There was a time before Ossington Avenue was the go-to bar strip; before there was anything here but automotive repairs and mental health clinics. And then Sweaty Betty’s opened up, the hottest dive bar in Toronto, and so many people wanted to drink in this one 29-capacity spot, that soon the entire street was lined with bars as it is today. Nice work Betty.
It used to be someone’s house, and it still feels like it could be if it wasn’t for the motley crew of drinkers with obscure tats and hipster hats that descend on it at the weekend. It’s cozy and characterful with red walls, fairy lights, framed antique pictures of interesting people and their tattoos and big comfy sofas. Despite the no bull-sh*t attitude of the place, it’s always friendly.
Don’t come for fancy drinks - there is an acknowledged three-ingredient limit on mixed drinks - but there’s good beers on tap and plenty of shots, to get you wasted enough to join in the absurd conversations that get struck up over the bar. In the summer the outdoor patio is awesome, with a bit of a wooden sauna vibe going on, and doubles the capacity. BarChick bought herself a beer, whacked some tunes on the awesome jukebox and prepared to get sweaty.
Photo credit: Tyler Wetherall