TorontoPubs’ TTC Loop Pub Crawl

TTC

Notes on this pub crawl: in honour of the fabled London Circle Line pub crawl, here’s a Toronto variation, TorontoPubs presents the TTC Loop Pub Crawl. I have selected the best pub in the TTC station area for a pub crawl, not necessary the one I would go to for the entire afternoon or evening. But what do I know? This is 14 stops, so a half-pint or sharing a pitcher with friends might be wiser than a full pint. Also keep in mind that the Museum Tavern is a bit snooty, but you’re stuck with what’s local. Finally, some pubs are closer to one another than actually walking back to the TTC station taking it one stop and then walking to the next pub, but that’s the charm of a TTC pub crawl — a bit of a breather. If you want to walk the route instead of taking the TTC, according to GoogleMaps, from the door of a pub to all 13 other pubs and then back to the starting pub takes just over two hours.

If you don’t agree with the pubs selected, click on the related TTC station below to get all pubs that are marked with that tag on this blog and choose your own!

Notes on pub crawls in general: consider at least 45 minutes per pub visit and let your server know that you having just one drink and then moving on into the fizzy night so she/he knows that you’ll need your bill quickly. Pay by cash so you aren’t waiting for the credit card/debit machine and tip generously as you may be back one day for longer than just one drink. Check the pub’s website/Twitter (links in TorontoPubs review of establishment) in case they have an event that night. Also keep in mind the day and time, Saturday nights with the FIFA World Cup’s final on is not the best night for said pub crawl, but it is one of the best times to be in a pub.

Updated: 2017.01.18 

Printable PDF of this TorontoPubs TTC Loop Pub Crawl with map.

Bloor-Yonge — The Artful Dodger (TorontoPubs review)
12 Isabella Street — Three blocks south of Bloor-Yonge Station, turn left on Isabella and the pub is on the north side

Wellesley — Mullins Irish Pub (TorontoPubs review)
1033 Bay Street — Two and a half blocks north of Wellesley, on the west side of Bay

College Pogue Mahone (TorontoPubs review)
777 Bay Street — The pub is actually on College between Yonge and Bay, on the south side

Dundas — The Imperial Pub (TorontoPubs review)
54 Dundas Street East — Two-minute walk east from Dundas Station, at the corner of Victoria

QueenThe Duke of Richmond (TorontoPubs review)
20 Queen Street West — On the east side, just west of Yonge Street, with the main entrance one block over on James Street

King — The Flatiron and Firkin (TorontoPubs review)
49 Wellington Street East — One block south and one block east of King Station, at the intersection of Wellington, Church, and Front 

Union — Scotland Yard (TorontoPubs review)
56 The Esplanade — Three short blocks east from Union Station and one block south

St. Andrew — The Town Crier (TorontoPubs review)
115 John Street — Three blocks west of St. Andrew Station, three and half blocks north of King East

Osgoode — The Friar (TorontoPubs review)
160 John Street — Three blocks west of Osgoode Station and just south of Queen East

St. Patrick — Village Idiot Pub (TorontoPubs review)
126 McCaul Street — Three blocks west of University at the corner of McCaul and Dundas West

Queen’s Park — The Prenup Pub (TorontoPubs review)
191 College Street — Four blocks west of Queen’s Park Station at the corner of Henry

Museum — Museum Tavern (TorontoPubs review)
208 Bloor Street West — One block north of Museum Station and half a block west of Avenue

St. George — The Duke of York Pub (TorontoPubs review)
39 Prince Arthur Avenue — One block north of St. George Station’s east exit and one building along Prince Arthur

Bay — Hemingway’s (TorontoPubs review)
142 Cumberland Street — Across the street from Bay Station’s east exit

Unfortunately, this pub crawl is not wheelchair accessible.

