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Cabana Pool Bar

Photo: Jesse Milns

Posted by Martha Stortz / June 18, 2013

Cabana Pool Bar is Toronto's newest hotspot at Polson Pier in the form of a pool-meets-nightclub-meets-restaurant. Brought to you by nightclub bourgeoisie Ink Entertainment, Cabana Pool Bar is a huge mostly-outdoor space with white tables and umbrellas, chaise loungers and all-white (surprise!) cabanas. Cabana Pool Bar is the physical embodiment of dating website BeautifulPeople.com. Cabana Pool Bar is the definition of hedonism. Cabana Pool Bar is like going off the resort in Mexico without the risk of hepatitis.

I visited Cabana on a Wednesday afternoon as part of a media preview. My first impression was that it looks half like the country club that the whole Saved by the Bell gang worked at one summer, and half like that scene in Breaking Bad where they all go to Mexico and (spoiler alert) a bunch of people die and we find out Gus Fring is bulimic.

Both of these televised scenarios are things I've fantasized about being a part of, so I was very excited. Upon approaching the swimming area, the water is so blue you'd think the pool has a high school girlfriend that is thinking about going all the way only to change her mind halfway through and decide to wait 'til marriage. The entire set-up is very well thought out - cabanas surround the pool area with chaise loungers right next to the water. There are safes in the cabanas where you can leave your iPhone without worrying about theft or selfies of people you don't know and you are never more than 10 feet away from the bar.

A consistent aesthetic is very important to the club - guests are required to rent CPB towels ($5 with a $20 deposit) to keep with the look and there is a 'style code' in effect, so other than a few tan accents, the décor in the club is whiter than an eighth grade Catholic school graduation from Oakville.

In fitting with the indulgent theme, Cabana has a variety of frozen cocktails, wine and beer available as well as a full menu from Oliver and Bonacini. I sampled several cocktails from the bar (they start at $7.50) and they were all delicious - very tropical and refreshing to go along with the pool atmosphere. The signature cocktail, the TOjitio, was sampled by Noted Toronto Photographer Jesse Milns, which he deemed "very very good."

I also tried a number of the dishes from the menu, which run the gamut from nachos to fries to sushi to salads. Everything I tried was fantastic. My favourite was the Sexy Fries ($12) which are fresh cut fries with parmesan and truffle oil. Normally, when I'm in public, I try to maintain some semblance of acting human, but in the case of these fries, all bets were off. Professional models in matching bikinis frolicked in the water, and I was huddled in the corner of a cabana with a weird sunburn on just my forehead mainlining these fries. They were that good.

Needless to say, I will be returning to CPB. Cover is $10-20 plus $20 for pool access which can seem like a bit much considering you're going to be dropping bills on all of the food you see other people eating and can't resist, but if you amortize it over the hours of operations (11 am-11 pm) and consider the Swimming Possibility Factor (SPF=high), it is well worth it.

Additional Details

Beers on Tap:
None
Signature Drink:
TOjito
Bar Snacks:
Lots. Eat them all.
Patio:
Yes
Music/Genre:
bellydancing beach beats
Live Music:
Yes
Who Goes There:
Anyone who’s ever wished they could have bottle service at the beach, anyone who ever wished bottle service came with fries, anyone who was unnerved by Gus Fring’s calm, nonchalant purging.
Hours:
11am-11pm Saturday-Sunday

Discussion

60 Comments

comeoneman / June 18, 2013 at 9:59 AM
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How many times can they re-invent the same thing at The Docks.

Rick / June 18, 2013 at 9:59 AM
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I enjoyed the writing in this review.

Robert / June 18, 2013 at 9:59 AM
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Ew so sleazy.

GLI / June 18, 2013 at 10:13 AM
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Is there an indoors section too?

The weather in Toronto supports a Bar like this all of 5 days a year...maybe.

Steve / June 18, 2013 at 10:18 AM
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Soo...Did you actually go in the pool? Did anyone? Or is it no longer cool to actually go into a pool at a pool party?

