The Wallace Gastropub

Wallace Toronto

The Wallace Gastropub (website, Twitter)
1954 Yonge Street, Toronto ON M4S 1Z4 (on the west side, between Chaplin Crescent and Imperial Street, the nearest major intersection is Yonge Street and Davisville Avenue) 416-489-3500
Google Maps 

Whatever the name, this is usually a good spot for a beer or two in Davisville.

Formerly the Twisted Kilt, which used to be the Bow and Arrow, the Wallace Gastropub has had several names over the years. We went to the Bow and Arrow a lot as they had sea salt and cracked pepper chicken wings, which were so good! However, we stopped going after a poor experience, then it became the Twisted Kilt, then the Tilted Kilt chain came to Canada and the pub was apparently offered a spot of cash to change its name (but not its telephone number), and thus the Wallace was born.

The seating is benches and movable chairs, most spots designed for couples or groups of four. Larger groups will be hard pressed to find seating without a reservation or good timing. If it’s the winter, you might not want to sit near the front door as the wind can whip in and chill you to the bone. However, you can sit near the fireplace in the raised area! The current décor is (fox) hunting scenes and other traditional pub paraphernalia. You can rent the upstairs room for private parties, which can comfortably fit 50 or so. I have rented this space several times over the years and it is a damn nice spot for you and 49 of your closest friends.

Number of visits by yours truly: forty or more visits, we used to live nearby and it was a nice walk home. Our most recent visit was on a Saturday night in August 2014
TTC information: just a minute walk or so north of Davisville Station
Booze selection: 20 or so beers, Waupoos cider and a number of wines (no Pimm’s)
Food selection: limited gastro selection with cloth napkins
Service staff: not bad
Prices: expensive
Toilets: not enough, only two downstairs in the ladies’ room. There was no soap in the ladies and “too much ice,” whatever that means, in the men’s (I can guess, but I prefer some mysteries to remain as to the male experience)
Patio: west-facing and very small
Wheelchair accessible: they have a step at the front and apparently a wooden ramp, but that’s not accessible if you are arriving by yourself and waiting for someone to let the pub know you want to come in
Televisions: several
Live music: nope
Piped-in music: Beatles, Robert Plant, Queen

Rating: four pints (out of five) 

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TorontoPubs’ Midtown Yonge Street Pub Crawl

https://goo.gl/maps/uNkNN34KdZn

Updated: 2017.01.17

Notes on this pub crawl: the walk (2.2 km) takes about half an hour in total or you can take the subway and hop on and off as all of these pubs are close to TTC stations. Keep in mind that the Rebel House is small and that the Monk’s Table is a little posh.

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.

Printable PDF of this TorontoPubs’ Midtown Yonge Street Pub Crawl with map with map.

The Rebel House (TorontoPubs review)
1068 Yonge Street

Wylie’s Pub (TorontoPubs review)
1234A Yonge Street

The Monk’s Table (TorontoPubs review)
1276 Yonge Street

Jester on Yonge (TorontoPubs review)
1427 Yonge Street

The Bull and Firkin (TorontoPubs review)
1835 Yonge Street

Fionn MacCool’s (TorontoPubs review)
1867 Yonge Street

Unfortunately, this pub crawl is not wheelchair accessible.

Fionn MacCool’s (Davisville)

Fionn MacCool's Davisville Toronto

Fionn MacCool’s (website)
1867 Yonge Street, Toronto ON M4S 1X8 (on the east side of Yonge Street, between Balliol Street and Merton Street, the nearest major intersection is Davisville Avenue and Yonge Street) 416-484-1867
Google Maps 

A decent Irish pub in the heart of uptown Toronto. 

I saw this Fionn MacCool’s for the first time while waiting for the Yonge bus at Davisville station a few months ago and I thought that I should check it out, purely in the name of research. In terms of the big pub chains in Toronto, it goes like this — Pogue Mahone et al. at the top, then the Duke of York et al., then the various Fionn MacCool’s pubs, then the Firkin pubs, and the Fox and Fiddle pubs at the bottom, so an evening at a Fionn MacCool’s is not an evening wasted.

