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Best of Toronto

The Best Rooftop Patios in Toronto

Posted by Robyn Urback / August 2, 2012

Rooftop Patios TorontoThe best rooftop patios in Toronto are the platinum seats of the city's patio scene. And just like at the Leafs game, most of them, too, offer seat-side service. While few things can rival the pleasure of a pint on the patio, a pint on an elevated patio is explicably so much better. Blame it on thinning air and a literal looking-down sense of superiority, perhaps? Whatever the reason, these particular rooftop patios are the crème de la crème, offering stellar views, awesome vibes, and none of that Maple Leafs letdown.

Before I continue, it's worth noting that there are some sweet rooftop patios that didn't qualify for the list below. The rooftop at the Thompson Hotel, with its infinity pool, has one of the best views in the city but officially it's only open to guests of the hotel and the Thompson residences. The rest of the time you'll need to get on the list for one of the many events held there, or simply do your best to impress whoever is at the door. Same goes for the nearby Spoke Club.

There are also plenty of swank club patios in Toronto that are great if you're in the mood for bottle service or a night out in the Club District but otherwise have less broad appeal. A short list might include Cube Nightclub, Maison Mercer and Oasis on top of Wayne Gretzky's.

For more rooftop (and other) patio ideas, check out our Toronto Patio Guide section or download our Patio Guide iPhone or Android app.

Here is the list of the best rooftop patios in Toronto.

Drake SkyYardDrake SkyYard
Leave it to Drake to find the perfect balance of brunch, barstools, and blissful Queen West locals enjoying the fresh air all year round. You'll find a plethora of activity on this patio at virtually any time of day, with crowds gathered for Drake's massive mojitos and mashmallow roasting for when the weather turns cool.

Pauper's Pub (top photo)
While the urge to ask, "What's Pauping?!" might overwhelm some patio-goers, most simply revel in this rooftop's laidback Annex vibe. You'll find a healthy population of grad students and their respective thesis advisors up here, along with a sprinkling of Annex locals and casual pub-food enthusiasts. Plastic chairs somehow make it charming.

The PilotThe Pilot
It's those intangible elements that make The Pilot's rooftop patio one of the best places to grab a drink with friends in the city. Located in Yorkville but totally unpretentious, this patio totes a vibe that's always "chill" (a term you're more inclined to say a few pints in), with a busting rooftop bar and overhead fans to drive a breeze.

Murphys LawMurphy's Law
Offering a great view of the Beaches and frills in the form of flower boxes and strung lights. This rooftop patio distinguishes Murphy's Law from any old Irish pub in the area, earning it the coveted, unofficial title of one of "the" places to be during summer in the Beaches. And the cheap brunch Caesars aren't too bad, either.

Brazen Head
An easy call for a few after-work pints when Liberty Village's marketing managers and graphic designers are let out for the day. This patio is known to unite Toronto FC fans from across the city (or King Street, whatever), with a serene view and ample room, as well as the occasional live music night.

Roof Lounge at the Park Hyatt
Park Hyatt's rooftop lounge practically begs for a classic martini and a little who's who I-spy. This patio is less "pint and beer" than "pinot and salad," with an 18th floor skyline perspective and the best of Yorkville entertainment likely sitting at the next table. Just sit back, sip, and take it all in.

The scene is Mary Poppins rooftop meets west end urban-chic. Enclosed with a shingled perimeter, this patio doesn't offer a whole lot by way of views, but it is saturated with sun (and Trinity Bellwoods locals). Czehoski's rooftop patio is a coveted weekend brunch time spot, meaning the eggs-Benny-minded shouldn't dawdle to snag a spot.

Hemmingways TorontoHemingway's
Tiers, sports fans, and no dress code. This rooftop patio offers a very necessary break from its uber-polished neighbours. A popular spot for the after-work crowd, Hemingway's patio lets you look out over the Yorkville pack while remaining a safe distance removed. Nothing like people-watching and classic pub fare.

Ballroom BowlThe Ballroom
Believe it or not, a bowling alley (or "interactive entertainment centre," as The Ballroom calls itself) can actually pull off a pretty decent rooftop patio. Plush with wood and creeping vines, this patio gives off an upscale sports bar vibe with a crowd to match. An outdoor bar and TVs for catching the game are added bonuses.

Gusto 101Gusto 101
What could be better than blue skies, a little eggplant parmigiana, and $1/oz house wine? Gusto 101 knows the power of such a combination, and thus has created an idyllic space that can comfortably seat 100. This patio has bar, bench, and table seating, plus a lookout over Portland and its own rooftop grill. Don't be surprised if you never want to leave.

