The Best Happy Hour Specials in Toronto

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Happy Hour Toronto

Where Happy Hour Began

The practice of holding a 'happy hour' designated to entertainment can be traced back to the United Sates Navy during 1914. 'Happy hour' denoted a time for entertainment, which included boxing, movies, and dancing for the crew while the ships were at sea.

happy hour history

Ironically, 'happy hour' was not associated with alcohol until prohibition. In the early 1900s, as a measure to save grain for producing food for the war efforts and to maintain general civility, the Volstead Act (1919) was passed. Prohibition went into affect the following year, in which the U.S. prohibited the manufacturing and sales of alcoholic beverages.

Despite the new legislation, prohibition was very difficult to enforce. People started hosting 'happy hour' before eating at restaurants, where alcohol was banned. 'Bootlegging' (the illegal production and sale of liquor) and the rise of speakeasies (illegal drinking establishments) became dominant. When prohibition ended in 1933, the concept of drinking before dinner stuck around.

Perhaps it was because of the ad industry boom of the 1950s, or the new work-life of post WWII, restaurants and bars began holding regular 'happy hours' , baiting their patrons with discounted cocktails and bar food ahead of the dinner rush.

Is Happy Hour Legal in Ontario?
  • In 1984, Ontario announced a happy hour ban. The government claimed happy hour puts too many drunks on the highways.
  • In 2007, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario adjusted the ban, making it legal for bars to change their drink prices but prohibited them from advertising it as 'happy hour' or 'cheap drinks'.
  • Finally, in 2019, the Ford Government returned happy hour to Ontarians.
  • Happy hour is now legal in all Canadian provinces, though they must conform to provincial regulations that may limit promotional hours, and set minimum alcohol pricing.
  • Happy hour is still banned in many U.S. States: Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Utah and Vermont.

The Best Happy Hour Deals in Toronto

The next time you are with co-workers for Happy Hour, remember to raise a glass in honor of the Navy, the prohibition rebels, and sure, even Doug Ford.

Ready to save some dollars and find hotspots for cheap drinks in Toronto? Here at Dealiem, we've found thousands of happy hour specials near you, all on our Deals App. Our shortlisted favorite food & drink specials, and the best happy hour spots below broken down by West, Downtown, and East Toronto:

Happy Hour in West Toronto
Liberty Commons
Liberty Commons - 42 Liberty St, Toronto

"Farm-to-table cooking & craft beer at this Liberty Village modern brewpub."

The Deal

$4.50 AGD beer (14oz),
$8 select wines (5oz),
$8 no sharing nachos
Everyday: 2-6pm,

Bar Neon
Bar Neon - 1226 Bloor St W, Toronto

"Quaint back patio, chill vibe, and delicious Mediterranean dishes made from scratch with great happy hour specials at this Bloordale local bar."

The Deal

$1 oysters,
$6.25 pints
Everyday: 5-7pm

Drake sky yard patio
The Drake Hotel - 1150 Queen St W, Toronto

"Queen West is voted the 2nd coolest neighborhood in the world by Vogue, and the Drake Hotel is definitely one of the coolest spots for drinks, nightlife, entertainment, and a wicked rooftop patio."

The Deal

$5 Drake Art House Ale,
$6 select wines.
$10 cocktails,
$5 snacks
Weekdays: 3-6pm

Death and Taxes Free House
Death & Taxes - 1154 Queen St W, Toronto

"Lively pub with a side patio serving craft beer & a varied menu, plus brunch on weekends."

Our favorite Deals

$4.50 Bomber Lager (16oz)
$6 glass of wine (red/ white/ rose 6oz)
Mon-Fri 2-4pm
1/2 price pizzas Tues
buck-a-shuck oysters Wed

Brazen Head Irish Pub
Brazen Head - 1154 Queen St W, Toronto

"Irish-themed bar with pub grub, TV sports, an exposed-brick interior & 2 levels of outdoor seating with great daily specials and happy hours."

