I had the opportunity to check out the Rex Hotel on Queen Street in Toronto. I had been apprehensive about going in because from the outside it looks a bit rough but it is pretty much The go-to place for live jazz in Toronto and an acquaintance (who I learned very recently is a bit of a beer geek himself) has been know to go and he is nowhere close to rough. I'm a tough guy, compared to him.
On entering, it is easy to imagine that in the day it must have been something. It is basically a slightly gentrified old school tap-room. The two entrances are still there, formerly one for "Ladies and Escorts" and the second for the rest of us. It is pretty clear which area was for which crowd. What it has retained is the concept of nothing breakable beyond the glassware. As Nicholas Pashley points out, the idea is that no matter what goes at night on the owner need only hose the place down and they're ready for business the next morning.
There is a nod to craft brewing with a couple of Mill Street selections and one by Amsterdam. What I especially appreciated was the sheer number of servers. You're not likely to stay thirsty for long.
I think there is a cover after 9:30 or so for the big act but while I was there enjoying the Worst Pop Band Ever they passed the hat around. Dig deep - they aren't paid otherwise.
It was fun to see people there with children enjoying live jazz. I will absolutely return.