The Big 150

The Laff — The city’s oldest tavern “an asylum from battles outside”

Everyone from Justin Bieber to Sir John A. Macdonald, it’s rumoured, has quaffed a cold one at The Laff. Built in 1849 and originally named Grant’s Hotel, it’s the city’s oldest tavern. In fact, it brags it was “serving Ottawa before it was even Ottawa” and lays claim to being the capital’s “original dive bar.” Pouring drinks throughout various incarnations, and the occasional bar fight, it officially became Chateau Lafayette in 1936. Lucky Ron has sung there every Saturday since 1999.

On the menu: the onomatopoeic Skwik Skwik (deep-fried cheese curds with green peppercorn gravy). Said operations manager Deek Labelle in 2015, It will remain as it began: an asylum from the battles taking place on the outside.”