By: Chantel Ouellet


This wasn’t the first time my Uber driver had been hesitant to let me out of the car when I reached my destination, one of the events I am covering for the newspaper. For good reason, drivers seem hesitant to leave someone on an abandoned street in the middle of nowhere in Toronto.

I don’t blame them, either. The only security the street offered was the lights in a bakery that was closed for the night. It was no King Street.

It was too dark to see the street numbers, so my friends and I tucked into doorways trying to find something to give us a sense of direction. Instead, down the street we found a group of five or so people. They told us they were from Russia and Ukraine but worked in the city. We asked if they were going to the event, and they said they were looking for a party.

Not gonna lie, seemed like a weird place to just “look” for a party.

I saw a sole person go in through a black doorway a little further down and across the street. We walked over, and as we got closer we could hear it. We were headed to this particular warehouse on this particular Saturday to seek out an event put on by Sidetrack.

Sidetrack aims to create unique club environments that provide space for Toronto’s electronic and DIY communities. Tonight they gathered us somewhere off Dupont so that we could listen, and more importantly dance, to the sounds of Vakula, Gingy, Efemmera, Mystk Marshall and others.

When we went through the unmarked door, we walked down a short hall that opened into a large room. It was dimly lit with blue and purple lights painting the drywalled interior. The room seemed to almost funnel past the bar into the belly of the party, where the DJs were set up.

It was primal, sweaty and bare, as were the people. No matter how many times I drift from the indie rock sphere into the electronic music scene, I am always struck by the individualistic nature of it. You can wander into a dance floor by yourself, start dancing and eventually you will not be alone. People filter on and off the floor as solo travellers or in packs. Everyone is here to dance and to dance without inhibitions. There are limbs soaring and bodies vibing.

Without even knowing it you are suddenly swaying your hips, moving your arms and smiling. There’s something about the lights that make everything move slightly slower, but then again maybe it’s the dark that makes you unable to see anything. Whatever it is, its presence is omniscient and you can’t help but surrender yourself to the party happening around you.

This article was originally published on our old website at