The Hoser’s Guide to the 105th Grey Cup: Part 1 – The Essentials

“Plan ahead eh!  Experts advise always having a two week supply of fresh beer in case of Grey Cup weekend.”

Getting Around Bytown

Your options from the airport to the city center are limited to bus (free, see below), taxi or Uber.  A taxi from the airport to downtown will average $37.  Uber collects at pillars 12 and 13 outside level 1.

Just about everything this year is split between Lansdowne Park and the ByWard Market, which kinda stinks because they aren’t walking distance apart.  However, there is a free shuttle running every 30 minutes between the Shaw Centre (ByWard Market) and Lansdowne, plus here’s the the big news:

Your Grey Cup Ticket Doubles as a Bus Pass!

Says so right here!  Show your game day ticket to any OC Transpo bus driver or staff and that’s it!  Free lift anywhere in the city from Wednesday until Monday!!!  The rest of the country sure could learn a thing or to two from these guys.

If like me, you get uncomfortable without a beer in hand, can’t wait, or just can’t lower yourself to take public transit, Taxis and Ubers should be ubiquitous.

Autographs, Pictures and Grey Cup Rings

…and that’s the last thing I remember before waking up in the hallway with a new face.

Over the years I’ve run into many past/present players and never once did anyone refuse to sign an autograph or pose for a picture.  Everyone’s your drinking buddy at Grey Cup.  Be on the look out for:

  • Players coming and going from hotels as you walk by.
  • Roped off VIP areas in the parties.  Many players are invited in free but sometimes are the only people inside, longing for interesting people like you to reminisce with.
  • Grey Cup rings on the fingers of the guy beside you.  The owners always let you try them on.
  • Linemen at all you can eat restaurants.  I ran into the entire Bomber O-line in Vancouver at 99.
  • Retired players walking home from the Spirit of Edmonton after close.  This seems to happen to me every year.
  • Official signings at Grey Cup HQ (Lansdowne).  The TSN panel will be there as will many other players.  Times are usually posted somewhere in HQ.
  • QBs making out with women that aren’t their wives (true story).

The No Fun Laws of Ontario

Buying take away booze or beer inside the Fiefdom of Ontario is a trial of one’s patience.  Liquor can be purchased from the LCBO — that’s it.  However, you’ll find beer/cider at the LCBO, Beer Store (no cider, because laws) and increasingly now, grocery stores.

Progress I suppose.  Don’t even think about buying it before 11am or after 11pm though.  Thanks Kathy?

Drinking age is 19 in Ontario and licensed establishments can be very hard about having proper photo ID despite your bald head.  I have been removed from venues, not because of my age, but because my ID was a couple of days passed expiry.  Beware.

You may witness an open container or two on the streets of Ottawa this weekend but I don’t recommend trying it yourself.  Police officers have long believed it’s good luck for them every time a beer sacrifice is made to the gods of asphalt.

A tradition that goes all the way back to prohibition.  Sniff.

Next: Parties, Ranked

Back to The Hoser’s Guide to the 105th Grey Cup.

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