CAMERON HOUSE 408 queen west, 416-703-0811 Rating: NNNNN
VIBE A Queen Street institution for a quarter-century, the Cameron's where many big-name Toronto acts got their start before they were famous. The front room is a cozy, artsy bar that features either DJ music or live bands, while the back has more of a cabaret feel and hosts comedy, art and theatre events along with the usual live music. Though this part of Queen West has changed a lot since the club opened, the Cameron still has the urban bohemian charm that initially made it popular. The fact that it's often busier mid-week than on weekends says volumes about its vibe: it caters much more to local characters than to tourists and weekend warriors.
BATHROOMS They haven't been updated much in the past 25 years, but everything still seems to work, and apart from the graffiti they're in pretty good shape.
PATIO ACTION The Cameron's is one of Toronto's smallest licensed patios (capacity under half a dozen). Make sure you get your server to carry your drink out, since the few feet between the door and the patio aren't licensed. (Gotta love Ontario's liquor laws.)
VALUE Drink prices are average. A pint of premium beer will run you $6. Get there early, as the daytime prices are cheaper. No cover in the front room; depending on the night, there may be a small charge for the back room.