12 Kensington Avenue, Toronto ON M5T 2J7 (Kensington Avenue is a one-way street, heading south. The pub is one block west of Spadina Avenue, between Dundas Street West and St. Andrew Street on the west side. The nearest major intersection is Dundas Street West and Spadina Avenue) 416-599-2551
Ideal for a pint after a stroll through Kensington Market.
The philosopher Conan the Barbarian answered the question “What is best in life?” with the following: To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women. For me, it’s being in a pub with a cold cider and surrounded by friends. At the Last Temptation, I had one of those moments. I was laughing with my friend and I noticed that my pint of cider was glistening in the sunshine streaming through the skylight above and life was good. I’ve been to the Last Temptation a number of times over the years and love its calm atmosphere and I can pretend for a few minutes that I am cool.
The Last Temptation is the embodiment of Kensington Market; it’s decorated with artwork for sale, a fish tank, a religious shrine, foosball, with chairs, benches, and moveable tables, and two skylights in the back. The front windows are opened during the summer and you can sit inside and enjoy the people walking by if you can’t get a seat on the popular patio. For you hip people out there, the Last Temptation is right next door to Courage My Love.
Number of visits by yours truly: half a dozen or so, most recently on a Friday afternoon in April 2011
TTC information: take the Dundas streetcar west from Dundas Station (8- to 10-minute journey) or the Spadina streetcar south from Spadina Station (8- to 10-minute journey)
Booze selection: about a dozen or so, including cider (no Pimm’s)
Food selection: fancier grub, such as curried squash soup, while my friend had pad thai
Service staff: a little flirty (I flatter myself) and heavily tattooed
Prices: very cheap
Toilets: musty, but not in a bad way. My friend said they were “fine for downtown”
Patio: on the street facing east
Wheelchair accessible: I forgot to write it down, but I seem to recall there were steps. However, while doing the research for this review, one website said that it was accessible. The toilets are downstairs, so I don’t consider it accessible
Televisions: two that I noticed, one in the back of the pub where we were sitting which was turned off, the other near the bar at the front showing a silent movie
Live music: I forgot to ask, but given the size and shape of the venue, I doubt it
Piped-in music: fashionable (I didn’t think I recognized a single tune)
Rating: four pints (out of five)