Fun & Fabulous

Where to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in 2019

It's time to get your green on! Here are the best options for celebrating St. Patrick's Day this year and not all of our suggestions involve green beer (there are even family-friendly options)
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Green beer, shamrocks, and an opportunity to enjoy good times with good friends — St. Patrick’s Day is all of this, and more, for the Irish, Irish-Canadians, and Canadians alike! Whether you’re Irish by birth, of heart, or only just for the day, chances are you want in on some of the action that comes from one of the most joyous days of the year. Well, you’re in the right place.

No matter where you are in Canada we’ve got the best spots to celebrate St. Patrick’s day in 2019 and we’ve ranked the spots based on how many Irish-by-origin make up the city’s population. The boring part? We did this by examining Canada’s census metropolitan areas (CMAs), or the next largest geographic area, to rank the largest Irish-Canadian populations in Canada. We figure if the green shamrock was in force, the Guinness would flow this St. Patrick’s Day.

1. Peterborough, Ontario – 31.76% Irish

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Peterborough St Patrick’s Day Parade Facebook

Almost a third of Peterborough‘s population is of Irish descent! While Peterborough might be considered a small town in Ontario, what it lacks in size it makes up for in spirit when it comes to St. Patrick’s day celebrations! Their 18th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade is one of the community’s can’t-miss events.

2. Saint John, New Brunswick – 29.84% Irish

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Flickr / Ryan Wolowski

If you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy with friends this year, look no further than O’Leary’s Pub in downtown Saint John. Situated right in the heart of downtown, you can easily let some green beers keep you warm when you’re this close to the water in March.

3. St. John’s, Newfoundland – 29.73% Irish

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Suitcase and Heels

The best way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in St. John’s is to sample all that the local culture offers by conducting your very own pub crawl! All you have to do is walk down two streets: Water Street and George Street, and you’ll find some of the coziest, most comfortable and welcoming Irish bars (like O’Reilly’s Pub and Green Sleeves) in the country. The perfect opportunity to make your very own Irish marathon!

4. Kingston, Ontario – 27.55% Irish

A family portrait of a dad and his two daughters celebrating St.
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As a university town, Kingston residents are always ready to celebrate and St. Patrick’s day is no exception.  This year. try out The Toucan and Kirkpatricks.  This local pub opened on St. Patrick’s day in 1986 and has been a favourite place to celebrate ever since.

5. Charlottetown, PEI – 27.11% Irish

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For those who want to do a little something different this St. Patrick’s Day, you can make your way throughout Charlottetown’s beautiful neighbourhoods with their St. Patrick’s Day 5K & 10K. Starting first thing in the morning, there’s no reason why you can’t have a run and then celebrate with a beer (or two) afterwards!

6. Fredericton, New Brunswick – 26.02% Irish

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The Fourth Well band plays at Dolan’s pub, St. Patrick’s Day 2014

Anyone from Fredericton, New Brunswick will tell you that Dolan’s Pub is one of the places to be any night of the week, but that things are just a bit more special on St. Patty’s Day at this traditional Irish pub. What can you expect? Lots of live music, and lots of Guinness – we wouldn’t want to have it any other way.

7. Halifax, Nova Scotia – 23.57% Irish

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Heading right along the water, and ending in a flag-raising ceremony, the Halifax St. Patrick’s Day Parade is one of the best ways to celebrate being Irish (whether for life or for the day) in the Maritimes. There’s also an after party!

8. Barrie, Ontario – 23.45% Irish

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Designs Plus Barrie

Barrie is known for its nightlife, and St. Patrick’s Day is a day where people really have the opportunity to cut loose. One of the best places to spend the evening is at Donaleigh’s Irish Public House. It helps when you have local Irish band The Flailing Shillelaghs playing from 2:00 in the afternoon, all the way until 1:00 in the morning!

9. North Bay, Ontario – 22.86% Irish

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Moose’s Cookhouse is known for three things: their wings, their beer, and their St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. This is where all, or at least most, of North Bay will be congregating this year during their St. Patrick’s Day festivities.

10. Sarnia, Ontario – 22.71% Irish

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Stoke’s Bay, sitting right on the water, knows how to have fun on St. Patrick’s Day. Not only do they have the staples, like green beer, they have plenty of games, music, and lots of good times. This is Sarnia’s premier location for good times.

11. Oshawa, Ontario – 21.94% Irish

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If you want to celebrate St. Patty’s day at a pub with a reader’s choice award for best wings in Durham, then try out the Waltzing Weasel, in Oshawa, Ont. This pub offers up all kinds of events and activities so you know St. Patrick’s day will be a blast.

12. Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario – 21.35% Irish

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Global News

You can celebrate St. Patricks day in Sault Ste Marie (affectionately known as “The Soo”) by exploring some of its arts and culture at LopLops Lounge.  You can catch the Rising Tide perform on Saturday night.  But buy your tickets soon, as this event always sells out. Or spend the day listening to more traditional music and having fun.  It starts shortly after noon and finishes off with Guinness stew.

13. Whitehorse, Yukon – 20.35% Irish

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Aurora Borealis / NASA

It’s easy to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, even up north! Whitehorse is ringing in the most Irish day of the year with a St. Paddy’s Day concert featuring Johnny Pogue.   The concert takes place at the Best Western Gold Rush Inn, where you can drink green beer and spread the luck of the Irish.  It promises to be an evening of good times and memorable tunes.

14. Victoria, British Columbia – 19.90% Irish

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Victoria’s Irish Times Pub actually has the distinction of being voted North America’s Best Irish Pub, so what better way to celebrate than at this stylish public house? Come here and you’re sure to find lots of friends, traditional Celtic music, and plenty of Guinness!

15. London, Ontario – 19.82% Irish

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London Free Press

London’s Richmond Street is regarded as one of Canada’s best for bar crawls.  So why not plan a pub crawl.  Two to check out include McCabe’s Irish Pub & Grill and Molly Bloom’s Irish Pub & Restaurant. Do you have the stamina? This is the perfect way to find out.

16. Greater Sudbury – 18.70% Irish

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Sudbury Star

Sudbury is ringing in St. Patrick’s Day with The Irish Heritage Club’s annual dinner dance.  It is taking place on March 16, at the Caruso Club! Beyond Ireland will play authentic Irish music.  The festivities will also feature Irish Dancers and great food!

17. Ottawa, Ontario – 18.48% Irish

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Dancing to The Beaus / Ben Welland

One of the Ottawa area’s best craft brewers will be hosting their very own St. Patrick’s Day party that is going to become a can’t-miss event for many years to come. The Beau’s St. Patrick’s Day Party will feature live music, traditional food, activities, and lots and lots of delicious craft beer.

18. Moncton, New Brunswick – 18.27% Irish

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The Daily Gleaner

Moncton celebrates St. Patrick’s Day in style at the Annual St. Paddy’s Day party in the Bunker at the Shediac Legion. There will be Irish stew, meat draws, live Irish music with Charlie Owens and green beer!

19. Thunder Bay, Ontario – 18.18% Irish

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Looking for something a bit more traditional? Head down to Thunder Bay’s Red Lion Smokehouse and enjoy their St. Patrick’s day weekend celebration. This is their last weekend before they move locations so you can expect a huge celebration.

20. Yellowknife, Northwest Territories – 17.84% Irish

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NWT Brewing Company

Franklin Avenue is home to some of the best St. Patrick’s Day festivities in Yellowknife this year. First, head to the Black Knight Pub for your first round (or two) of drinks, and then the NWT Brewing Co for even more fun in the evening. Best of all, you can take a growler home as you stroll through Yellowknife’s Old Town.

21. Kelowna, British Columbia – 17.51% Irish

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A Kelowna favourite, the Tree Brewing Company, will be tapping a 1,000-litre tank of Irish stout, followed by Irish music, dancing, and a strict no-green-beer policy (for those St. Patrick’s Day purists). If you’re looking for a good time, you’ll find it here.

22. Hamilton, Ontario – 17.42% Irish

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For those who call Hamilton (known as “the Hammer”) home, they know that the St. Patrick’s Day Parade is one of the best days to show off your Irish pride. The parade caps off a number of events and is the best way to get your green on and strut your stuff in the city.

23. Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario – 17.10% Irish

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The Record

There is no shortage of Irish pubs in the Kitchener-Waterloo area.  This year, why not try McCabe’s Irish Pub or take a short road trip to Stratford and check out Molly Bloom’s Irish Pub.  Either one will satisfy your need for Irish fare or green beer.

24. Chilliwack, British Columbia – 16.85% Irish

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If you are planning to be in Chilliwack this March 17, celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at Tractorgrease Cafe. There will be a Celtic Night celebration with Murphy’s Lagh featuring traditional Celtic and Irish songs.

25. Regina, Saskatchewan – 15.39% Irish

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If you’re in Regina this year for St. Patty’s Day, the Bushwakker Brewpub is the hands down place to be for all of your celebrations. Featuring Guinness, shamrock lagers, traditional Irish food, dancing, and live music. Need more reason? Head Brewer Michael Gaetz will also be tapping a “firkin” of their ever-popular Irish stout.

