Toronto’s oldest pub, complete with legend.
I’ve been to the Wheat Sheaf a number of times over the years. Its great location, at King and Bathurst, means it is ideal for a pint after going to Fort York (What do you mean you haven’t been? It’s fun!), a pint before seeing something at Factory Theatre, after going to the Ex for a convention, which was the case with us, or after a Toronto FC game. Before planning our jaunt, I remembered that the Wheat Sheaf is a popular sports pub, given its proximity to BMO Field, but I had forgotten how nice the Wheat Sheaf can be.
Perhaps because I have lived in houses that are centuries old, I feel at home in older places, such as the Wheat Sheaf, which was opened in 1849 and claims to be Toronto’s oldest pub. (Apparently, there is a legend that there is a hidden tunnel from Fort York to the Wheat Sheaf, created by the soldiers.) It has internal windows sans glass to let light into the back room and an Old World feel that only decades of wear and tear can create. There is a jukebox and a pool table, but you might not be popular with the surrounding patrons as the pool table is too close to tables. By the way, the ratio of women to men at the Wheat Sheaf was about seven to one including the two waitresses, and I am being generous.
Number of visits by yours truly: my fourth or fifth, most recently on a Saturday afternoon in April 2012
TTC information: a seven-minute ride west to Bathurst from St. Andrew Station, or take Bathurst Streetcar south from Bathurst to King, which will take about 12 minutes. (Note, we walked from Bathurst to Yonge after the pub visit as there seemed to be TTC problems, it was only when we got to Roy Thomson Hall that we were passed by a streetcar.)
Booze selection: 18 beers, including Strongbow cider (no Pimm’s)
Food selection: standard pub grub. We had the calamari and enjoyed it
Service staff: very friendly. On a subsequent visit, my husband had a very rude waiter who misheard one of the group’s orders for Strongbow as Steam Whistle and refused to remove the error from the bill. He also berated one of the party for smelling like pot. Classy!
Prices: not bad
Toilets: decent, downstairs
Patio: large and on Bathurst, so it’s east facing
Wheelchair accessible: nope
Televisions: too many to count, I gave up after finding ten
Live music: no
Piped-in music: Tears for Fears, Duran Duran, a-ha, Adam Ant
Rating: three and a half pints (out of five)