Canadian Tire Centre concerts and games are a fun time, but where do you go to drink before and after? It can be tricky, given the location of the centre. Here’s some top spots to (park), drink, and celebrate at before and after Sens games and concerts at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa.
Moxies Grill & Bar
Moxies is a popular restaurant franchise (that started in Ontario), and Kanata’s location is probably one of the most popular. It’s a hotspot in the summer for business professionals, dates, and friend groups to gather in Kanata Centrum. Its also one of the most popular spots for dinner and drinks before and after Sens games and concerts. You can choose to sit on the bar side, dining room side, or on the patio in the summer. The patio has some great seating options, is well lit, and comes with great service. It’s also super close to Kanata’s movie theatre, for anyone looking to do dinner and a movie. Many people will park at Centrum and walk or cab to the Canadian Tire Centre. It’s a bit of a far walk (about 20 minutes), but the slow traffic makes it a feasible option.
Moxies is an A-1 spot for appetizers and drinks. Their wine list is top-tier, and so are their house specials (like Peach Bellinis and Hard Lemonades) when there, make sure you take a look at their summer drink list.
Because Moxies is such a popular spot in Kanata, calling ahead for a reservation is a great idea.
For any Sens fans or concert goers who double as beer lovers, 3 Brewers is THE spot.
3 Brewers is a patio made for beer lovers. This Micro Brewery is a sprawling two-story location in the heart of Kanata Centrum. That’s right, a two-story patio, amid a brewery. For large groups, the restaurant also has some private sections available for booking.
Food is casual but great, and their wide selection of beer makes this a top choice and bustling location on Kanata’s game nights. It’s in the heart of Centrum, so a 20 minute walks, or 5-minute cab ride, awaits anyone heading to the Canadian Tire Centre.
The Royal Oak
Away from Centrum but close to the CTC is The Royal Oak, just off Carp Road, into Stittsville. This is a great spot to get some bites and beer before games/concerts, and its just off the highway. If you’re coming from Renfrew or Carleton place (EAST on the highway), this is a great way to bypass traffic and get off at the exit before.
The Royal Oak has great pub fare and modern bites, too. It’s a great atmosphere with friendly service and a great collection of craft beer on tap. The ride to the CTC will be about 8 minutes, 15 with traffic. For the adventurous, the walk will be about 25 minutes.
Parking, Walking, What To Know
If you’ve never been the CTC before, there’s a few things you should know:
While this is a given for any major event, the CTC is especially problematic when it comes to access. Traffic can block the highway all the way up into Ottawa, so its always a good idea to leave early. If you totally want to beat the rush of a 7:00 game, your best choice is to get to Kanata around 3:30 – 4, for dinner (where these spots will come in handy).
Parking at the CTC is Expensive
There isn’t too many ways out of parking at the CTC: no privately owned lots with better deals, or public areas to park for those who are willing to walk. Parking will cost about $25 – $30, and will take some time to get into.
The best option is to 1) arrive early, park, and cab to your restaurant. You’ll still be in traffic to get back, or you can walk, but the hard work of parking is done.
2) Park at centrum and cab/taxi. Again, still a bit of a wait, but you get to enjoy Centrum before the game or concert, and your car is there afterwards, too, meaning you don’t have a lot of traffic to deal with afterwards.
Other Things To Know:
Make a Reservation
Though most spots won’t take reservations on game days, the hostess will be able to let you know when the best time to come is to get a table.
Fill Up On Food, Not Beer
Everything at the CTC will be highly priced, so make sure to fill up beforehand. But, they are also very strict on drinking: if you seem intoxicated, you won’t get in. So keep it the drinking to a minimum and focus instead on getting your fill of eats before heading into the CTC.
Security will check all of your bags. Don’t try to smuggle in any alcohol. You aren’t allowed to bring in any liquids whatsoever. Even water bottles. You get a pat-down before entering, so the old coat trick while not work here, either.
There Are A Ton Of Spots To Drink On Site
Although we said that the CTC is expensive for drinks and food, know that you will be able to buy all kinds of beer and food while you’re in there.
Lines To Get In Move Well
Traffic and food line move very slow, but the one thing that is fairly fast is the entrance lines: getting in and through security should take no more than 20 minutes MAX. BUT, if you’re coming from Centrum, you need to factor in the traffic (even for those couple of blocks) and the line. To make the start of the game or concert, leave a whole 40 minutes before the start time.
The First People Out Avoid The Traffic
An old trick is to leave the game or concert about 15-10 minutes before it ends. If you can spare seeing those final scenes, you can save yourself a wealth of time, beat traffic, and get a spot at your favourite bar afterwards.
Don’t Drink & Drive
Though a bit obvious, cops are everywhere on game and concert nights to keep people safe. If you plan on drinking, have a ride plan to get you home, don’t drink and drive.