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Eat & Drink

Look inside Toronto's first ice bar and lounge

Posted by Natalia Manzocco / July 25, 2014

chill ice house torontoThe first Toronto ice lounge is open and ready for some cool customers. Chill Ice House, the latest in a family of lounges from Boston to Dubai, turns the freezing weather we Torontonians love to hate into a permanent, year-round party. The former Drake General Store space at 82 Bathurst St. has been totally transformed into a wintry wonderland, fitted with a massive freezer and filled with 185,000 pounds of ice sculptures, ice benches, a functioning ice bar, an ice chandelier, and one ice Olaf-from-Frozen.

Take a look inside in our photo gallery of Chill Ice House



Jen S / July 25, 2014 at 11:34 am
Do we no longer care about climate change? Think about the energy consumed for the novelty of a frozen "ice bar" in the middle of summer. I'm not a buzzkill--I certainly turn on the AC when I need to and I have no problem with, for example, maintaining skating rinks in summer, but that's because the rinks support an activity that can't be done without the ice. But an ice bar? That's just a waste of resources.
ec / July 25, 2014 at 11:44 am
OK I initially thought this bar was a ridiculous idea...but, BUT! the ice sculptures are really cool. I'm sure there's a small, awesome community of ice sculptors/artists out there who now have a real place to gather outside of winter festivals, gaudy weddings and cheesy corporate events.
Vinnie replying to a comment from Jen S / July 25, 2014 at 11:45 am
why you gotta be such a BUZZKILL, MANNNNNN

yer harshin' the mellow, maaannnnnn

Ash / July 25, 2014 at 11:47 am
Ohh give it a rest Jen. It's just a bar... Nitpicking much? You could easily say that about a TON of other things in the City.
M / July 25, 2014 at 11:47 am
Idiotic waste of energy
Paul replying to a comment from Jen S / July 25, 2014 at 11:48 am
Well, climate change is a myth, and the last time I checked, people can do whatever they want so long as they pay for the power.

So zip it, you Eco Nazi!!
Roxanne / July 25, 2014 at 11:51 am
I feel like this is a cute novelty idea for areas like California.. or Australia. But we only get summer for maybe 2 months out of the year, why would you spend it somewhere cold? Maybe this is ok for tourists...
Ryan / July 25, 2014 at 11:52 am
Guys, being on the internet increases your carbon footprint. Stop being hypocrites and go live in the wilderness already.
ooohahhh replying to a comment from Paul / July 25, 2014 at 11:53 am
Shut your ignorant mouth, Paul.
MACK / July 25, 2014 at 11:53 am
This is ridiculously idiotic in a city where we complain about the cold INCESSANTLY
Jen S / July 25, 2014 at 11:59 am
It's the SIZE of the carbon footprint that matters, Ryan. It's about making reasonable decisions about what's important in life. I drive a car (sometimes), I use AC (sometimes), I fly (sometimes). But we're talking about a bar, made of ice, refrigerated 24/7, even in 30+ heat, for people to do something they can do lots of other places (bars, restaurants, houses, parks...) but in the cold! How stupid are we that we need that sort of novelty to amuse us?

Just because we CAN do something doesn't mean that it's a good idea. And this is a stupid idea.
Zack / July 25, 2014 at 12:01 pm
Only in first world countries.
Chris / July 25, 2014 at 12:01 pm
I have to agree with the other commenters - this bar is hardly the hill to die on for climate change. There's things we do that are arguably just as if not more, "wasteful" than standing in a meat locker. This is a novelty that I suspect will wear out fairly quickly - the pictures seem to suggest that the "ice" part is only part of the bar, which means they can probably remove it fairly easily without losing the entire bar. Besides, we already know what winter feels like here, especially this past winter. Cant imagine why someone would want to experience it over and over again in the summer.

myw / July 25, 2014 at 12:03 pm
this is simply a novelty. it wont last a year.

you king west jackasses will simply jump on the next fad that someone tells you is awesome.
PC / July 25, 2014 at 12:10 pm
This is moronic. We wait all winter for the summer to come only to have a bar where you have to wear a parka because it's so cold - why not make an ice bar during the winter when we have no choice?
Mike replying to a comment from Jen S / July 25, 2014 at 12:28 pm
Actually according to their website it uses less power than the previous tenant. They properly insulated the building to level 5 or something. So all you environmentalists can still hang out in the cold!
Lily / July 25, 2014 at 12:49 pm
Just seeing the first pic is giving me nightmare flashbacks of this past winter.
I think the timing is a bit unfortunate - just went through the worst winter ever.
I'm never letting go of summer. Never.
Jason replying to a comment from Paul / July 25, 2014 at 12:50 pm
You're a moron.
KevinN / July 25, 2014 at 01:18 pm
And yet if this bar was in another big city you people travelled to, it would be cool right?
Lola / July 25, 2014 at 02:33 pm
I'm with Jen- what a waste of resources. Regardless, shitty idea. No thanks.
Jimbo replying to a comment from Jen S / July 25, 2014 at 02:59 pm
I have been there and in fact you are being a buzzkill.... this operation is more green than the Drake General Store was. Less resources. They have diligently made efforts to keep the footprint minimal. Go on their website, do some research before you jump to wild conclusions. Have an ICE day
Jimbo replying to a comment from M / July 25, 2014 at 03:01 pm
WRONG. Uneducated and plain wrong. Nicely displayed mate
Lyza replying to a comment from Lola / July 25, 2014 at 03:07 pm
I was there last night. It's easily the greatest vibe I have been apart of in Toronto in any venue since forever. The only shitty idea, is you publicly being single handedly a negative nancy who frankly would not get on well with the most refreshing positive staff this city has to offer. Stay home Lola and all you other terribly depressing downers. Long live CHILL ICE HOUSE
RCGuy / July 26, 2014 at 03:52 am
Dumb. So sick of these self indulgent displays of excess. A fad that won't last the year.
Mike / July 26, 2014 at 07:50 am
You whiners who dont like the cold can go to the Pool Bar and hang out there. And stop with thr climate change nonsense, humans cannot affect the climate, its the sun more than anything that affects it. a volcano erupting affects it more than humans ever could.
Brad / July 27, 2014 at 09:59 am
How much are the drinks????
GeoCheung / July 27, 2014 at 12:14 pm
I don't get it. I think it's going to have a short life , In the winter it will be empty, I don't think these owners have any freaking brains, When it's minus 20 outside Im going to go inside a block of ice to have a cold drink . I wouldnt want these guys to work on my brains of bring back Apollo 13 ,lol
GeoCheung replying to a comment from Brad / July 27, 2014 at 12:15 pm
The drinks come with no ice , you can chip it of any surface and put it in your drink.
Dima / July 27, 2014 at 12:42 pm
For all those bashing this bar, guess what, noone is forcing you to go there, dipshit.
Kyn / July 28, 2014 at 09:43 am
I agree with Dima. Don't like it.. Don't go.
Dellsun / July 28, 2014 at 09:16 pm
So the sales pitch is that instead of spending one of the few warm evenings we get in this city a year drinking excellent cockails and beers on a patio, I should carry my winter jacket on the TTC to sit in a freezer and drink overpriced and under-crafted cockails.

No thanks.

Who would go to this place?
Other Cities: Montreal