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Eat & Drink

St. Patrick's Day Toronto 2013

Posted by Ben Johnson / March 13, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Toronto eventsSt. Patrick's day in Toronto is a special time when people in the city take time to reflect on the Feast of Saint Patrick, the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, and to generally celebrate Irish culture. To mark the occasion, I propose an essay on the historical significance of the day and what it means to be Irish and to respect the traditions of the Emerald Isle. Just kidding! Here's a list of places you can go to wear green plastic crap and get shitfaced on Guinness and Jameson this weekend!

If you couldn't care less about specific events and are just looking to drink all day, here's a few helpful resources.


A popular spot on the Danforth at the best of times, you can bet that Allen's (and the adjoining Dora Keough) will be rammed on Sunday. All week long both venues will feature a menu showcasing contemporary and traditional Irish food and on Sunday live music kicks off at 2pm and will feature Dab Quigley and Patrick Ourceau, The Aideen O'Brien Band, The Julian Taylor Band, and The O'Mortleys.

The Annex Wreck Room
Billing itself as the biggest party in the Annex strip, the Wreck Room is hosting the "St. Patrick's Eve Rager!!" (two exclamation points!!) on Saturday March 16th. The party starts at 9pm and there will be music by DJ Rick Toxic and, one assumes, raging.

Brazen Head
The good looking professionals of Liberty Village will be treated to a five full days of St. Paddy's day celebrations at their local with a Smithwick's tasting Wednesday, Kilkenny and fish and chips on Thursday, $5 Guinness and free oysters on Friday and $4 Caesars, live music, and midnight Guinness toast on Saturday, aka St. Practice day. As for the big day, Bar Manager Anton Arnaldo tells me the plan is simply to "open the doors and hang on for dear life."

The Foggy Dew, Murphy's Law, Ned Devine's, The Pour House, and Pogue Mahone
The entire FAB concepts line-up of Irish pubs will be stretching the St. Patrick's day festivities into five or six-day celebrations with a variety of events planned leading up to the big day (come on, this is kind of the day Irish pubs live for!). Some of the highlights include $4 Jager shots (because Ireland), a spot the Leprechaun contest, cheap pints of Guinness, free food, everyone's favourite culturally insensitive beverage, The Irish Car Bomb, and even a yes-we're-actually-doing-this green beaded necklace collecting competition. Check each location's website for details but basically expect heavy drinking and vaguely Irish festivities all week long with live music and wait times for the big day.

Ceili Cottage
My pick for the best St. Patrick's day experience in town, Leslieville's best public house will be proudly hosting "St. Patrick's Shenanigans," five days of events including Industry Day Wednesday with Bushmills, cheap oysters, and live music; Irish Ex-Pat Thursday with Smithwick's, a Cellarman Competition, and traditional music; Matchmaking Friday with Kilkenny, Karaoke, and something called "Flirt in the Yurt;" and St. Practice Day Saturday with Harp, an oyster eating contest, and a limerick contest; and a itinerary of general debauchery and shenanigans on Sunday with Guinness, live music and dancers all day ($10 at the door).

Fynn's of Temple Bar
The King West after work hotspot is sure to be busy all week with a number of drink specials and tastings occuring Tuesday through Saturday, with a $5 cover charge for a number of festivities on Sunday that kick off with brunch, live music all day from Matt Morgan and Fiddlesticks, and even a magician and a cartoonist.

The Galway Arms
I wasn't going to include this one since it's technically in Etobicoke, but we're all amalgamated here so what the hell? Let's show a little love to Ford Country. Plus it would be a shame to leave off what many consider to be one of the best Irish pubs in the area. They've got great food, one of the best pints of Guinness you'll find, and they are guaranteed to be hopping this weekend. They've got live music Friday, Saturday, and Sunday but I'll forgo the details because let's be honest, if you live around The Galway that's where you're going for St. Patrick's Day. Get there early.

PJ O'Brien
On both Friday and Saturday PJ's will have live entertainment from the appropriate-for-St. Patrick's day band The Irish Guys at 9:30pm as well as a Bushmills whiskey tasting. On Sunday the doors will open at 11am and festivities will kick off with the I-assume-at-this-point-very-tired band, The Irish Guys. Later on there will be music from Mike O 'Grady and all day there will be prizes, giveaways, and an authentic Irish menu. Reservations are accepted for a first seating at 12 noon. After that it is first come, first served.

St. Patrick's Day Club Crawl
If you're looking to spend Saturday evening with young 905ers or are otherwise interested in having what I imagine would be the worst St. Patrick's Day imaginable, why not grab a ticket for this "club crawl"? For just $20 you'll get to bypass the line at The London Tap House, Crocodile Rock, and Tequila Jacks. It's an evening that seems destined to include horrible music, vomiting, and weeping. And if you play your cards right, maybe all three!

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Steam Whistle Brewery
What it's lacking in "authenticity," you can bet the Steam Whistle St. Patrick's Day Bash Saturday will more than make up for with two St. Paddy's mainstays: party people wearing green and copious amounts of beer. The party kicks off at 2pm on Saturday, goes to 11pm and costs $15 to get in. If you like your parties big, loud, and crowded (in the best way possible), you need to get down to the Roundhouse for some brewery-fresh Pilsner.

Stout Irish Pub
Things get started early Sunday at this great Cabbagetown pub with an 11am kickoff, and then there's a full day of activity including Irish Dancers at 2:00pm, a face painter (because what day of drinking is complete without face paint?) and live modern Celtic acoustic music from The Gurriers from 7:00pm to 1am.