The Duke of Somerset

The Duke of Somerset (website, Twitter)
655 Bay Street, Toronto ON M5G 2K4 (on the east side, between Elm Street and Walton Street, the nearest major intersection is Bay Street and Dundas Street West) 416-640-0921
Google Maps

Great for a beer after work!  

My merry band and I have been going to the Duke of Somerset a lot lately to play PubStumpers. However, the latest season is now over and we have decided to rest on our laurels, so I won’t be going back for a while.

The Duke of Somerset has a very business-like crowd, not surprising given its location. It has a lot of booths, which is nice if you like booths, but if there are six of you, announcing you need to use the facilities results in a lot of bother. There are a few benches and chairs with movable tables, but these are few and far between. Keep this in mind if you have a huge group (ten or more), because the pub isn’t really designed for large gatherings. If you are sensitive to smoke, do not sit in the booth that is directly to your right as you walk in the main door. I had the misfortune to sit there once and had the second-hand smoke from the patio repeatedly wash over me.

Number of visits by yours truly: three dozen or so visits, most recently on a weekday evening in November 2011
TTC information: equidistant between Dundas Station and St. Patrick Station
Booze selection: standard Duke pub selection of approximately 35 beers, including Strongbow and Magners ciders. They have Pimm’s!
Food selection: standard Duke pub grub
Service staff: like all Duke pubs it can be hit or miss. If you are lucky you might get Becky, who is very good!
Prices: expensive like all Duke pubs
Toilets: clean
Patio: large portico style on the west side of the building, so not a lot of direct sunlight
Wheelchair accessible: the pub itself is accessible through the office tower at 655 Bay Street, however, I don’t know if this building is open the same hours as the pub. I’d call ahead
Televisions: several, often showing the same sports show on multiple screens
Live music: Wednesdays
Piped-in music: Katy Perry and company

Rating: four pints (out of five)

Pogue Mahone Irish Pub

Pogue Mahone Irish Pub (website, Twitter)
777 Bay Street Toronto ON M5G 2B3 (the pub is actually on College Street between Yonge and Bay Streets, on the south side) 416-598-3339
Google Maps

Great for an after-work gathering or when you’re in the mood for a little slice of Ireland.

The first time I went to Pogue Mahone (Gaelic for “kiss my arse”) was on a St. Patrick’s Day a few years ago. We were just popping in for a spot of liquid fortification mid-afternoon and they had Leffe Brune, my husband’s favourite! Alas, since then, it’s been hit and miss with that drink, but we always enjoy ourselves there. That time the pub was almost empty even though it was a weekend, but we got the feeling it was going to be hopping later that night. We were there for the 250th anniversary of Guinness in 2009 and it was very very busy.

The entrances to Pogue Mahone are confusing, if you come in off the street, you can basically seat yourself, but if you go in through the connecting office building, there is usually someone at that entrance who will seat you. The pub can get very noisy, hence I recommend you try to get one of the four-seater booths — with lovely stained glass — near the windows as they do work at blocking some of the noise. Better yet is to get one of the two snugs! Oh, it’s like having your own little pub. The evening we spent in the Titanic-themed snug was wonderful, and that wasn’t just because we were with great friends.

Number of visits by yours truly: five or six, most recently on a Friday evening in February 2011
TTC information: College Station, exiting into College Park. You can go through the mall, but going outside onto College and then west is quickest
Booze selection: Lots to choose from, including two ciders (no Pimm’s). They sometimes have Leffe Brune
Food selection: standard pub fare with an Irish twist, the menu had at least two grammatical errors (“it’s” as a possessive and “animal bi-products”)
Service staff: good
Prices: expensive
Toilets: nothing to complain about in terms of cleanliness, but a bit tight
Patio: north of building and wraps around the east side
Wheelchair accessible: yes, however, the toilets are a tight squeeze and I didn’t see a wheelchair-access toilet
Televisions: five, one in each corner and then over the bar
Live music: every Friday
Piped-in music: Irish style

Rating: four and a half pints (out of five)