26. Medicine Hat, Alberta – 15.29% Irish

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Tourism Medicine Hat

The best place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Medicine Hat is also one of the newest! All you have to do is head to the Lucky Goat. Drinks, food, and fun will be had at one of the contenders for the Medicine Hat News Best of the Best Awards!

27. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – 14.75% Irish

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Global News

An iconic pub right in the heart of Saskatoon, O’Shea’s Irish Pub has always been one of the best places to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the Prairies. You can feast on shepherd’s pie and fish and chips, alongside a crowd of locals who make this a non-stop party on one of the biggest days of the year.

28. Lethbridge, Alberta – 14.42% Irish

Lethbridge, Alberta, St. Patrick's Day
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Lethbridge Herald / Ian Martens

How about celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Lethbridge, Alberta, at the Kingsmen Ale House.  Enjoy traditional Irish dishes and stout for a fun afternoon or evening.

29. Calgary, Alberta – 14.16% Irish

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You can head straight to the source to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Calgary! Head on down to the Teeling Distillery Company for a full tasting of Irish whiskeys, not only to taste some of Canada’s fastest-growing premium spirits but to learn something while you’re at it.

30. Edmonton, Alberta – 14.08% Irish

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If you’re in Edmonton, hit the trails this St. Patrick’s Day for the St. Patrick’s Day Trail Run/Walk. After working up an appetite, you can hit Duggan’s Boundary Irish Pub for all the libations you can handle (and to celebrate with your fellow runners, because a little team spirit can go a long way).

31. Winnipeg, Manitoba – 12.52% Irish

Abbotsford, BC, St. Patrick's Day
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Winnipeg’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is considered one of the best in the country, and for good reason! Lots of folks come out, embark across downtown, and even get to enjoy discounts at local pubs afterwards. Now that’s a winning combination!

32. Vancouver, British Columbia – 11.18% Irish

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Travel Top 6

One of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day parties in Canada happens right in the heart of Vancouver! CelticFest is a celebration amongst all nations of Celtic descent, and St. Patty’s Day is the day where they really have the chance to cut loose. This is one of the area’s biggest festivals, with live music, dancing, and lots of craic (a term for a specifically Irish form of fun).

33. Toronto, Ontario – 9.18% Irish

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The Star

As it happens, Canada’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parade just so happens to occur in Canada’s largest city: Toronto, Ontario. There’s block after block of fun, with pubs to nip into for a quick drink in between floats, a “Grand Marshal’s Ball,” and even a food drive — because St. Patrick’s Day should also be about giving back to your community.

34. Montreal, Quebec – 5.84% Irish

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The epicentre of St. Patrick’s Day fun occurs in one of Montreal’s most iconic bars. The Sir Winston Churchill Pub is three floors of fun, housed in a magnificent building.  It’s like going to 3 different bars but all located in one easy location.  Enjoy St. Patrick’s Day parties at each “scene” or just juice the one that suits you best. Play explorer without ever having to go outside, and always with a fresh drink in hand!

36. Sherbrooke, Quebec – 5.66%

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The Richmond St. Patrick’s Society hosts their annual parade which turns one of Quebec’s most charming cities, Sherbrooke, into an Irish enclave all its own. In fact, if you like an extended party, events happen all month long.  Sherbrooke is definitely the place to be in March for anyone who loves all things Irish.

36. Quebec City, Quebec – 4.92% Irish

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The best part of the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Quebec City is both the jovial atmosphere and the age-old streets that help bring a little bit more European ambience to the festivities. Stroll the cobblestone streets and feel like you’re in Dublin, all while watching how “Quebec goes green” in 2019.

37. Trois-Rivieres, Quebec – 3.76% Irish

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Globe and Mail

There are two iconic destinations to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day in Trois-Rivieres: Le Trefle and Le Nord-Ouest. Located only moments away from one another, you could spend the entire day bouncing between the two, with good beer, food and fun times this St. Patty’s Day.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, the Canadian way!

These are just some of the best places to kiss the proverbial Blarney stone. No matter if you’re on the coast of the Pacific, down by the Great Lakes, or way up north – we hope you have a fun, responsible, and (safely) rambunctious St. Patrick’s Day this year! Compliments of Zolo.

Source: Census 2016, Statistics Canada, Ethnic Origin

Max Specht
Max Specht

Nothing makes Max Specht happier than telling people where to go and what to do—and not in an authoritative sense. He prides himself on being a tour guide par excellence and has the recommendations to prove it.

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