first date ideas

10 fun first date ideas for this summer in Toronto

First 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.

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