The Deal

$6 daily draught
$4.50 rails
$10 calamari, chicken wings
$9 fish tacos
daily 3-6pm, 9pm-close
buck-a-shuck osysters Fri, 4pm-clos

Happy Hour in Downtown Toronto
King taps
King Taps - 100 King St. W

"Multi-level beerhall with 50 beers on tap, pub staples, sports & outdoor seating."

The Deal

$4 King Taps Pale Ale,

$5 house wines,
$14 tacos x 3

Daily: 2-5pm,

Sun-Thurs: 9-close

1/2 off bottles of wine

Tues & Wed

Melrose on Adelaide - 270 Adelaide St. W

"Initimate charcuterie & Cocktail bar in the Entertainment district with great food and drink specials."

The Deal

$5 draft beer,
$7 glasses of wine,
$10 cocktails,
$20 charcuterie boards
Daily 4-7pm
buck-a-shuck oysters Sun
1/2 off bottles of wine Wed

Earl's King
Earl's - 150 King St. W

"Sleek and upscale, serving gourmet burgers, global comfort food, cocktails, wines, beers & too many happy hour specials and daily deals to list."

Our favorite Deals

$5 Margherita pizza,
$7 chicken tacos,
$4 select beers (12oz),
$6 sangria (5oz)
Everyday: 2-5pm,
1/2 off bottles of wine Tues

Pablo's Snack House
Baro (Pablos Snack House) - 458 King St. W

"Latin inspired shareable plates, for an intimate hangout on the 2nd floor, and one of the best rooftop patios in Toronto"

The Deal

$5 Estrella Damm,
$5 select glasses of wine,
$5 for 5 oysters,
$5 Chips & Salsa, Empanada,
$9 French 75 Cocktails

Tues-Sat: 5-8pm

Craft Beer Market
Craft Beer Market - 1 Adelaide St. E

"Restaurant, bar, and beer garden with happy hour food and drink specials, and too many deals to list."

Our Favorite Deals

$4 Craft House beer,
$5 moscow mules,
$4 fish taco,
$4 crispy chicken slider

Mon-Sat: 2-5pm,
All day Sun

1/2 off pizza,
1/2 off wines on tap


Cactus Club the deck
Cactus Club - 77 Adelaide St. W

"Views, vibes, and a long list of happy hour food & drink specials, with a hip rooftop patio."

Our Favorite Deals

$4 Longboard Lager,
$5.75 select wines,
$5-9.50 cocktails,
$6 yam fries
Everyday: 2-5pm,
Sun-Thurs: 10pm-close
1/2 off bottles of wine

Tues & Wed

East Thirty-Six
East Thirty-Six - 36 Wellington St. E

NOTE: temporarily closed due to Ontario's ban on indoor dining. "Trendy cocktail bar, great music, and one of the longest happy hour we know of. The perfect intimate setting for a Toronto date."

The Deal

buck-a-shuck oysters,
$6 draft beer,
$9 Cocktails & Martinis
>Mon-Fri: 4-9pm

Happy Hour in East Toronto
East Thirty-Six
Maison Selby - 592 Sherbourne St

"French bistro fare & craft cocktails presented in a sophisticated, historical setting in Upper Jarvis."

The Deal

$6 select craft beers Thu-Sun: 3-6pm

Local leaside
Local - Leaside - 180 Laird Dr, East York

"Slick, stylish neighbourhood tavern with elevated pub grub, a rooftop patio, small plates, craft beers, & a wonderful happy hour menu." West enders can check out Local - Liberty Village.

Our Favorite Deals

$4.50 rails (1oz),
$6 select pints
Everyday: 3p-6pm,
$6 Yam Fries,
$8 Pinche Beef Tacos,
$11 Hot Wings,
$1 Local Burger
Mon-Fri: 3p-6pm,
Everyday: 9pm-close

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Quy T.

Quy T.

Co-founder of Dealiem, data enthusiast with a passion for building products and finding great deals.

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