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TOP 3: Patios in Toronto

Thompson Toronto Hotel - Patio

Top 10 lists are great but I want to keep it short so you don’t get bombarded with options.

Things I considered  *View   *Vibe   *People watching   *Great cocktails   *Location

These are my top 3 sure-bet summer patios in downtown Toronto, Canada.

Thompson Toronto
550 Wellington Street West
Toronto, Ontario M5V 2V4
(main intersection Bathurst Street & King Street West)

There is nothing like the sweet view of my city from the top of the Thompson Toronto Hotel.  Offering 360 degree views, the CN Tower and Lake Ontario, it is hands down, the absolute best patio in the city.

On any given day or night, you can find a mix of residents, hotel guests, socialites and their friends/guests on the roof having achieved access with a coveted FOB key.  Otherwise, this venue is popular with event planners & promoters who put on events such as Tuesday’s  “Beats & Babes” and Wednesday’s “Duty-Free” party.  Try to hunt them down for access & a good time.

2016 Update:  These parties don’t exist but call them to see what they are up to

::::What they say::::

Featuring unparalleled, stunning 360 views of Toronto’s skyline and Lake Ontario, Thompson Toronto’s rooftop lounge is a chic and exclusive retreat for hotel guests and lounge members. Guests can dip in the infinity pool by day and lounge in the poolside cabanas by night.


The Drake Hotel’s ‘Sky Yard’
1150 Queen Street West  
Toronto, ON M6J 1J3
(main intersection Beaconsfield Street & Queen Street West)
(416) 531-5042

Another great place to be is the The Drake Hotel‘s Sky Yard patio. It is a hub for folks that find themselves on the west part of Queen West (about 25 mins. from the Eaton Centre Shopping Mall by TTC or 10 mins. by cab) that are in need of a cool atmosphere, food and drinks.

The great thing about The Drake Hotel is that if you start early enough, you can stay for dinner by heading downstairs to the dining room, then  you can carry into the night by dancing (or hanging out at the bar) on the main floor lounge or by continuing to move downstairs to the “Underground” where there is usually some amazing local artist doin’ their thing.

This is also another venue known for accommodating many events, so make sure to call ahead.

::::What they say::::

Whether suntanning with a Drake Mojito in hand or roasting marshmallows in the cooler months, (Drake’s) our celebrated, rooftop patio is a must-see. Head upstairs to stargaze, enjoy a meal with friends and spend some quality time in the open air. The Drake Outdoors is a smoker-friendly, climate-defiant, all-season space complete with its own satellite cocktail bar.


Balzac’s Coffee Roasters
55 Mill St, Building #60
Toronto, Ontario M5A 3C4
(main intersection Mill Street & Parliament Street)

I thought I’d take the non-alcoholic route here and mention my fav coffee bar, Balzac‘s.

Located in the famous Distillery District (parts of the movie Chicago were shot in this area), it is one of many patios in the historic district but Balzac’s has the best location.  You can see everyone as they come and go, while sipping on a latte or freshly squeezed lemonade.

This area is a tourist destination but the neighbourhood is growing, so there is a good chance you’ll meet some friendly locals taking their dog  for  a walk.

::::What they say::::

Toronto’s only pedestrian village is the site for Balzac’s second location, opened in 2002. This national historic site with its exquisite Victorian industrial Architecture is alive with arts and culture, boasting some of Toronto’s finest boutiques and food shops.  Balzac’s has transformed the circa 1895 Pump House into a two storey Grand Parisian style café. A giant Vaudeville chandelier casts a soft glow for sitting back and watching the bustling activity of this unique district.


Honourable mentions:

Cube, formerly Ultra & now CUBE, has a great patio.  Best to check it out during the summer on a Sunday afternoon.

To take it back even further, the best patio (HANDS DOWN) was The BamBoo which turned into Ultra/CUBE over a decade ago.

The Black Bull is the best beer-drinking, people-watching patio downtown.  Located on Queen Street West at Peter Street (across the street from Cube).  I’d call this street-level pub simply “patio-101”.

In Yorkville, the place to be is at Celebrity Chef Mark McEwan’s restaurant ONE.

Te Aro is another coffee spot but this one is located in Leslieville on the east side.

Of course,  I invite you to contact me if you have any specific questions.





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