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politics

Where to Watch the U.S. Presidential Election in Toronto

Want to watch the election with others? Here are some places to go.

Photo from {a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/barackobamadotcom/8123745123/in/set-72157631853695807"}the Obama Campaign's Flickr account{/a}.

You probably can’t vote in Tuesday’s U.S. presidential election, either because you’re not a US citizen, or because you are a U.S. citizen but you forgot to register to vote from abroad. (In which case you’re lazy, and you should feel bad.)

But that doesn’t mean you can’t watch the votes be tallied. Why shouldn’t you? Election-night news coverage is unbelievably entertaining. After a few hours of suspense, some lucky contestant is going to win a four-year stint as the chief executive of Canada’s most important ally and trading partner.
 
Here are some places you can go if you’d like company while you watch the show.

For the Obama fans:
 
Democrats Abroad is holding an election-viewing party in the Sheraton’s Dominion ballroom, complete with a cash bar, a silent auction, and live entertainment. You can sip cocktails and chortle with your comrades, like the wealthy leftist ideologue Romney voters imagine you are. (Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, 123 Queen Street. 7 p.m. Admission $25 at the door.)

For the Romney fans:

Or, there’s always the Republicans Abroad party at the Harbour Sports Grille, on Yonge Street. A concentrated gathering of right-leaning election watchers is bound to be a rare thing in NDP-loving downtown Toronto, so anyone of the Romney-supporting persuasion would do well to go here. Enjoy the delicious irony inherent in rooting for an aristocratic teetotaler at a working-class sports bar. (Harbour Sports Grille, 10 Yonge Street. 7:30 p.m. Admission $20 at the door.)

For the gay crowd:

The Toronto Gay Professionals Club is hosting an election party on the second floor of the Ballroom. If you happen to be a successful gay man, you’re probably welcome to join. And there’s even a bowling alley downstairs, should you feel the need to celebrate (or commiserate) after the media has declared a winner. (The Ballroom, 145 John Street. 8 p.m. $12 in advance. No door tickets available.)

Photo by {a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/edebell/8084736019/in/photostream"}edebell{/a}, via Flickr.

For the nerds:

The Academy of the Impossible is hosting a campaign party geared specifically to the tastes of Toronto’s young politics nerds. The invite promises a “live comedic podcast” that will recount some of the highlights of the campaign, as well as “special guests.” This is the place to be if you’re under 30, or if you have reason to expect that you’ll spend more time tweeting about election night than actually following it on TV. (Academy of the Impossible, 231 Wallace Avenue. 7:30 p.m. Free.)

For the drunks:

Almost any sports bar in Toronto will probably put the news on a TV for you, if you ask nicely. But here are some places that have promised us they’ll be showing election coverage all night.

West End: The Rhino (1249 Queen Street West) has a huge beer menu and pretty good food. They’ll be showing the election on all their TVs, including the big screen near the back of the bar.

Downtown: The Football Factory (164 Bathurst Street) is ordinarily a soccer destination. But there’s no soccer game on Tuesday, so the bar will be turning its impressive audiovisual array (including a surround-sound rig) to election-viewing purposes. George Stroumboulopoulos is said to be a regular, if that’s any enticement at all.

Midtown: The Longest Yard (535 Mount Pleasant Road) loves politics, and has been holding news-watching parties during various elections, both American and Canadian, for years. The pub’s presidential bash will include a $5 betting pool on the outcome of the election, as well as special Obama- and Romney-themed burgers. Staff say they’re expecting a full house, so make reservations. Etobicoke-dwellers can go to the Longest Yard’s other location, near Bloor Street and Islington Avenue (3313 Bloor Street West), for a similarly decked-out election experience.

Suggested by commenters and others:

East End: The Ben Wicks (424 Parliament Street) will be showing the election, for the enjoyment of any Cabbagetowners that should happen to wander in. [Suggested by Benoit]

East End: The Projection Booth, a Gerrard Street East repertory cinema, will have the election broadcast up on its screen, and the party invite promises pizza and beer. (The Projection Booth, 1035 Gerrard Street East. 9 p.m. Admission is free, but we couldn’t reach the management to find out whether the same is true of the pizza and beer. Probably not.) [Suggested by eastender]

Downtown: Clinton’s (693 Bloor Street West) will be showing the election. They’re also offering deals on beer and wings. [Suggested by Chris Riddell]

Downtown: Davenport NDPers will be going to The Caledonian for an orange-tinged election gathering. (The Caledonian, 856 College Street. 8 p.m. Free.) [Suggested by Rachel Lissner]

Or, you could just watch at home.

ABC’s livestream should be a good election-viewing option for anyone who would rather not move more than three feet away from a computer.

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