sure there is a good amount of people 40 years old +). It definitely is an eclectic crowd to say the least, which is great thing to some, but maybe a bit of a culture shift to others.
A glimpse into REBEL’s diverse crowd.
The music in the main room at Rebel is usually a top 40 mix, with big house/EDM elements mixed into it. The EDM element is prevalent even when Hip Hop anthems are played as you are sure to hear some variant of it. Those looking for a more raw, pure version of Hip Hop will need to go the Purple Room which is essentially a Hip Hop / R&B exclusive room. Upstairs, the Noir room spins Tech / House/ EDM / Trance anthems, which attracts a cult following.
As mentioned earlier there are 3 main dancing areas, but you’ll usually find people dancing everywhere in the club. The main dance area, located to the left of the entrance features a massive floor surrounded by 4 large booths, a stage which is often used for artists and performers when the venue is being used for events and concerts, a set of LED screens spanning across the back of the stage and a extravagant dynamic drop lighting system that moves during the night in conjunction with the music. If you’re spending any time at the dancefloor on a club night, it’s a huge production. Note however that the main dancefloor becomes extremely packed towards to the middle of the nights, so getting through it will be tough. The greatest benefit to going to REBEL is that it’s got 3 dance floors with 3 different genres of music, so if you get tired of one you can simply go to another area of the club.
“Noir” Deep / Tech House Dancefloor Located on 2nd Floor
As stated in the dates visited, we reviewed this club in the Fall, and Winter months, leading up to St. Patrick’s day as the most recent day we visited. Rebel seems to have no problem attracting a huge crowd every night we’ve been, despite cold weather, or let alone on special nights like St. Patrick’s Day, New Years, or Halloween. We believe this is a venue that runs strong in its ability to deliver a captivating experience any season or month out of the year.
REBEL’s Entrance Area on St. Patrick’s Day
Overall, if you are looking for a big production on your night out, Rebel is the place for you. If you want to party with the biggest crowd you can, or are looking for a spot with a bunch of different vibes you can switch up between, it’s definitely the only place in Toronto you’re going to be able to get it. The club venues of today are all very niche, and gone are the multi-room multi-sound venues, but alas Rebel has brought it back and is doing it right.
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