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Jin Ding can’t play a musical instrument, but the co-owner of Gate 403 Bar & Grill is a jazz star all the same.

Jin and her husband, Young, were both teachers in China before they immigrated to Canada in 1995. “We had no clue we would end up running a jazz bar,” Jin laughs, adding that she has no musical background beyond a love of jazz, blues and classical music.

Jin says she listens to the latter in her car on the way to and from Gate 403 on Roncesvalles Avenue — “to relax and wind down” — but the other two genres dominate her working hours. Indeed, since taking over Gate 403 in 1999, eight years after it opened, the Dings have turned it into what Jin calls “the place” to listen to live jazz and blues in Toronto’s West End. It may even be “the place” for these genres across the entire GTA, what with two acts hitting the stage every night of the week.

“There are a lot of bars and restaurants on Roncesvalles and in Toronto, so if you want to be successful you have to forge your own identity,” Jin says. “Ours is simple: We concentrate on live jazz and blues.”

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  • Atmosphère: 5/5
  • Nourriture: 5/5
  • Service: 5/5

The dumplings are to die for. Everything on the...

The dumplings are to die for. Everything on the menu is great from breakfast to dinner to drinks. Always great service.

Atmosphère: 5/5
Nourriture: 5/5
Service: 5/5
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