Toronto you've dealt with snowstorms and the coldest February on record. So you totally deserve the warm weather we've been having lately. Bars and restaurants across the city are FINALLY opening their patios early for the long-awaited summer. So where should you bask in the sunshine and have some grub and drinks? We can help you with that.
1. Amsterdam Brewhouse
245 Queens Quay W.
This Waterfront haven boasts two outdoor patios, one directly facing Lake Ontario, the other offering a nice view of the downtown skyline. Well known for its unique pairing of local craft beers with a variety of dishes, the Brewhouse also has a retail store selling beer from its on-site brewery and it's open till 11 p.m! A highly recommended place for anyone looking for a good time by the water.
2. Jack Astor's
10 Dundas St. E (Yonge/Dundas)
A favourite in the downtown core, this Jack Astor's hosts an infamous outdoor patio overlooking the everyday happenings of Yonge-Dundas Square. If you're a Ryerson student wanting a drink after classes or a Toronto enthusiast wanting a unique view of the city, check out this location, But, as a warning, be prepared to wait 30 minutes or more at times to get a seat on it.
3. The Porch at Rock n Horse Saloon
250 Adelaide St. W
As part of The Rock n Horse Saloon, (you know the only downtown bar with a mechanical bull?), this rooftop patio offers a variety of unique snacks, beers and cocktails served in sandbuckets. It's conveniently located three blocks from the Rogers Centre for anyone looking for a good drink pre or post-Blue Jays game. And out of all rooftop patios on this list, The Porch boasts a bit more sitting and standing room, in case you value that information.
Photo cred - Crocodile Rock
4. Crocodile Rock
240 Adelaide St. W
The Top of the Croc is a rooftop patio permitting some of the best views of the city and crazy cheap drinks ($2.50 drinks all night Wednesdays). Lying in the heart of the Entertainment District, it offers a fun time downtown without the sweat and nauseating crowds of the surrounding clubs. Features of the patio include an outdoor fully-licensed bar, comfortable couches and with their official opening on the Sunday of Victoria Day weekend. Expect a big party because did we mention they're offering $3.00 beers all night?
Photo cred: Indie 88
5. Cadillac Lounge
1296 Queen St. W
If you call Parkdale your home, you've likely heard of The Cadillac Lounge. Its patio offers a warm escape from the downtown core both in its location and aura. Tons of space, a play-per-use pool table, both covered and uncovered sections for the warmer, rainy days, and a wide selection of drinks available, there's a reason locals have dubbed it as the neighbourhood spot for years. It's one of the only patios in the city with live music throughout the week, so we'd say it's a winner.
Photo cred: Urbanspoon
6. Paupers Pub
539 Bloor St. W
For the U of T students who reside on Bloor Street, this pub has had a good 27-year run! Wooden seats, a rooftop bar, a fair amount of beer, cocktails and pub food, the interior and cheaper prices make it irresistible to begin with but add their rooftop on a sunny day, it's tough for residents of The Annex and students alike to stay away.
7. Bovine Sex Club
542 Queen St. W
Music lovers in Toronto may know this place as a historic punk rock venue, but head upstairs on a summer night and their 80 to 100-capacity rooftop patio makes one forget of the loudness of the bands a floor below. A bar situated under a tiki hut stocked with nearly every drink available and a look that mixes punk with a vacation in Hawaii gives it a more distinct setting compared to other downtown patios.
Photo cred: Duke of York
8. Duke of York
39 Prince Arthur Avenue
With not one but two patios, this U of T hotspot situated right in the middle of the school's student housing hub, offers a nice backyard patio garden perfect for any post-exam celebrations or to study and gather with friends on a sunny afternoon.
Photo cred: Café Diplomatico
9. Café Diplomatico
594 College St.
Right, like we weren't going to mention this iconic sidewalk cafe in the heart of Little Italy. For 45 years, this bar/restaurant has let patrons scope the scenes of College Street with one of their finest brews or wine glasses in stock and some of the best Italian food the neighbourhood has to offer. Summer is when Little Italy's energy lights up and is the patio to visit for a nice dinner or special sporting events (*cough World Cup cough*)
Photo cred: Toronto Star
10. EAST END BONUS: Murphy's Law
1702 Queen St. E
Head further east on Queen St to The Beach neighbourhood and you'll find this quaint Irish pub with a rooftop patio offering views of both the downtown skyline and the lake. Daily food specials, live music every Saturday and it's situated just minutes from Woodbine Beach and Ashbridge's Bay. This patio has made Beach residents and Torontonians happy for 14 years, and it's still going strong!