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10 fun first date ideas for this summer in Toronto

Posted by Erinn Beth Langille / August 4, 2014

first date ideasFirst date ideas in Toronto this summer are just what you need to set your budding relationship off right. You've got the app, you've got the number, you've got the hook-up - now, you just need to make a killer early impression. I've got you covered with ideas that will break the ice and let both of you put your best foot forward.

Here are my suggestions for 10 fun first date ideas for this summer in Toronto.

Try a new restaurant
This may seem like an obvious choice, but with all the options for eating in Toronto, it's important to snag one of the hottest tables in town, not some passé plate. Pai's night market-like atmosphere and Patois' Asian-Jamaican fusion could make for a fun, relaxed first date, or amp up the atmosphere with cheap eats in the Annex or a late night nosh near Ossington and Dundas.

Hit up a romantic patio
Cozy, under starlight and lush greenery with perhaps a twinkle of candles or a string of bulbs, a romantic patio can go a long way to securing a second date. Later, when you're curled up together and the winter is howling outside, you'll look back to your halcyon days on the patio as the place where love blossomed.

Get competitive at a board game café
In the old days, women would feign a loss to win approval of a man, but thank goodness those days are over. Now we play to win - both the game and the heart. Roll the die on love at one of the city's top 20 bars and cafes for board games.

Try out some new wines at a wine bar
I wonder how long the nectar of the gods has been smoothing out the awkward talk of first-time lovers? With that air of sophistication and that warm heady tingling a few sips of wine can affect, a visit to one of Toronto's best wine bars will start the love off right.

Go for a picnic
Toronto has myriad of beautiful parks to enjoy, and lots of great sandwich places that do take-out, so grab a blanket and a couple of triangles, or rounds nowadays, and find a shady nook under the canopy of a great tree.

Take a long, meandering bike ride together
A tandem bike may be a bit ambitious for a first date, but riding your own bikes side by side is a lovely idea. There are wonderful paths all over the city to take you from A to B(ed). (If you don't have your own - or you really, really want that bicycle built for two - pop over to one of these stores to rent a pair.)

Get the giggles
They say laughter is the best medicine, so why not follow doctor's orders and take that special someone to a comedy bar. You can see if you share the same sense of humour, always a key element of a dating match. (If you really want to splash out on a date, JFL42 is bringing the likes of Lena Dunham, Seth Myers, Tim Minchin and Nick Offerman to Toronto at the end of September.)

Catch a movie under the stars
Al fresco movie watching is a great romantic affair - you can be frightened into their arms by a thriller, or have the cockles of your heart warmed by a sweet rom-com, then, when the timing is right, lean over and swoon, "Hey there, You, with the stars in your eyes..." There are tons of free outdoor screenings happening this summer in Toronto, including a new Tuesday night series starting up this week.

Grab two straws and split a milkshake
Is there anything sweeter than sitting side by side, splitting a milkshake? Your legs might swing together on the diner stools, or just like the dogs eating the noodles in Lady and the Tramp, you may be innocently reaching in to take a sip and find yourself in a lip lock with your new amore. Toronto's got tons of great options.

Two in a canoe
Give your first date a decidedly Canadian twist on the old rowboat standby when you rent a canoe for two. A leisurely paddle gives you opportunity to talk, while quietly testing your abilities to work together. Just wait till you secure date number two before you start humming the theme song to "Love Boat". Have a fear of water? There's always the dry land version.

What did I miss? Add your fun first date ideas to the comments below.

Growers CiderThanks to Growers Cider for sponsoring this post.

