A Patio for Every Taste in Toronto
It’s no secret that Toronto is a city that takes patio-hopping very seriously. As soon as it’s warm enough to sit outside without shivering (too much), we take to outdoor tables like honeybees to a flower garden. Not only does the city have an abundance of patios, they come in all shapes and sizes, and there’s one for every mood and occasion. Whether you want to sip a beer in a lakeside setting, from a rooftop with enough room for multiple friends, or in a quiet backyard, there’s a patio in Toronto for you. Leave the car keys at home, hop into an Uber and explore some of the best patios in the city.
On a hot summer night, you can’t get much better than sipping a drink by the water. And in Toronto, there are several ways of ensuring that whatever you’re drinking comes with a view of the lake. Amsterdam BrewHouse boasts one of the largest patios in the city with seating for 350. But despite the size, the patio doesn’t feel overwhelming or impersonal. The best seats in the house are the waterfront-facing Muskoka chairs on the south patio. Or head to Sunnyside Pavilion Café on the west side of the city and grab a seat on one of the best beachfront patios in Toronto. The expansive patio overlooks Sunnyside Beach and it’s an ideal rest stop if you’re biking or walking along the waterfront.
Experiencing warm afternoons or evenings in the city perched atop one of Toronto’s many rooftop patios is a quintessential summer experience. There’s something about seeing the city from above that makes the experience of simply sipping a cocktail or a cold beer that much more special. There’s a reason the Sky Yard at the Drake Hotel is consistently ranked among the best rooftop patios in the city. The vibrant space has ample seating but still feels intimate, and the bar serves up creative cocktails that can be enjoyed with views over West Queen West. Or gaze out over Toronto’s skyline from Mascot Brewery’s Rooftop Beergarden, complete with bold yellow umbrellas, picnic tables, and a food truck serving a small menu of snacks and sandwiches.
Not all patios are ideal for date night. Some are just too big to feel intimate, while others are too loud or crowded to allow for a natural flow of conversation. The perfect romantic patio is one that’s secluded, quiet, and offers an ambience conducive to romance like twinkle lights, candles, and a picturesque setting. The next time you’re looking for a spot to enjoy as a couple, check out the front patio at charming Julie’s Cuban, strung with white Christmas lights and quiet enough for conversation. Other good options include the cozy back patio at Wallflower and the second floor patio at Harvest Kitchen, which is surrounded by tree canopy and twinkle lights.
Backyard patios can make you feel as if you’ve escaped the city for a while, or like you’re simply relaxing with friends at someone’s house rather than being at a bar. They’re particularly relaxing and can also be romantic, depending on the size and location. The relaxed back patio at the Done Right Inn on Queen West is a good bet if you’re looking for something casual, as is the patio at Allen’s on the Danforth. Serene and secluded perfectly describes the back patio at Parkdale’s Raca Café & Bar, while the back patio at Yorkville’s Bar Reyna is stylish and elegant.
Whether it’s for a birthday, some other celebratory event, or you just want to gather a group, sometimes you need room for a crowd when it comes to spending time on a patio. Patios fit for a party need to be spacious, have room to maneuver, and offer ample seating. The Slip at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre has a massive lakefront patio perfect for a big bash, the huge side patio at Bandit Brewery also lends itself well to groups, as does the colourful year-round patio at Mexican spot El Catrin in the Distillery District.
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