Bedford Academy (website, Twitter)
36 Prince Arthur Avenue, Toronto ON M5R 1A9 (on the north side, between Avenue Road and Bedford Avenue, one block north of Bloor Street West) 416-921-4600
The Bedford Academy could be a great pub, but settles on being a reasonable watering hole instead.
Over the years, the Bedford Academy has benefitted from the poor service of the Duke of York. The Duke has a problem with some staff members’ attentiveness and bookings or rather lack thereof and as a result, I’ve gathered my belongings and moved across the street to the Bedford. For a while we went to the Bedford — which was close to my beloved’s old work place — instead of the Duke, but, alas, service seems to be a problem for both establishments. I remember on at least one occasion being ignored at the Duke, going to the Bedford instead, and being ignored there too. (I was sober — could it have been the worst half hour of my life?) I’ve been to the Bedford enough times to know that I would rather go somewhere else.
However, focussing on the times I have been served at the Bedford Academy, I have enjoyed myself. The pub is in a huge old house sprawling over three floors (the top floor has a private party room) featuring soft orange lighting, olive-coloured walls, Art Nouveau chandeliers, and a European flavour. The seating inside is varied, although I have spent most of my hours on the enormous patio of the Bedford. The Bedford benefits from its close proximity to UofT with its clientele and is open until two seven nights a week.
Number of visits by yours truly: two dozen or more visits, most recently in June 2012
TTC information: St. George Station’s east exit, within stumbling distance
Booze selection: 19 beers on tap, including Strongbow cider. They also have lots of wine (no Pimm’s)
Food selection: lots of burgers and pastas
Service staff: good this visit
Prices: reasonable for being so close to Yorkville
Patio: one of the larger patios (seats more than 180) in central Toronto, you’ve got a lot of selection of locations as the patio wraps around the building
Wheelchair accessible: no
Televisions: not as many as you might expect
Live music: no
Piped-in music: jazz and blues
Rating: three and a half pints (out of five)