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Eat & Drink

The top 15 bars and pubs with WiFi in Toronto

Posted by Natalia Manzocco / August 1, 2014

wifi torontoThe top bars and pubs with WiFi in Toronto let you feel semi-connected to society - through the power of booze, good tunes, and a casual atmosphere - while still being permanently connected to your digital device of choice.

Toronto's got tons of coffee shops - and even patios - that welcome the screen-staring crowd with open arms and wallets, but when the temperature dips and evening falls and that big report still isn't done, these places will give you the fuel you need to crank it out (i.e. burgers and brews) in a friendly, not-too-rowdy atmosphere.

Here are my picks for the top bars and pubs with WiFi in Toronto.

Northwood
The Christie Pits freelancer fave starts as a cafe in the morning, and transitions over to a bar; it's earned a rep as an all-day hangout where you can bring your laptop by day and friends by night. They've earned just as many raves for their cold brew as they have for their cocktails (and the $2-off happy hour pricing on beer every day don't hurt, either).

The Rhino
The selling points of this super-chill Parkdale pub include: a beer list that frequently includes some wacky taps from around Ontario and North America; a not-too-rowdy atmosphere; readily available snacks; and some choice seats near the window. Do the ultimate in multi-tasking: Enjoy a beer, while working, while waiting for your table at Grand Electric to open up.

The Beaver
The Beaver is at once a cafe, a bar, a gay bar, a restaurant and a party venue; during the day, and on evenings when drag nights aren't happening, the Queen West spot is a peaceful place to bring the ol' lappy. The draft list is nicely varied, and the menu caters to all kinds of eaters.

Old Nick
The staff at this Danforth pub are beautifully unbothered by most things, including the presence of people on laptops. (They even post the WiFi password on the beer chalkboard - handy!) It gets a bit rowdy during weekend nights and open mics, but there's elbow room most times, including during their incredibly-underrated weekend brunch. The WiFi signal even reaches out to the first couple seats on the backyard patio.

C'est What
I'm an odd-hours worker par excellence, and C'est What is my go-to; the brick-lined, library-like basement is cozy and comforting, the beer selection is fantastic, and the menu - while not particularly cheap - has tons of tasty, filling options. (It's also home to what in my estimation is the best-tasting low-alcohol beer on the planet, Joan's Dark Secret - that's a bonus, since you'll still be able to type accurately after a couple o' pints.) There's often a big after-work crowd; proceed with caution (or wait until late) if you like quiet.

Cloak and Dagger
This dark, bunkerlike pub on College St. is a solid place to hole up with your laptop and kill a pint or two - they've got 20-some beers on tap. On Sunday afternoons, you could spend an entire day at their all-you-can-eat taco buffet and probably write yourself a short novel.

Lipstick and Dynamite
A newer face on this list, this Queen West "bar-staurant" comes with a sweetly dive-y atmosphere, complete with pinball machine and fringed lamps. It doesn't tend to get too rowdy (at least, not until the wee hours), leaving you free to pull up a bar stool and grab some vegetarian pub food, a $6 Caesar, or a pint of watermelon wheat ale while you work.

The Abbot
This Yonge and Lawrence pub is a neighbourhood fave for its menu of refined British pub fare (think fish and chips, shepherd's pie and meatloaf). It's cozy and dark - perfect if you like working by the glow of your own screen. Tip: Avoid the dinner rush around 6pm - it fills up fast. The after-work bar crowd usually rolls in around 8.

Prohibition
Riverside's Prohibition is a restaurant by day, a bar by night, and a nightclub (complete with DJs, bros in ballcaps, and separate cover charges for men and women) on the weekends. It fills up pretty good with diners during meal hours, but the WiFi is indeed free - and with a menu packed with hearty, meaty, cheesy selections like bison burgers, truffle mac and cheese and duck poutine, you won't have any trouble justifying your continued presence at your table.

This End Up
Dundas West's This End Up is a cozy joint populated by couples and friends in the evening, but whip out a laptop and they won't bat an eyelash. (They even asked me if I wanted their WiFi password before I asked them - a first!) Linger over a cocktail (or one of their dozen or so housemade flavoured sodas), or grab one of their stellar sandwiches. (The wings are reportedly great, but if you brought your laptop, you probably shouldn't order them. Just saying.)

