After a bit of a hiatus (these things happen) we are back pub walking. This is a great walk, but a fair challenge. It takes 1 1/4 hours at a fast clip, subway to pub, longer if you explore or stroll. Return walk takes half that time. This walk can be done in all seasons, but has a couple of poorly lit sections. Suggest then, that outward walk be done in daylight with ample wandering time. The walk starts and ends at the subway, so return journey can be via TTC if the first section provided sufficient exercise for one day.
Leave Eglinton West subway and cross south to Everton, which is directly across from the station. Proceed south to enter Cedarvale park. You are warned not to play golf of make noise after 11:00pm. Other activities, we assume, are permitted. Follow the path south, past the intersecting paths down to the arena. Lots of friendly dogs and owners will provide entertainment.
Keep going south, skirting the east side of the arena and at the edge of the parking lot turn east, following the fence and benches up to the road. We assume that a path leads this way, but at walking time snow obliterated such evidence.
At the Cedarvale park sign, the road Humewood is evident. Do not venture here, move east instead along Heathdale, which is signposted later. At Glencedar turn north and cross the ravine using the pedestrian bridge. You get a great view of the park, and in less inclement weather, should return and more fully explore the ravine.
Through the gates at the north end of the bridge, turn right along Strathearn. There are ravine building lots for sale, but we venture that they are out of the price range of most beer drinkers, even if you favour fancy microbrews.
Cross Bathurst, continue east along Burton and turn right at Glenayr. There are few wanderers in these parts. You may chat with the mailman or the odd renovator/workperson, but most residents seem to like to isolate themselves in fancy vehicles. The red brick street paving, indicates special treatment, but the surface apparently is no better than asphalt when faced with Canadian winter.
Proceed down the hill to join the ravine again. Enter the park through the barricade, pass 3 lampposts and veer left, NE, towards the children's playground, a pink and blue plastic beacon. At said structure, head east, back to the road. You will find yourself on Relmar, leading to Lonsdale, where you will turn left to Spadina and Forest Hill Village. Here you have a plethora of coffee shops, but no pubs. Take a break if necessary, before proceeding on.
Cross Spadina and follow Lonsdale east past Grace-on-the-Hill Church and Bishop Strachan School. Turn north at Warren. The school, if construction is a sign, must be doing OK. Take the first right [no sign] but house # 3 Frybrook indicates the street. Is this a single house?!
Cross Dunvegan and go left up Forest hill past Upper Canada College. Take the next right to go east on Kilbarry.
Cross Avenue. You might want to bring a book to while away the time, waiting for the light to change. Do not assume that the eventual red light will stop the cars here. You may need to practice appropriate hand gestures, or use colourful language.
Continue east to Lacelles. Turn north into the park where you bear right towards another children¹s playground, yellow this time. Exit the park, crossing Chaplin and continue north on Collin. Take the second right, Tranmer, to Duplex. Proceed north to Manor and cross the subway tracks via the footbridge.
You have made it! Go north, one street to 2140 Yonge, the Blue Meaney.
This is a cozy, intimate venue. Seats 50, but a patio out back doubles the size. Am waiting anxiously to drink beer in the sun. Décor is blue (surprise), Toronto Maple Leafs (more blue), but not a beer to be found with that motif. This pub touts itself as a 'microbrew freehouse' and does have an excellent selection. It is a welcome addition to the 'great beer' scene and rivals its competition with its choices.
A welcoming feature is the bar which actually has stools with backs and hooks for coats, so you can sit in comfort for a change. Smoking is permitted, so do not bring the kiddies to test the bar stools. There are daily specials including $12.00 pitchers on Sunday, probably one of the best microbrew deals around. Wednesday offers you wings and a pitcher of Amsterdam for $19.99, Thursday gives you the feature pint for $4.99 and Friday gives you gourmet pizza and Steam Whistle for $9.95. Beer can be tasted before you commit.
Food is relatively routine but good. $5.99 lunch specials are a great deal. Most offerings have a beer influence, simmered in, spiced with, beer battered. If all else fails it comes with McAuslan mustard. Vegetarian meals are a bit sparse, but there are good salads and pizza options. Currently the bar is open for lunch till the wee hours Mon.- Fri., with 4:00pm opening Sat. and 3:00pm opening Sun. Weekend brunch is in the offing. Live blues on Sunday evening are an added feature.
This is a relatively new establishment so we suggest you try it while it is still undiscovered by the masses.
To return to subway or car, proceed north to Yonge and Eglinton. Here the tired can pop on the subway to return home or hail the Eglinton west bus to relocate their car. The hardy, health conscious or token-less can stroll along the Eglinton Way, browsing in the shops, trying new pubs and generally enjoying the city.