For more fun things to do this summer, check out our Toronto Fun Guide.



lookingforadate / August 4, 2014 at 05:40 pm
These are brilliant ideas! I wish I would have thought of them.
Bobby / August 4, 2014 at 06:05 pm
I used to take girls to mini and lighthearted with just the right amount of competitiveness. It also flushes out the high maintenance women ;)
Samantha / August 4, 2014 at 06:29 pm
Explore your creative side and try your hand at social painting at Paintlounge!
Rob & Irwin / August 4, 2014 at 06:59 pm
Strolling in the moonlight, Ford 'n Mimico...the image of romance.
the cheef / August 4, 2014 at 07:59 pm
you may be innocently reaching in to take a sip and find yourself in a lip lock with your new amore
PositivelyFab / August 4, 2014 at 08:33 pm
Great about a post on the best places to meet single men and women and the age ranges found at each place!
Nair / August 4, 2014 at 09:14 pm
Not sure what is better, the ideas or your romantic coments about them. Love it!
KidCornish / August 4, 2014 at 09:21 pm
Nice list but I recommend the insights of J.P. Godek to complement these suggestions
d replying to a comment from PositivelyFab / August 4, 2014 at 11:39 pm
Positively Fab, that would be positively fab! Especially for the over 50s! You really can't hang out at a bar ... :/

Stephen / August 4, 2014 at 11:45 pm
Love it. Brill!
Ryan / August 5, 2014 at 09:27 am
If you can't think of any of these lame ideas you don't deserve the date.
Colette replying to a comment from d / August 5, 2014 at 11:49 am
I second this! Do something for the over 50s!
Ms. Dating Diva / August 5, 2014 at 12:57 pm
Great suggestions! I just have to add one spot that I was recently treated to.

A nice gentleman (we’ll call him Quill), who I’ve exchanged glances with during our morning TTC commutes, finally worked up the courage to ask me on a date. I gave him my number and he said he would call me with the plan.

After waiting a couple days, Quill finally called me with instructions: meet at Harbourfront Centre Thursday around seven - and bring dancing shoes. For some reason, maybe it was a result of recently watching Dirty Dancing, I couldn’t help but smile at the simple request.

Anyways, I followed his instructions and met him on Harbourfront Centre’s pier/boardwalk where a live band was already complimenting the sweet summer air with several delightful melodies. He was standing with his back to me, so I gave his shoulder a slight tap and he turned to face me. He smiled and I returned his with one of my own – I was actually a little giddy with excitement.

He told me the event was called Dancing on the Pier, which made sense since we were pretty much dancing on a pier. We spent the night exchanging stories as our feet carried us around the dance floor. There were instructors floating around, offering tips here and there if it was your first time doing the tango – Quill was no Partick Swayze, so we asked for a couple tips.

To cut to the point, it was refreshing to go on a first date that wasn’t in a bar or coffee shop. It wasn’t too intimate, and it wasn’t too chaotic. It was simple and memorable all at the same time.

Sorry for the story, but it was a cute spot to hopefully start something new.

Thought I’d share.
Jan Tillcock / August 5, 2014 at 06:06 pm
I think COMMUNISTS DAUGHTER (nazare Snack Foods) on Dundas just w of Ossington is romantic on a Saturday afternoon. Michael Louis Johnson is the bartender and trumpet guy in a great little band that plays romantic music from the 30's and 40's.
SnuggleBunny replying to a comment from Ms. Dating Diva / August 5, 2014 at 06:37 pm
great share @Ms. Dating Diva sounds like you had the time of your life :)
pat fairbairn / August 5, 2014 at 10:01 pm
what is the address of the daughter of communist?
SadGuy / August 6, 2014 at 04:19 pm
Sigggh.... I cant be the only sad single guy reading this.

I wanna do these things! :(((

everybody get on tinder right now! the summer is almost done!!
Lorraine Quiche / August 7, 2014 at 01:00 am
The Hav-a-Nap Motel?
Dixie / August 14, 2014 at 09:03 pm
Pretty! This was an extremely wonderful article. Thank you for supplying
this information.
Ben / December 22, 2014 at 03:08 pm
Try a couples massage or spa day at home, offer this service.
Alexander / September 17, 2015 at 05:54 pm
Dear All,

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