This is a rather small pub, and you’ll be hard pressed to find seating for a large group as most of the tables are high top ones with stools (not the most comfortable for long-term seating). However, there are proper tables at well. The walls are covered in pictures of great Irish men, like Oscar Wilde, images of Ireland, etc. 

There are four Fionn MacCool’s locations in Toronto: this one, Bloor Street East, Front Street West, and  The Esplanade, so make sure everyone knows which one you are suggesting for your Friday night booze-up.

Number of visits by yours truly: my first time to this branch of the chain, on a weekday evening in late February 2013
TTC information: just south of Davisville Station
Booze selection: a section of 44 beers, with four ciders at the moment — Alexander Keith’s Cider; Magners;  Rekorderlig Wild Berry; Früli (no Pimm’s)
Food selection: not that Irish given the theme of the place
Service staff: 
friendly, however, we did have to flag down the waitress for another customer  
Prices: slightly higher, but you are dining at a Fionn MacCool’s
Toilets: one for ladies, one for the gents, and one unisex for those who need accessible toilets
Patio: west-facing on Yonge Street, probably one of the sunniest late evening patios in the city as it’s across the road from the Davisville rail yards. I might have to confirm my suspicions in the summer
Wheelchair accessible: yup!
Televisions: four televisions
Live music: “sometimes”
Piped-in music: traditional Irish music, Cranberries, Red Hot Chili Peppers

Rating: four pints (out of five) 

The Bull and Firkin

The Bull and Firkin (website, Twitter)
1835 Yonge Street, Toronto ON M4S 1X8 (on the east side, between Balliol Street and Merton Street, the nearest major intersection is Davisville Avenue and Yonge Street) 416-485-2290
Google Maps

Good for a pint after swooning over graves of the famous at Mount Pleasant Cemetery. 

I’ve been to the Bull and Firkin a number of times over the years as we used to live nearby and as we have a number of friends who still live in the area. In terms of sitting, it has lots of booths, including seating for groups of six, but for larger groups, you are really only in luck if you get seating at the back, near the toilets. It has happened a few times that we have been part of a larger party gathering at that pub and have had to ask diners in that coveted area if they would mind moving up or down a few tables so that we can accommodate our numbers (these diners have always been gracious about this request, so that is a good reflection on the pub).

The Bull and Firkin is a sport bar, plain and simple. It has two dart boards, two pool tables, and at least two arcade games. The televisions, which are everywhere, show sporting events. Knowing this, I have even looked up the Maple Leafs’ schedule to avoid going to the pub when games are on. I remember going to the pub one evening in April a few years ago and being almost unable to converse with my companions because the noise was so loud.

And now a semi-regular feature of my blog: Toronto’s history. As mentioned in the dek, the Bull and Firkin is close to Mount Pleasant Cemetery, which is “home” to, among others:

  • Banting and Best (but not together)
  • Timothy Eaton
  • Mary Fortune (Titanic survivor)
  • Glenn Gould
  • Foster Hewitt
  • William Lyon Mackenzie King
  • Oliver Mowat
  • Alexander Muir
  • Egerton Ryerson

Number of visits by yours truly: two dozen or so, most recently on a Saturday evening in October 2011
TTC information: just south of Davisville Station
Booze selection: 16 beers, including Strongbow cider (no Pimm’s)
Food selection: standard Firkin pub grub with lots of sandwiches and wraps
Service staff: pleasant and friendly
Prices: decent
Toilets: just two for the ladies, which isn’t quite enough given the size of the bar
Patio: on the street facing west
Wheelchair accessible: no!
Televisions: I counted seven from where I was sitting and all of them were showing a “vulgar sporting event”
Live music: I forgot to ask, but I doubt it given the layout of the pub as there are pillars and booths in the way
Piped-in music: sports was on, so music was off. There is a jukebox

Rating: three and half pints (out of five)