With the recent lukewarm weather we've been having, an outdoor pool down by the waterfront better be heated damn well.

Actually nevermind. Looking up their site gallery just answered my question: http://cabanapoolbar.com/photo-albums/saturday-june-15th

Guido / June 18, 2013 at 10:30 AM
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This looks like the perfect douchebag hangout before getting ready for a Saturday night on Richmond

kim / June 18, 2013 at 10:34 AM
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So for a total of $40 to access to the pool, are we guaranteed to get a chaise lounger?

Rog / June 18, 2013 at 10:35 AM
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Clearly theyre playing off the vegas dayclub hype and there's nothing wrong with that. But it would be helpful to know how the DJ/Audio set up was? Are there plans to bring big name dj's? Capacity?

PS - While I got the point of the article.. It was irritating having to read through all the random analogies

Matt / June 18, 2013 at 10:40 AM
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Thanks for adding that link, Steve. I am actually really disappointed after viewing the gallery. I love the idea behind this, but it looks like the lamest pool party on earth. I am almost inclined to say the venue got it right ... it's the people who are getting it wrong.

thanksbutnothanks / June 18, 2013 at 10:54 AM
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I'd hazard a guess that on a busy day that pool is filled with 50% urine and 50% douchebag.

4ChanApologist / June 18, 2013 at 10:55 AM
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This place opened just in time, because I've been dreaming all winter of being able to fork over $65 to wade around in a pool that a bunch of spoiled lushes have been pissing in all afternoon!

David Elliott / June 18, 2013 at 11:05 AM
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This place was off the hook. Gorgeous women everywhere, good music, reasonable drink prices and amazing weather. I'll be back next weekend!

David Elliott In replying to a comment from Guido / June 18, 2013 at 11:05 AM
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This coming from a guy named Guido hahahahahahaha

New Toronto Condos / June 18, 2013 at 11:06 AM
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I LOVE this concept and it looks wonderful! I just hope that Toronto weather cooperates to help this become a success. Though it would be nice to have the pool heated to 100 degrees and be able to go in it when it's snowing, but I don't think that will be very practical!

Seen it all before / June 18, 2013 at 11:06 AM
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Awesome! Now I can pay atrocious rates to use AIDS filled pool water and be served by immigrants with attitude.

Seen it all before In replying to a comment from thanksbutnothanks / June 18, 2013 at 11:07 AM
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lol, good one!

Will / June 18, 2013 at 11:17 AM
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After viewing the gallery I'd say this place needs more women like the hostess above and fewer that look like someone's mom...

trickydisco / June 18, 2013 at 11:18 AM
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the douche comment is going to so be the case unfortunately! I would actually love to go drink there and smoke one etc. but i can imagine some of the crowd that's going to show there. Gonna be a blizzard of cocaine, abdominals and silicones :S

Rich / June 18, 2013 at 11:28 AM
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Finally.... Miami-level douchery but here, at home!

chris / June 18, 2013 at 11:31 AM
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They allow smoking. Gross.

Joe Fresh / June 18, 2013 at 11:50 AM
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No wonder the rest of the country hates us.
Toronto is filled with a bunch of haters.

Its pretty simple actually.
You already know the type of crowd this place is going to attract so don't act surprised.
If you dont like it, or can't stand to be around them, then DON'T GO! Simple as that.

I personally won't be going there because it is not my scene. But there is no need to bully people over the internet who have no idea that you are... How pathetic is that?

Joe Fresh / June 18, 2013 at 11:52 AM
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And if they are trying to take advantage of the whole Dayclub thing that is going on in Vegas and Miami, Good for them!
Have any of you seen the prices to get into these Dayclubs in the states? They are CRAZY.
At least the admission/food prices here seem totally reasonable if it is a nice hot day out.

Warren / June 18, 2013 at 11:58 AM
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Really?

"the water is so blue you'd think the pool has a high school girlfriend that is thinking about going all the way only to change her mind halfway through and decide to wait 'til marriage."

Really?

You tried to turn a blue balls joke into an analogy about pool water?

