Whelan’s Gate (website, Twitter)
1663 Bloor Street West, Toronto ON M6P 1A6 (on the south side, east of Keele Street, just east of Indian Road, the nearest intersection is Keele Street and Bloor Street West) 416-531-1311
Good for a date, an evening with friends or a tête-à-tête.
The first time I went to Whelan’s Gate was just before my husband and I signed the papers for our first house. We needed to relax and going to a pub seemed logical. Since then I’ve been to this pub a number of times as I have friends who live nearby and I find myself liking the pub more and more each time I go. Interestingly, it was only recently that I realized there was an upstairs part.
The downstairs is cramped, with stools and wooden bench seating, and features a drinking rail that juts out, forcing people to walk towards the back before going into the room. Upstairs, Whelan’s Gate is broken into two rooms, with a fireplace in the back room, and is more inviting with proper tables and chairs. The pub’s general décor is classic British, with exposed beams and the stairwell features two interesting embedded sculptures just above eye level. Note, the pub can get crowded, so go early and stay late.
Number of visits by yours truly: five or six, most recently on a Wednesday afternoon in January 2011
TTC information: Keele Station’s east exit, within stumbling distance
Booze selection: not a wide selection as they only have 15, one cider — Strongbow (no Pimm’s)
Food selection: standard with wraps and burgers
Service staff: friendly and prompt
Prices: my friend kindly treated, but the cost seemed reasonable
Toilets: lovely, the kind of which your grandmother would approve (the best so far of the first 120 pubs I’ve reviewed for this blog!)
Patio: two, north on the street with minimal seating, other south-facing and accessible from second floor at back
Wheelchair accessible: no, but front patio appears to be accessible
Televisions: single TV on the ground floor, not too big and right over the bar
Live music: Mondays to Fridays
Piped-in music: decent, third time that week I’d heard The Who’s “Teenage Wasteland” in a pub
Rating: five pints (out of five)