After a brief stint in politics Sunday morning, a deer in Oshawa clearly needed a drink.
So it went to a downtown bar, jumped through the window and spent several hours onstage.
“[The bartender] goes, ‘You’ve got to call your mom. She’s barricaded in the kitchen, because there’s a deer that broke through the window,'” said Dino Iezzi, owner of the Atria Bar and Grill.
It all started Sunday morning, when a few deer headed downtown from the Oshawa Creek Ravine, said Durham Regional Police Staff Sgt. David McDougall.
The four-legged, furry constituents seemingly wanted a word with local MPP Jennifer French. So two or three deer broke into her office by smashing through the window, he said.
The deer did a tour of French’s office, knocking over a plant and boardroom chairs — and enjoying being near the seat of power.
“I have a comfortable chair in the corner of my office that I think it looks like [the deer] was trying to spend some time in,” said French.
Runs into bar, jumps on stage
When police officers arrived, the deer fled the scene. But while the others went home, one deer wasn’t quite done with its Sunday outing.
Like some politicians, the deer finished a day’s work by hitting the bar. Literally.
The deer ran a few more blocks downtown and jumped through the window of the Atria Bar and Grill — to the shock of the two women working inside.
“I guess the deer was running through the bar, trampling everything,” said Iezzi, who got the unexpected call from his bartender that morning.
The deer got onto the Atria stage, and was trying to get through the kitchen doorway — where Iezzi’s mother was trapped inside.
“For some reason my mum was going to try to scare the deer off, but I guess she got a little freaked out so she ran into the kitchen,” said Iezzi, who’s been reviewing security footage.
“The deer just kind of stood there right on stage for four…five hours,” he said. His mother eventually escaped through a basement door.
“I’m not sure if it was waiting for karaoke to start, or what,” said McDougall, who noted that one man was also having a drink at the bar during the ordeal.
Deer had minor injuries
Several police officers came to the scene, but the deer stayed onstage until a local vet and the Ministry of Natural Resources arrived.
They tranquillized the animal, stitched up its wounds and brought it to a local wildlife centre for eventual release, McDougall said.
He said the deer had minor injuries, but is doing fine.
The deer was in the bar all afternoon — but the Atria Bar and Grill still opened in time for its weekly Sunday night jam.
“I thought it was just us animals partying there all these years, but I guess the deer like it, too,” laughed Iezzi.
‘Quite a day’ in Oshawa
Throughout the day, several people stopped outside to watch the scene unfold.
Erum Khan was sitting in her car Sunday morning, when she heard the bar window shatter.
She looked up, and saw a deer’s hind legs sticking out the bar window, before the whole deer got inside.
“It just went right through,” she remembered.
Khan saw the deer running around the bar trying to get out, with its face and neck bleeding, she said.
Outside, police taped off the area, while several people stopped by to take pictures, said Khan. Her car was trapped inside the police tape, so she was there for the entirety of the deer saga.
“It’s a downtown city, so you wouldn’t expect to see a deer flying through a window of a bar like that,” she said, adding that it was sad to see the animal injured and stuck.
While the MPP’s office will be closed for a few days so the damage can be repaired, French said she’s glad the deer is getting the care it needs.
“There are always a number of issues that bring people to our office. It must have been a very pressing need to bring it in on a Sunday,” she laughed.
“It’s been quite a day in Oshawa. I’m at a hockey game right now and everybody is talking about the downtown Oshawa deer.”
An unusual event
While they’ve had brushes with wildlife, McDougall said they’ve never had deer heading downtown before — and certainly not into buildings and bars.
He has “no idea” why it happened.
Meanwhile, Iezzi said he’s just glad the deer is alive and well.
“I’m still freaked out,” said Iezzi. “I’m glad that they didn’t put him down and it’s a happy ending…I have a broken window, but it’s no big deal.”
And at the very least, the day inspired some good jokes. Buck a beer, anyone?