by Kait Fowlie
As patios make their gradual departure from our lives (sigh), it may come as a shock when we are forced to find other sources of bar – related amusement. Karaoke is all well and good for a laugh when you’re feeling particularly brazen, and I love pool just as much as the next gal, but if you ask me, trivia is by far the most engaging, stimulating and rewarding of all pub activities. (Not to mention the most civilized, if you fancy yourself a classy broad.) Trivia is totally addictive, and has the ability to bring people together like those Johnsonville Brats commercials.
I first became acquainted with pub trivia during an exchange program to Charlottetown, PEI. Anyone from the East coast is sure to be familiar with the trivia phenomenon. People go nuts for it there. Rain, shine, or knee deep in snow, trivia fans will put on their game faces and make the trek to the pub to participate in a shit show of random factoids. I developed a competitive streak due to this craze. Beer just tastes so much better when it’s free, especially when you win it fair and square with what was once arbitrary wisdom. Trivia creates a space for people to bond over obscure 80’s one hit wonders, childhood cartoons, pop culture tidbits and other obscure verities that may happen to be embedded deep in the shady corners of our noggins. If you’ve never gotten down with pub trivia, I highly suggest you get together a crew of your brainiac friends, put on your thinking cap and check out some of the gems in Toronto.
A few words for the green trivia participant: Always get there early enough to snag a table (a lot of trivia nights fill up super fast), cheating with your iphone will result in trivia die-hards ostracizing you, the bigger and more assorted your team, the greater chance you will have at crushing your opponents with wide ranging knowledge. It might be a bit of a task to hunt down good trivia in Toronto, (but that’s what we’re here for, of course!) Take your pick of any one of these pubs for some quirky fun.
Magpie (831 Dundas St. West) – Thursdays at 8 PM. This little place gets packed, so make sure you head over early. $10 per team with a max of 6 people per team. Categories this September include “history, geography, teen idols, and random shit”.
Gabby’s Tuesday evening 7:30 @ Gabby’s Isabella (556 Sherbourne St.) Thursday Evening 7:30 @ Gabby’s (194 Bloor St W.) Individual trivia is also available all week to do with friends.
Fionn MacCools (21 St. Clair Ave) – Tuesday 8:00
The Duke of Somerset (655 Bay St.) – Tuesday at 7:30 P.M. Beer sampling every Tuesday during trivia!
Duke of York (39 Prince Arthur Ave) – Tuesday, upstairs, at 8:00 p.m.
Duke of Kent (2315 Yonge St.)- Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m.
Duke of Gloucester (649 Yonge St.) – Thursdays at 7 PM. First come first serve, so come around 5:30 – 6 if you have more than 4 people in your team.
Paully’s Pub (1240 Yonge St.) Wednesdays 7 PM. This bar is also serious about darts. Warm up for trivia with darts on Tuesday.