Toronto Weekender: St. Paddy’s Day Edition

The Irish are taking over the city – and we’re happy to let them. So if you’re not into wearing green, this probably isn’t The Weekender for you, ‘cause we’ve rounded up over 20 different ways you can let your inner leprechaun out between now and Monday at midnight. So put on your ‘Kiss Me I’m Irish’ shirt, bust out your four-leaf clover collection, and ingest as much green food dye as possible before Guinness clocks around the world have to start their annual countdown all over again.

Fionn MacCools has been featuring an Irish Menu all week long. Head here tonight to get a little taste of the Irish in you. What exactly do we mean? How about Dublin Coddle Skillet: layers of potato, farmer’s sausage, onion, and bacon finished with a breaded soft poached egg and amber ale cheddar cheese.

One of Toronto’s most authentic Irish bars, Fynn’s of Temple Bar, will be holding events every night up to, and including, the big day. Tonight you’ll find an East Coast Celtic Party and $4 pints of Alexander Keith’s beers. Hit up their website to see what they have in store Thursday through Monday.

St. Patrick’s Week starts at Ceili Cottage (apparently a week is only five days long here) and it’s always been a Toronto favourite for the rudest – most fun – pint in the city. Also, their sticky toffee pudding is one of the best desserts we’ve ever had. Music, pints, and events every night.

Lucky Ball at Revival gives you a chance to celebrate with a little class. What’s that look like exactly? How about an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, and cocktail attire. Brendan Canning (Broken Social Scene) will be DJing all night long and the crowd looks set to be filled with a stylish collection of young professionals. Since all proceeds will be directed to the Fort York Food Bank, you’ll get to feel good about getting tipsy this year.

Pronounced “Ahn-She-Been,” An Sibin Pub’s name means an illegal, illicit drinking establishment and/or shady bar and refers to Ireland’s historic after-hours speakeasies. Do you really need more info than this? Fine; live music, $6 pints of Guinness, and $3 shots of Jäger. 

Calling it St. Practice Day, Stout Irish Pub invites you out to enjoy 1-litre Steam Whistle steins in the shape of a boot (yes, you get to keep it) and live music performed by The Fair Wind Celtic Duo. 

Every member of the Irish Embassy Hospitality Group, which includes Quinn’s Steakhouse and Irish Pub, The Irish Embassy, and P.J. O’Brien Irish Pub and Restaurant, will have live Irish music playing and a selection of all your favourite Irish drinks to match the occasion.

Calling your bash St. Party’s Day pretty much makes it as easy to understand your angle as possible. Held at Andrew Richard Designs, they claim this is Canada’s largest, weekend long, authentic St. Patrick’s Day festival. Tickets are selling out fast, so if you want to party with thousands of other people wearing as much green as humanly possible, we suggest you book quickly.  

Cake Bar is offering $3 all-green leprechaun shots until midnight (whatever those are), $100 bottles, and $4 drinks and beers all night long. If your St. Paddy’s day celebration includes clubbing, put yourself on the guest list for free and hit up this green-themed party.  

A loft party at 2nd Floor Events sounds like a good way to start off the day (which is good, ‘cause there only appear to be time sensitive tickets left). More than a dozen musicians, a 400-person courtyard, and free ping-pong make us pray for good weather. 

Steam Whistle’s annual St. Paddy’s day bash offers you a chance to beat the line… by getting there early. Since tickets will only be available at the door we suggest you camp out to show your commitment to Toronto’s favourite green (bottled) beer. 

Irish for the day? Don’t mind if we do. SPD is a partnership between three Toronto event companies co-hosted at the Amsterdam BrewHouse and the adjacent Shamrock Centre, a waterfront bash featuring DJs, live bands, and local brew. 

If staying in one place isn’t your style, may we suggest this Club Crawl as an appropriate way to spend the evening? Three clubs, line bypass, and no cover for just $20. Starts out at Gravity Sound Bar and winds up at Tequila Jacks. 

Toronto’s official St. Patrick’s Day Parade kicks off at noon at Bloor and St. George. It’ll take about an hour and a half to make its way down to Nathan Philips Square. Or, in Irish speak, the parade will last about four and half pints and probably stumble at the end.

St. Patio’s Day at The Drake puts you in the Sky Yard for a special full-Irish Sunday brunch, Irish-inspired cocktails, and music by DJ Soul Proprietor. Here’s hoping for a light drizzle just to make it as authentic as possible.

Warning: this event does not include alcohol. Well, not until you’re finished anyway. The Achilles St. Patrick’s Day 5K Run/Walk is, instead, a great way to spend your Sunday exercising more than your arms (unless you drink through a very long straw of course). And since it kicks off at the Steam Whistle brewery, you’re camping gear will be useful on Saturday night as well. 

St. Paddy’s Day
Nearly all of the aforementioned bars will be hosting some kind of St. Paddy’s day celebration so be sure to check in with what they’re offering, but we also thought we’d list a few more choice destinations where you can spend your Monday. Just remember, St. Patrick’s Day isn’t an official holiday (yet) so you’re going to want to start feigning ill sometime Friday afternoon so that when you call in sick on Monday morning nobody questions it too much.  

True Irish
Dora Keogh – If you can’t pronounce it, it’s as Irish as they come. Attached to Allen’s on the Danforth, this is one of the most authentic Irish pubs in the city. 

McVeigh’s – You’ll often find Irish ex-pats frequenting this downtown mainstay. Probably not today though, ‘cause, well, you’re there.

The Roy – An authentic Leslieville gem with live music. Its dark wood and convivial atmosphere offer the perfect place to down a pint or three of Guinness. 

Irish Enough
Fox and Fiddle – It actually refers to itself as a British-style pub, which will clearly upset a lot of Irish people, but when every Irish bar in the city is packed it’s nice to look around and see a kilt of any kind. 

If you want to guarantee that you’re in a bar on Monday this is probably the best bang for your buck. All of Fab Concept’s Irish themed bars, which include Brazen Head, Foggy Dew, Pogue Mahone, and Pour House among others, are giving you the chance to buy a t-shirt for $15 that will allow you to bypass the line at any one of their sure-to-be-rammed-full locations.

Not Irish But There’s Beer
(Yes, we realize that most bars have beer, but here are a few of our favourites that will also be promoting the Irish theme.)

The Mill Street Beer Hall will feature their cobblestone stout as the brew of choice as well as offering $10 steins, prizes, live music, and, most importantly, the ability to make reservations.

The Gladstone. The name alone should be enough but you’ll also find DJs, beers, a green theme, and a strange reminder not to bring your cat. 

If you’re only Irish when you dance, then the ladies of Bangs & Blush are throwing the perfect party for you. Fuck It, I’m Irish will be held at Clinton’s and is sure to be one hell of a way to end a week of moral ambiguity.  

So there you are; one great, long list of fun and exciting (and possibly debaucherous) events to carry you all the way from now until next Tuesday. May the luck of the Irish be with you.    

Stay Notable, 

The Weekender 

#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)

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