This colorful looking place is P.J. O’Brien’s, a very atmospheric Irish pub located at 39 Colborne Street, on the very edge of the central business district of Toronto, Canada. This little stucco-faced building is nestled beneath a bunch of skyscrapers, mostly bank towers. It’s sort of a sleeper, one of those places you wouldn’t notice unless you’re looking for it–or looking for a drink.
I have been to this pub, and I’ve had some pretty awesome times here. I have a lot of friends in Toronto, and one friend in particular (“Garth,” you know who you are!) and I make it a point to have a drink here every time I’m in the city. The inside is very Irish. It’s full of wood paneling, old framed photos, brass taps and traditional Irish music. Among other mementos, there is, framed on the wall, an original copy of the Belfast Accords–the treaty signed in 1998 that ended, without further bloodshed, the IRA’s campaign of terrorism in Northern Ireland–with genuine original signatures.
The best place to visit a pub like this is at about 4:00 on a Friday afternoon, in the late winter–say, February or early March. The atmosphere in a place like this is electric. You can get a good beer on tap and if you visit with a good friend, you’ll be enjoying life.