Canada’s best bars and events for summer socialites

For after Champions: After a long day of skiing, snowboarding or biking, the masses flock to Longhorn Saloon & Grill, and for good reason. Nestled in the heart of Whistler Village, this iconic afternoon and party destination is known for popping champagne guns, hosting the world’s top DJs and encouraging tabletop dancing every day.
For big city dwellers: Every party connoisseur needs to mix it up once in a while, so why not add some nostalgia to your next big night on the town? To encounter Greta– a Vancouver-based arcade bar filled with bold artwork, vintage arcade games and a delicious street food menu… It might just end up being your new playground.

For garden adventurers: The opportunities for outdoor adventurers in British Columbia are endless. Every nook and cranny of the vast province offers postcard-worthy scenery, as well as world-class terrain for action and adventure sports. We recommend cold-water surfing in Tofino, exploring Vancouver’s great hiking trails, or exploring the 500 feet of technical descents at Sun Peaks Bike Park, to name a few.

For cowboys and cowgirls: cowboy dance hall in the heart of downtown Calgary, there is always something going on. Go for a live music event or give your wallet the break it deserves on thirsty 75-cent Thursdays. They say they offer “the most fun you can have with your boots”, but go find out for yourself. Cowboys Dance Hall is temporarily closed, so join their mailing list for updates.
For barbecue lovers: The famous Palomino club is an Alberta gem. This two-level smokehouse restaurant by day and independent bar/music venue by night is Calgary’s premier music venue. This place is consistently nominated as one of the top 3 live music venues in Calgary by CBC Radio 3’s listener poll. Hosting genres from country and blues to punk and hip-hop, this sub- musical floor will rock your world.
For garden adventurers: Looking to get out of town? Ride the Trans-Canada Highway and quickly find yourself in the Canadian Rockies. This place will offer endless hiking trails, bright blue lakes, and adorable towns. Or venture into Alberta’s iconic Badlands for Red Bull outliers motocross madness. This two-day event is Canada’s largest challenging enduro race, held on both the technical terrain of the badlands and a custom obstacle course on the streets of downtown Calgary.
Kicking off the race at the 2021 Red Bull Outliers.

Participants in the Red Bull Outliers

© Mason Mashon / Red Bull Content Pool

For history buffs… And drinkers: The legendary Chateau Lafayette is the treasure of Ottawa’s ByWard Market. First opened in 1849, the tavern has gone through many changes but has remained family owned and operated ever since. Enjoy the cozy atmosphere, hand over a Red Bull vodka or two and sing along to the live entertainment six nights a week, with no cover.
For everyday hipsters: Located right in the heart of Toronto with gastropub food and tasty cocktails, Small crate isn’t JUST for hipsters…but they have every hipster’s dream: a pool table. local council? Enjoy happy hour every day with half price pizza and a bottle of wine. Yes, you heard it here first.

For garden adventurers: Ontario may not be known for its big mountains and seaside properties, but you’d be surprised how good a knockoff the landlocked province is. With a dedicated Great Lakes surfing community and swell pounding every corner of the Great Lakes, there’s plenty of surfing to do. Nearby, you’ll also find plenty of mountain bike trails that have everything from steep, technical descents to smooth, flowing transitions.

For saltwater dreamers: Enjoy all the luxury of a beach vacation without the beach by spending a day at Surf Oasis, an indoor hybrid surf resto-bar. Gather your friends and reserve a spot in their unique wave pool, then stock up on plates to share like tacos, burgers and nachos, all washed down with a bowl of fish or two refreshing cocktails inspired by the beach. It’s salt curbs without the salt water, and you don’t want to miss it.
For the biggest night ever: Ever dreamed of experiencing the kind of nightlife that LMFAO would write a song about? Insert New town gas. This internationally renowned historic site in the heart of the Cité Multimédia is by far your best bet. Its 175-year-old walls have hosted over 2,000 artists over the past 10 years, including iconic DJs such as Steve Aioke and Loud Luxury, so strap on your fanny pack and spam the group chat – it’s bound to be a for the books.

For garden adventurers: Eastern Canada is often overlooked when it comes to adventure sports, but this landscape rich in rivers and trails is home to some beautiful action-packed gems. If racing mountain bikes on scenic trails is your thing, take a spin around Quebec City to places like Saint Raymond, Sentiers Du Moulin and Empire 47. Feeling confident? Head to the iconic Mont-Sainte-Anne in Beaupré to try out this world-famous track – home to a stage on the UCI World Cup circuit. For those craving waves, look no further than Montreal river spots La Vague A Guy from June to September and Habitat 67 from May to October to scratch that landlocked surf itch.

The UCI DH MT World Cup course at Mont-Sainte-Anne.

Mont-Sainte-Anne is one of the monuments of mountain biking

© Bartek Wolinski

For the Kings & Queens Last Call: Great food, live music and lots of good times await you at The Roxbury in downtown Halifax. Think of the vibe of a dive bar, but with a major facelift. If you’re looking for a late night grilled cheese followed by dancing with that regular bar, this is definitely the place for you. Oh, and with a $6 late-night food list, it’s likely going to be more than one grilled cheese, but who’s counting?
For true East Coasters: Every town has a quintessential Irish bar, but they seem to be different on the East Coast. If you haven’t experienced one, we recommend getting off the couch and going as soon as possible. You’ll find all the classic Irish ales alongside an epic menu that does it with dinner and late night food, and more. For the best or for the worst, Durty Nelly’s has that “I feel like home” vibe from the moment you walk in. Plus, they have an all-weather patio and epic seafood chowder to lock in the east coast vibe.

For garden adventurers: When it comes to outdoor adventure, there’s no place like Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia. With epic coastal rides, some of the best waves in Canada (if a little chilly), and plenty of beaches to relax on, this is one East Coast stop you don’t want to miss. It might be a bit off the beaten path, but we promise it’s worth the trip.

Durrell Borden captures a winter surf lineup outside of Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia.

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© Durrell Borden

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Joshua B. Speller