The Ballroom
Aside from requiring alcohol, I don't see the connection between bowling and the Irish, but nevertheless, The Ballroom has seen fit to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Go bowl and enjoy drink specials all weekend including $5 Rickards products, $4 Jameson, $5 Guinness, $4 Rails drinks, Irish fries and Shepard's Pie. Just wash your hands before you eat. Bowling balls are filthy. Seriously.

The Gladstone
The Gladstone will feature not only a standard St. Paddy's Day celebration at 7pm with $5 pints, Guinness Poutine and live traditional Irish music, but also a family friendly brunch from 11am to 2pm featuring The Bellwoods Trinity who will bring Irish music and, yes, dancing puppets.

The Irish Embassy
Expect live music, Irish dancing and probably one or two pints of Guinness. Oh, and a whole bunch of rowdy dudes making lots of noise.

Watermark Irish Pub
This Harbourfront bar's St. Patrick's Day Festival starts Wednesday March 13th with a slew of vaguely-related drink specials like $5 Keiths on Wednesday, a Kilkenny tasting Thursday, $4 "Irish shots" on Friday, cheap Caesars and Rolling Rock (the bottle is green!) on Saturday, and a number of giveaways and events leading up to the main event Sunday.


Photos courtesy of Steam Whistle Brewing Company



Luke / March 13, 2013 at 03:48 pm
how is the Annex Wreck Room the biggest party in the Annex? Down the street is the Madison Pub which is one of the biggest parties in Toronto!! That place holds 2000 people.

BTW the description for the St.Patrick's Day Club Crawl was amazing!!
John / March 13, 2013 at 04:18 pm
Why is there no mention of Fionn MacCools on the Esplanade? The St. Paddy Day parade basically ends at Church and Front. There is a huge party along the Esplanade that day. Weak article Blogto
Never Enough replying to a comment from John / March 13, 2013 at 04:21 pm
I agree. You've mentioned over 20 different venues and linked to six events as well as provided links to the best pubs, Irish pubs, beer selection, and cheap drinks in the city, but you failed to mention Fionn MacCools--a bar I happen to like--so your entire article therefore sucks.
Marc replying to a comment from Never Enough / March 13, 2013 at 04:35 pm
No mention of Madison or Esplanade or St. Pardys Day at Ontario Place. Yes this article is subpar. Sorry if you disagree but those are three of the largest parties in the city. FACT
dr.fever / March 13, 2013 at 04:35 pm
Amateur Night.
sumit replying to a comment from Never Enough / March 13, 2013 at 04:42 pm
it's a good place, i like it as well but it's a franchise, yep that kills it.
Sandy replying to a comment from Marc / March 13, 2013 at 04:43 pm
I agree with Marc! Can't believe those places were not mentioned in this article.
Marc / March 13, 2013 at 04:50 pm
The Fionns on the Esplanade is actually not a franchise but a corporate location. I go there a lot, so in a way I am biased. I was simply pointing out the fact that many large parties were not mentioned. In an article named St. Patrick's Day Toronto you would think more research would be done. St. Partys Day is taking over Ontario Place and is in oveer 20 locations Canada wide. Pretty sure a small amount of research could unearth that gem.
ZoombaParkside replying to a comment from Marc / March 13, 2013 at 06:02 pm
Definitely. It actually really disappoints me that this article, and BlogTO as a whole, continually neglects to inform their viewership of the parties I throw in the Beerstore parking lot just up the street from Queen and Brock, the first wednesday afternoon of every third month. It's like, "Okay... This is happening BlogTO. Please try to keep up with Toronto.." - right?

If they did just an once of research every second moon, they would know where all the cool parties were and not where the all the nothing happens.
Marc / March 13, 2013 at 06:19 pm
Its funny that Zoomba Parkside and Never Enough have the same lame sarcastic sense of humour. If I was a betting man I would assume that these were either employees of Blogto or the writer himself. Is taht you Ben?

There is a difference between a party in a parking lot and a party that is nation wide and almost in every news station/publication in the city. Your sarcastic responses are lame and are adding nothing to the commentary. I am sure Ben is grown enough to respond for himself. Carry on...
Green / March 13, 2013 at 06:31 pm
Get Day Drunk here then stumble onward -
Ken M replying to a comment from ZoombaParkside / March 13, 2013 at 07:17 pm
What day is this Beer store parking lot party? Consider me there. Thanks BlogTO
Ben / March 13, 2013 at 07:57 pm
It ain't me. I don't make it a habit to respond to baiting commenters. Unless their name is Marc, of course.

Let's be honest though, if you feel the need to get trashed among sloppy people wearing green this weekend, I've given you enough options (and commenters have helpfully mentioned the couple I missed). Thanks! See you all in the parking lot.
Kevin / March 13, 2013 at 08:48 pm
No grown man would ever go to the Madison.
Marc / March 13, 2013 at 09:13 pm
Success! Thanks for the response Ben. See you at the beer store
Clark / March 15, 2013 at 12:57 am
Considering a very wonderful table for my dining room currently, just
noticed a near identical table at ikea though. I'm hopeless with unassembled furniture however
Andrew / March 15, 2013 at 10:48 am
@Luke - the per-pubestent underaged crowd at Madison is likely too small of a demographic to be considered for this list.
blogs / August 13, 2014 at 12:32 pm
Right away I am ready to do my breakfast, once having my breakfast
coming yet again to read further news.
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