Really?

You thought it was a good idea to make this joke despite the fact it doesn't fit in with the rest of the review and isn't funny?

I mean, really?

Jon In replying to a comment from kim / June 18, 2013 at 12:10 PM
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That's $45 (don't forget the required towel rental). And $60 if your towel goes missing.

michael / June 18, 2013 at 12:11 PM
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Great News the Douche/Bimbo Holding Pen now has a watering hole

LMIH / June 18, 2013 at 12:13 PM
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The pool at The Docks used to be about 50% assholes and 50% people simply wanting to enjoy a pool in the summer.

Now its pretty much 100% assholes.

Bob / June 18, 2013 at 12:27 PM
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Finally, less douchebags at the Radisson Pool this summer.

Wayne In replying to a comment from Steve / June 18, 2013 at 1:01 PM
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not sure why people are ignoring this girl and saying no one is in the pool?

https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/1016618_151241625061428_1800757185_n.jpg

sup / June 18, 2013 at 1:05 PM
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No one is in the pool because it was a "media" preview.

Those people arent going to swim. They are just there to suckle off the corporate teet.

Derek James / June 18, 2013 at 2:32 PM
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Just like Miami, except for the 95% white people and the post-apocalyptic wasteland setting!

Audrey / June 18, 2013 at 3:52 PM
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It's the elitists that call others elitists and the douchebags that call others douchebags. Which makes most of the commentators here douchebags.

Douchebags!!

lazo / June 18, 2013 at 4:24 PM
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Toronto wants to be ny la and now Miami?
We need help!

Di / June 18, 2013 at 5:09 PM
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You lost me at "style code."

Queen Toronto / June 18, 2013 at 6:18 PM
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Looks boring--and will be full of boring and stupid people--just like all of Khabouth's other clubs. Yawn.

lol / June 18, 2013 at 7:02 PM
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I think ill stick to getting drunk at public outdoor pools

Holy Thundering Jesus / June 18, 2013 at 7:37 PM
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Poser Nation

Alison / June 18, 2013 at 10:52 PM
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This article started out good, but then got really bad. The writer clearly doesn't know food (O&B food is never so amazing that one should spend $12 on fries). There was no mention of how alcohol and a pool (and drunk idiots) are a safety hazard. And of course, this is clearly a club for awful people. I was most disturbed that the writer seemed to honestly want to go back

DDH / June 18, 2013 at 10:54 PM
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I really wanted this place to be awesome... But I hate the Richmond clubs so I suspect I wouldn't be into this either. Although a nice pool with a bar & some chaises would be epic.

anon / June 19, 2013 at 4:29 AM
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Wow, look at all the trash washed up on the pool deck!

mike in parkdale / June 19, 2013 at 9:00 AM
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Damn... I feel old now.

I went to a "rave" (yes, that's exactly what it was) in that exact spot back in 1995. There were two rooms, one inside the warehouse that became The Docks (or Soundacademy or whatever) and another tented area under where this pool appears to be standing. Plus there were a few burnt out cars without doors thrown in for good measure. Wild that the same spot has been partying (for better or worse) for the past couple of decades.

Pleasure Force - Dreams in Goa, for those who care.

Steven / June 19, 2013 at 10:14 AM
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An additional $20 to use the pool on top of the $20 cover and the $5 towel fee? You left out how much it is to rent a cabana - I am CERTAIN those also have a rental fee. So basically for $45 you can get in and try to find a chaise lounge with no shade. $65 if you want to swim or have any sort of shade or privacy whatsoever. Oh, and I'm sure the 'cabana' menu is grossly inflated with bottle service and prices, etc. Toronto isn't Miami or Vegas! Those prices are - also, all of that white is slick but how about some tropical plants/trees? Looks like an industrial space that will only be as interesting as the vacant clientele gracing it's presence. This is a one season venue folks - get there by September because you won't be seeing this one next Summer. - Guaranteed! (Unless they turn it into a Docks-style, 'Clevelander South Beach' venue with bikini contests and shooter waitresses. (Which sounds like a whole different kind of nightmare!).

