The Gym bar Toronto

The Gym

The Gym is a friendly neighbourhood pub with a tongue-in-cheek name (not to be confused with The Jim) and a few Aussie twists.

The bar is co-owned by Josh McMillan and Daimin Bodnar, who came up together at Kiwi-leaning Hemingway's.

The Gym bar Toronto

The space was formerly home to Piper's Pub, and has gotten a couple sleek upgrades (albeit ones that refer to the past) in the form of a giant graphic depicting the street outside in 1911. Other photographs from the Toronto Archives decorate the room.

The Gym bar Toronto

Baked wings ($15) are gluten-friendly and indeed "jumbo" as promised, served with fries or veggie sticks and your choice of sauce. A lemon pepper is very peppery and punchy and not too powdery, with the other option for dry rub being a cajun style. 

the gym torontoYou can go for a classic cheeseburger ($15) or do a Sky-High Aussie Burger ($18), an eight-ounce patty made in house from fresh-ground beef topped with grilled onions, melted cheese, pineapple, beet, a fried egg, lettuce and tomato—apparently a very Australian combination.

Pineapple is always great on burgers and something I always love, but the beet also adds a surprising hit of sweetness and it all weirdly works with the richness of the egg. However, for all handheld items it's easy to add extra toppings or make substitutions, including making buns gluten-free.

The Gym bar Toronto

A Mexican Fiesta Bowl ($18) is essentially a gluten-friendly burrito bowl, rice heaped with grilled diced chicken breast, fried black beans, Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese, pico de gallo, corn, shredded, lettuce and cilantro, all drizzled with chipotle sauce. 

Large dollops of guac, sour cream and salsa add comforting creaminess. This is basically a souped-up Chipotle bowl to me, but I'm not mad about it.

The Gym bar Toronto

The Selfie ($10) combines tequila, Chambord and lime and tops it all off with ginger beer, though I'm not sure the combination of bitter, smoky and acidic works, however I really like the name.

The Gym bar Toronto

A Gym-Ger Brick ($10) is far more successful to me, Absolut Mandarin and a half pint of Brickworks cider over ice, topped off with ginger beer toeing the line between weak and strong—a slightly sweet option for those who would rather not drink beer.

The Gym bar Toronto

For those who would rather drink beer, there are 12 taps including Guinness on draft.

The Gym bar Toronto

Overall, this bar has a much more updated and modern look than it did before, but the main change in the 90-seat space with five TVs is a huge garage door that opens to the street, effectively merging the front part of the room with a six-seat patio.

The Gym bar Toronto

There might occasionally be an acoustic musician posted up in this front area, and there should be regular live music on Fridays and Saturdays.

The Gym bar Toronto

Photos by

Hector Vasquez


The Gym

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