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Ceili Cottage

Irish Around the World: The Céilí Cottage

This is the first feature in our new series “Irish Around the World”, where we look at Irish people, businesses, communities and organisations from across the globe. 

In our first feature we chatted with Patrick McMurray who built his very own classic Irish pub in Toronto, Canada! 

When and where was the Céilí Cottage opened?

We opened in 2009 in Leslieville, an East End region of Toronto. If you’re in the neighbourhood you can find us at 1301 Queen Street East!

Why was it opened?

I've always wanted to build a wee pub. A place I could goto after work myself (I had a downtown OysterBar at the time). 

My kids are Irish Dancers and their teachers we're looking for a new studio when an old car garage (that I secretly loved) came on the market. So we worked together to create a pub in 1/3 of the building, and the dance studio in the rest of the space. Voila, The Céilí Cottage was born.  

Do you have any famous nights or funny stories?

Too many to recount! Our New Years Eve – the countdown and everything – is always pretty memorable. Everyone is usually dancing on the bar by 10pm...

Ceili Cottage 2

What's one unique thing about the Cottage?

It feels like a pub from the West of Ireland. We burn real turf so the Cottage smells like a place from Ireland and this is what the folks from Ireland keep telling us.  

That and we have an Oyster Bar. I'm a 2002 World Champion Oyster Opener (from the Galway Oyster Fest) and Guinness World Records Book Champion Shucker shucking 39 oysters in 1 minute..

Have you ever had any visitors from the Emerald Isle?

Often, even daily! The pint of Guinness is well done, and the food is great - right down to the Irish oysters we import from The Kelly's of Clarenbridge in County Galway.

Do you host any Irish traditional nights or any big events annually?

Every Tuesday at 8pm we offer a Trad Session between 6-8pm with up to 20 players joining in!  

We also have Saint Patrick's Week which runs for more than just the 17th. After that we have different cultural events across the weeks and months - Music, Dance, and even our own Oyster Shucking Contest!

Are there any plans for the future of the Cottage?

We’re always re-inventing with the seasons and we eventually hope to open a few more of them. Know any old car garages nearby? 

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If you want to find out more about Patrick and The Ceili Cottage check out their website by clicking here or their Facebook page here!

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