Decks and Beers: The Ultimate Canadian Summer Experience

I know decks and beers are a pretty integral part of the summer experience just about everywhere, but there’s this thing in Canada we have called “winter” where life becomes a snowy, rotten nightmare for a few months at a time and most of us choose the route of hibernation to deal with it.

Then spring creeps in with apprehension and is all, “dude, are you freaking done here yet?” and kicks winter out like an insolent tenant.

Enjoying drinks on a deck is actually my favourite thing to do wherever I roam, because it ties up all the best benefits of travel into one neat package: people watching, sampling local brews, and enjoying the warmth of sun on my face.

Here are a few of my fave deck spots in Canada.


My summer patio drinking began in Old Montreal, except there’s the awkward French thing and the locals call it a “terrace.” Cute, right? We camped out here for a couple of hours near the square, where we watched buskers and bachelor parties perform for dozens of people. We also witnessed about 20 couples getting their wedding photos taken.

Ugh, Montreal. Be still my heart.


I had been to Ottawa before, but somehow missed the adorable Irish Village located in Byward Market. This place can be confusing as heck, but there’s a bunch of outdoor decks tucked away in alleyways like the one below.

How cutesy!

Plus there are dozens of outdoor deck opportunities in the main part of the market, and bars and restaurants fill up QUICK on a hot day. Have some Miller Street Lemon Tea beer at The Grand. Just do it.

Aulde Dubliner is also sweeeeet.


We celebrated Cailin’s birthday at the Croc Rock, apparently a cougar bar but with an epic rooftop patio. A MASSIVE rooftop patio. It was a great way to start the evening, even if the scene inside was a little shady and two men chased Cailin and I down the street waving their debit cards when we left.

The Toronto gang.

Sault Ste Marie

The Delta where we stayed had an epic wraparound deck looking out across the water to Michigan. It was kinda weird, knowing just across the way was a different country. Like I said before, borders are weird concepts to island folks like myself.

The food was delish as well. But beware the goose guns sometimes used at the stadium next door: it’s a “gun” that cracks loudly to scare off pesky geese. And I was thinking the whole time geese were majestic, respected creatures. Not so!

St. John’s

Naturally I had to share my local favourite—the Sundeck! Actually, it might be the only real large deck in the city. I’m not sure. But lately I’ve been spending entirely too much time here sucking back Caesars and getting a tan while creeping on guys. Plus they have this thing every Thursday night called 12-for-20…which, turns out, is really 3-for-5. Who knew?

Where’s your favourite deck? I want to visit.

  • July 27 2011

    Not sure what my favourite deck is… probably one in PEI, I’d say ;) I don’t have any particular deck that I return to time and time again, basically if there’s sun, food, and beverages, I’m good to go. Just as long as I’ve remembered a hair elastic so my hair isn’t blowing in my food….

    • August 03 2011

      I always forget one of those, dammit.

  • July 27 2011

    That little deck tucked away in an alley in Ottawa. Use to work there. Every Saturday and Sunday morning i’d pressure wash that deck, stock the bars inside (all 4), and any other duties the manager needed to have the place ready for business.

    • August 03 2011

      Hahaha, NICE! That bar was confusing as hell. Went to find the bathroom and walked into fucking Narnia.

  • July 27 2011

    Looks lovely. I’ve only been in Canada during the winter months. I’ll have to stay on for the summer one year!

  • July 28 2011

    Love outdoor deck and of course great beer and friends. Fortunately where I live its accessible to be outside on deck all year round. I don’t really have to deal with winter weather down here.

    • August 03 2011

      PFFFFFT, stop bragging!!! Hahaha. Just kidding. I’m not sure if I’d EVER get any work done if I lived somewhere southern. ;)

  • July 28 2011

    I want to build an itty bitty house in the alley of the the second picture and live there forever and never leave. Where is your story about partying with William and Kate????!!!!

    • August 03 2011

      Kate wouldn’t let me hang out with them, she thought Will would fall for me! :(

  • July 29 2011

    My favorite deck is at Bud and Alley’s restaurant in Seaside, FL. Overlooks the ocean, and they ring the bell once everyday just as the sun set.
    I believe I’d prefer the summers in Canada. I’m in Tennessee and it’s oppressively hot down here, so sitting on the deck is pretty much out of the question.

    • August 03 2011

      Ahhh, that DOES sound lovely!

      And yeah, you’re right, the deck isn’t fun when it’s too hot. That happened in Ottawa…could barely finish my beer because I was sweating so much it hurt. Yikes.

  • July 29 2011

    I’m from Florida and if there’s one thing we know, it’s hanging out on a deck overlooking the water and drinking rum punch from noon to sunset. Thanks for making me smile!

    • August 03 2011

      Hehe, love how Florida sunsets are in the lead so far! I must go…

  • August 01 2011

    Did I ever tell you about the time I was asked to leave a deck for being a rotten nightmare? Oh boy. I think I need a new joke.

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.