7 West
It's open in the morning. It's open at night. It's open at whatever you would call 4:30am. Yonge and Charles' favourite late-night secret weapon, in addition to offering tasty-to-middling 'round-the-clock eats like pasta and pita pizzas, has - you guessed it - free WiFi. It's just as much of a cafe as it is a bar, so if you're starting to wilt, bypass the decent beer selection and dozen-or-so martinis, and get a giant latte bowl the size of your face.

Bryden's
This no-fuss, no-nonsense little pub in the Bloor West Village offers 17 taps (including rotating selections) and a menu of snacks, sandwiches, and some surprisingly classy-sounding dinner entrees (even if they're called things like "Fo' Schnitzel My Nitzel"). It's a little worn-in and divey, but in the kind of way that feels like home.

Marquis of Granby
Conveniently located between the Village and the Ryerson campus, the Marquis of Granby, formerly gay landmark the Barn, isn't big on cozy atmosphere (it's rather clublike and cavernous) or fancy food (the menu is stocked with burgers, wings, mozza sticks and other pub fare). But then again, fried food, cheap beer and lots of room to dump your stuff sounds like a student's dream - and you'll see a fair amount of kids with laptops capitalizing on those exact conditions during the day.

Tequila Bookworm
We at blogTO have been singing the praises of Tequila Bookworm's WiFi since 2007. This Queen West bar/cafe is a popular spot for solo workers; it occasionally gets a bit raucous in the evening, but the kitchen's open until 2am, and their all-Ontario beer roster is flanked by one of the best cider selections around.

Dundas and Carlaw
Another one in the coffee shop/bar category, this brand-new Leslieville spot is whatever you need it to be. They open at 7am for the coffee crowd and stay open until late, slinging pints and pitchers of sangria on the front patio (which, yes, also gets a good Internet signal). The food situation is limited to baked goods during the day and some dip and charcuterie platters at night, but a full menu is in the works.

Did I miss any? Leave your favourite pub or bar with WiFi in the comments.

Discussion

10 Comments

mike in parkdale / August 1, 2014 at 12:00 pm
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dumb. why go to a bar for the wifi?
mike in parkdale / August 1, 2014 at 12:02 pm
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to expand on that... If you're going to a bar and insist on staring into your phone/tablet, then just pay for the data. Or strike up a conversation with your fellow barflies and engage people. That's why you left the house, right?
J / August 1, 2014 at 12:03 pm
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Is this 2004? Who doesn't have data on their phones nowadays? And I agree with Mike in Parkdale. Why go to the bar for the wifi? You are there to drink/eat not watch Netflix.
xo / August 1, 2014 at 12:10 pm
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Most bars have wifi today.
stay home / August 1, 2014 at 12:28 pm
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Just fucking stay home
George / August 1, 2014 at 03:35 pm
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Is it really that hard to understand who else could need wifi? Tourists are a perfect example. I've been in many situations solo in a city in another country where being able to sit down, have a beer, maybe some food and catch up on e-mail was a great convenience. Hey and than after I was done was able to meet some locals... win win.

The vast majority of commenters on this site really need to get their head out of their ass.
George / August 1, 2014 at 03:37 pm
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and I will add I was specifically looking for a bar/pub with wifi.
grey / August 1, 2014 at 06:35 pm
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Used to love C'est What? as an escape from a crappy office job with heavily-monitored internet. And wifi was nice because the whole point was to get away from my coworkers, and it would be nice to read a site like BlogTO on break without getting tattled on by IT. (Mostly I got tattled on for Facebook -- I would be using it for work purposes though.)

(Still love C'est What?, obviously didn't stay at that job long.)
lister / August 5, 2014 at 09:39 am
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Bar Hop has WiFi.
Dan / August 8, 2014 at 02:35 pm
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Good bit of info in this post but I think a couple of key aspects are unmentioned/missing and wonder if they had any effect on your rankings/decision of what to include in the list.

1) Speed of WiFi Connection:
Having WiFi is great an all but if it is dial-up connection slow it is next to useless unless you're absolutely desperate.

2) Power Outlet Availability:
Sure they have WiFi but do they have power outlets spread out strategically near seats/booths? Or do they have one for the entire area making you totally reliant on your device's battery. (This is especially relevant with something like a 15.4″ wide-screen laptop.)

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