The 10 highest patios in Toronto
The highest patios in Toronto offer drinks and dining offset with a swift breeze and a bird's eye view of the city's skyline. This city has no shortage of high places - unsurprising, since we're a city of serious skyscrapers. Heck, the CN Tower even nabbed us a world record for 34 years. (Now we've got the tallest free-standing structure...in the Western Hemisphere! Still number one! Right, guys?)
Disclaimer: If you were the kid who had to climb back down from the high diving board as a kid, these patios and decks may not be your idea of a relaxing time. Acrophobes to the left. Everyone else: Take the elevator or stairs to the top, and hang onto your hats.
Here are the highest patios in Toronto.
At the top (literally) of the list is the Panorama Lounge, perched on the 51st floor of the Manulife Centre on Bloor St. Said to be the highest patio in all of Canada, the Panorama serves up a 180-degree view of the city, along with not-terribly-cheap meals (mains start at $18). Still, I can think of nothing that would make a plate of $20 prosciutto-wrapped scallops taste better than eating them 166 metres up in the air.
Halfway up the massive Trump Hotel, which towers 60-plus storeys above Bay St., you'll find Stock, an (unsurprisingly) upscale steakhouse set into the 31st floor. They've earned just as many raves for their locally-based menu as they have for their terrace, which winds around the restaurant and provides a gorgeous view of downtown. Caviar and blinis, anyone?
The Park Hyatt's 18th-floor Roof Lounge is a favourite Yorkville hangout; in addition to a fabulous view of downtown off the terrace, the plush, Rat Pack-worthy lounge also features a roster of classic cocktails and a fireplace. Enjoy a classic martini or Manhattan while spotting A-through-Q-list Canadian celebrities.
Up on the 16th floor of this King West hotel, geared primarily toward movers, shakers, and their assorted hangers-on, is a swanky rooftop deck. In addition to the infinity pool, visitors can enjoy a 360-degree view of the city skyline (a nice bonus to the comparatively-lower buildings in the neighbourhood). Technically, you need to be a guest (or a guest of a guest) to hang out up there. Get ready to talk your way in.
Good things come in fives at the Fifth entertainment complex, where the Fifth Grill (one of five built-in restaurants and lounges) resides on the fifth floor. The views aren't as sweeping, but the covered wooden deck provides a cozy, tucked-above-the-fray atmosphere, which makes for a romantic date spot (complete with a menu of grilled delicacies).
The Queen West hotel's fifth-floor patio is chic, yet approachable - kind of like the boutique hotel itself. You'll find sleek seating, tons of palm fronds, a light menu of casual munchies, and a wide-open view.
Jack Astor's (Yonge and Dundas)
The Yonge and Dundas Astor's boasts a killer view on its heated patio, four escalator-rides up in the 10 Dundas East complex. The sound system is loud, but the beer list is respectable, and the crab dip is dangerous. (NB: This is the ultimate refuge during Y&D outdoor shows.) For more rooftop dining fun atop the Dundas Square Death Star, head to the Spring Sushi or Milestones patios on the same floor.
Located on the fifth floor of the Dineen Building on Temperance St., this upscale spot for "modern American" dining offers a 75-seat rooftop terrace with expansive views of the Financial District to the south. (This is not to be confused with the Chase Fish & Oyster on the ground floor, which has a popular sidewalk patio of its own.)
Technically, the biggest sister in the Toronto family of Momofuku restaurants is only three floors up in the Shangri-La Hotel. But a.) they're some pretty tall floors, and b.), with a patio that looms grandly over the Financial District to the east, you'll feel about 10 feet (er, floors) tall dining at Daisho. Split an assortment of shared plates with your closest friends while you feel totally superior to the people eating downstairs at Noodle Bar.
Rock 'N' Horse Saloon
Perched atop the massive Rock 'N' Horse/Adelaide Hall complex, the patio affectionately known as the Porch offers great panoramic views of downtown. (Downstairs, though, you can watch someone get thrown off a mechanical bull; it really all depends on what you're in the mood for. Afternoon visitors can enjoy a snack menu; at night, it's all about lounge seating. Giddy up.
Did I miss any? Leave your favourite sky-high patio in the comments.