Steven / June 19, 2013 at 10:20 AM
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Ooooh , I missed the Hookahs - Yep, it's confirmed, Toronto has a new hangout for D-Bags!

d.a.r.y.l. / June 19, 2013 at 11:33 AM
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since when are photographers an authority on drink quality.
that's like going to an architect to get checked out for v.d.

Natalie In replying to a comment from Rog / June 19, 2013 at 2:03 PM
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this. x 1000

bob loblaw / June 19, 2013 at 4:19 PM
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I think you can see the jizz floating in the pool.

AV In replying to a comment from mike in parkdale / June 20, 2013 at 8:34 AM
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Don't forget Freakin' 98.... few years later on but still a crazy party at the Docks complex

AV In replying to a comment from mike in parkdale / June 20, 2013 at 8:38 AM
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Sorry.... it was Freakin' 99

Tiffy / June 20, 2013 at 1:36 PM
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Martha Stortz write the best reviews. So great.

Dee / June 24, 2013 at 4:49 PM
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I thought this place was a great idea. However, just trying to set-up a reservation for this place was a nightmare!! Who ever I was in contact with was useless, I dont even think he, himself knew what he was talking about. Pretty sure their website says you can make dining reservations, but for people of 8 guest or less its a walk-in method based on whats available. He tells me they dont take reservations at all - interesting. And then touched base with me that this was an error and they will be updating their website shortly. (He did thank me for pointing this mistake out!! oh np, anytime! lol) Talk about false advertising.
Not to mention their bottle service prices as through the roof. If they are trying to compete with places such as vegas and miami and daytime parties such as Nikki Beach, they can think again.
Im not surprised to hear they have poor staff and service. I could tell as soon as I tried to make a booking for this place.

Unfortunate start Cabana Pool Party. Way to ruin your potential!
Good luck!

Queen Toronto / July 1, 2013 at 11:12 PM
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A lovely, original concept to attract a sexy but likely vapid clientele.

Steven / July 1, 2013 at 11:26 PM
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Pool was shut down this weekend due to unacceptable fecal matter level when it was tested. Clearly not being kept up. You couldnt pay me to swim there

e / July 4, 2013 at 10:52 PM
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who was the dj there last week > playing at around 4:30 pm

steve In replying to a comment from Guido / July 5, 2013 at 11:34 AM
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There's clubs on Richmond st?

Goatpile / July 15, 2013 at 5:58 PM
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Check out this pic we caught of some ladies using the tables for something else than eating at Cabana Pool Bar.

http://goatpile.com/tables-are-for-eating-not-sitting/

Not a guido / August 7, 2013 at 9:32 PM
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All you cheap ass hating hipsters stay out! This place isn't for you. If you don't like it stick to your shitty local beer in your queen-ossington radius. Not everybody else's fault you dress like weirdos, and that you can't meet the venues dress code requirements.

not doin it / August 7, 2013 at 11:18 PM
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I can put up with snobby assholes from Toronto with out paying that kind of money. No thanks

lana / August 19, 2013 at 5:36 PM
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this is what I don't get about Toronto why do we try so bad to be like other cities lmao we wont ever be Miami or Vegas or LA for that matter we don't have the atmosphere nightlife or weather and scenery for it, maybe Toronto should stop copying other cities and just be itself. Its a nice idea but just because its a cabana with some white curtains it doesn't look like Miami or vegas

mark / August 19, 2013 at 5:43 PM
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Toronto is a nice city but I you want beautiful exotic places with beautiful people go to the Mediterranean Caribbean or Miami itself rather not waste my money in cabana at the city

reformatt / September 7, 2013 at 11:11 AM
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I had an absolute blast here last weekend. Even Justin Bieber and Deadmaus showed up, check out my video at Cabana: http://www.reformatt.com/blog/cabana-toronto

goldenkiwi / January 18, 2014 at 5:06 PM
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Are these comments hating on the club, or the type of people who frequent it? Because these types of people are going to exist whether or not Cabana exists.

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