Keeping things interesting in a relationship can sometimes be difficult, especially in this day and age. We live in an era where technology often strips away the simplicity and naturalness of dating. In Toronto, there always seems to be some new dating fad that couples can try out to spice up their love life. And while such fads may help keep things interesting, sometimes it's nice to do something simple instead; like they did back in the old days.
Sometimes less is so much more. Here are 8 places in Toronto that prove that's certainly the case:
1. The Docks (Drive-In Theatre) // 176 Cherry St
The drive-in movie date is definitely a dating standard. It was a popular thing to do even before Danny took Sandy out to a drive-in in Grease. The Docks is probably one of the best places to go for a drive-in movie in Toronto because you get a total feel of the outdoors during your movie; with the flickering of the stars above and the distant sound of the lake waves meeting the shore. Of course, no drive-in is complete without a snack bar! The Docks Drive-In Theatre sells popcorn, sodas and candy to give you and your date the complete drive-in movie experience.
2. Universe Planetarium (Stargazing) // 50 St. George St
Remember when Landon registered a star under Jamie's name, and even built a gigantic telescope from scratch just so she could witness a once-in-a-lifetime meteor in A Walk To Remember? Yeah, chances are you boyfriend isn't going to do that for you. But he could still take you on a stellar adventure at the Universe Planetarium! At least you'll have a Rachel-Ross moment if the Landon-Jamie thing doesn't happen. Bookings can be rather pricey especially if you're planning to rent out the entire auditorium for just you two, so fellas (or ladies), get your wallets ready.
3. Senator Restaurant (Diner) // 249 Victoria St
A date at a diner is as retro as it can get. A great example of a stereotypical diner date would be the one Skip Martin and Jennifer went on in Pleasantville. The Senator Restaurant has been open since 1929 and continues to serve great-tasting food to the Toronto public today. The ingredients they use are always fresh and authentic, and the venue itself is just oozing with 1960's character. If there's one thing you need to order for a complete retro experience, it would be a Senator milkshake - just one though, because you both have to share from the same glass (bendy straws and all).
Photo cred - marinacarstvo
4. Artistic Way (Pottery Class) // 1003 Eglinton Ave W
Perhaps the only reason pottery class is now considered a romantic activity for couples is because of that one scene in Ghost, where Sam caressed Molly from behind ever so gently as they moulded the clay together. That's probably something you and your significant other wouldn't do at a pottery class, but you guys would still have fun at one regardless! Artistic Way offers great pottery classes that you and your date will definitely enjoy. Go here for more information.
5. Rinx (Roller Rink) // 65 Orfus Rd
Skating with your partner at Nathan Phillips Square is always lovely; but bringing your date to a roller rink instead is a great way to put a twist on it! Bring Roller Boogie back and try out Rinx, an entertainment complex that boasts the largest inline skating rink in Toronto. The facility offers various themes that you can choose from, including a retro theme that will really bring you back in time. Once you and your date are skated out, you can also check out the other attractions on site, such as laser tag, bowling, billiards and more.
6. Gaslight at Ed Mirvish Theatre (Live Show) // 244 Victoria St
Back then, only the most suave dudes took their girlfriends to the opera or the ballet. Think Dimitri and Anya in Anastasia (even though technically they weren't going on a date when he took her to the opera). And while those are still date options in this day and age, I think a live theatre show would be a great alternative if you both aren't as passionate about high-octave singing or elegant dance. Gaslight is a show that will definitely interest both males and females alike. It's a psychological thriller based in Victorian times about a retired detective who makes an unexpected discovery in a married woman's home that flips her life completely upside-down. It might not be the most romantic show, but it'll get you guys talking about it afterwards. Get your tickets here.
7. Allan Gardens Conservatory (Nature Stroll) //19 Horticultural Ave
Allan Gardens Conservatory is a particularly great place to bring your date because it offers such beautiful backgrounds for photos. Going to the Conservatory is perhaps as close as you can get to bringing your date to a "secret" garden. It is located within Allan Gardens Park, which itself is over 100 years old and spans a whopping 16,000 square feet. The park may be chilly to visit at the moment, but the Conservatory is perfect for nature lovers who want a springtime feel during the winter! And if afterwards you and your date still want something to do, the Eaton Centre is just a few transit rides nearby so you both can have some Breakfast At Tiffany's-type fun (shoplifting aside, of course).
8. Petroglyph Provincial Park (Scenic Drive) // 2249 Northeys Bay Rd
Leisurely drives are still a thing! Although the Petroglyph Provincial Park is in Peterborough, it's close enough to Toronto for a day trip. It may be too cold to go out for a picnic this winter, but you could still pack a basket of goodies to eat it in the car, like John Robie and Frances Stevens did when they went on a scenic drive in To Catch A Thief. A brisk walk through the mature forests of the park is also a great way to spend quality time with your date.
All the activities above will make for a great date. But if you're a couple that's really into the simple things, you could always just share a bottle of cheap champagne and a bag of potato chips; just like Tom Ewell and Marilyn Monroe did in The Seven Year Itch!