Vivoli TorontoVivoli
"The" rooftop spot in Little Italy, in part for its view, and certainly for its sangria. Count on the rumble of conversation ever increasing on Vivoli's rooftop patio, with fresh pies constantly rolling out from the kitchen and patrons settling in for the long haul. From day through night, a most beloved Grace and College spot.

Madison Pub TorontoThe Madison
A fratboy favourite on weekends, playing host to a slightly more refined crowd (meaning collars down) during the week. Grad students and upper-year undergrads flock to The Madison's rooftop patio for a little R&R between thesis proposals, often mingling with Annex locals who've stopped for a casual pint. A good spot for when the piano room gets a little too animated.

Remys YorkvilleRemy's
Remy's rooftop patio is cool and casual, strung Christmas lights and all. There's a solid mix of sitting and standing room (a particularly good feature on weekend nights) with its own patio bar and a special summer rooftop menu. Remy's is for those who don't loathe the stiff embrace of a plastic chair.

Queen and beaver TorontoThe Queen and Beaver
Leave it to the Queen to find that sweet spot between action and intimacy. (And yes, you should get your head out of the gutter, kids). The Queen and Beaver's rooftop patio is close enough to Yonge and Dundas to make you feel among the action, but kept somewhat small as to offer that slight air of exclusiveness. Ah, who am I kidding? It's all the sticky toffee pudding.

Le Papillon TorontoLe Papillon on the Park
This patio is all about the green. Set alongside rows of mature trees, you feel as though you're sitting in the leaves as you sip your wine and indulge in a summer salad (potato bacon salad, that is). Le Papillon on the Park's rooftop patio comes with its own fully equipped bar and special day and night patio menus.



danielle / August 2, 2012 at 10:41 am
Wow - what a great list! There's a few I haven't had the pleasure of checking out. Thanks for the round-up!
James replying to a comment from danielle / August 2, 2012 at 10:52 am
I agree, but be careful Danielle, there's bound to be someone chiming in here with a hate for everything Toronto.
Yes replying to a comment from James / August 2, 2012 at 11:01 am
Personally, I can't wait to hear what brilliant mind does chime in. It's sure to be just so fantastic.
Yes replying to a comment from James / August 2, 2012 at 11:02 am
On another not, there's a few I'll be sure to check out.
KevinN / August 2, 2012 at 11:23 am
The title and description should really be above the photo and not under. it makes going down list, easier to read.

Great list by the way.
Rick / August 2, 2012 at 11:30 am
Great list and, unlike many of the lists here, a lot of these places are near me!
Ronnie / August 2, 2012 at 11:34 am
If I can also add Oasis roof top patio above Wayne Gretzky's! Really nice loungers!
Linds / August 2, 2012 at 12:04 pm
Great list! I've made it to a few of these places, might have to try a new one next time I'm DT.

On a side note, as much as I love BlogTO (I have the app and just downloaded the new patio app) I find it's very downtown centric. I don't live downtown and nor do I spend a ton of time there either. It'd be great to see a few more locations (on all the best of lists) north of Bloor, or do lists specifically for outside of the downtown core.
wikle / August 2, 2012 at 12:27 pm
You'll forever get the "you forgot....." comments, but this is a fantastic list.
That said, you forgot Oasis (cheesy water feature aside) and Hooters (ignore the Hooters and enjoy the rooftop).
fizz replying to a comment from Linds / August 2, 2012 at 01:30 pm
Stay tuned until BlogTO reviews a restaurant on Lawrence. You'll see the hate then.
CV / August 2, 2012 at 01:32 pm
mommy blogger / August 2, 2012 at 02:47 pm
I tried to take my baby and his stroller to the rooftop at Murphy's Law and they wouldn't let me up. DISCRIMINATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
JN / August 2, 2012 at 02:51 pm
I think Blog TO has missed one of the best Patios in the City at Panorama on top of the Manulife Center Bay and Bloor I love to go up with my wife after a Movie the best view’s in the city!!!!
Lee Hotti / August 2, 2012 at 03:52 pm
Take vivoli down from there now! Their "rooftop patio" is the same size as my closet.
whine replying to a comment from mommy blogger / August 2, 2012 at 03:56 pm
Babies shouldnt be on roof tops, period.

Dint you learn that in in your Baby and Me class?
Nick replying to a comment from Linds / August 2, 2012 at 04:54 pm
Outside downtown...ha! As if such a thing exists.
Smokey Joe's at Yonge/Sheppard. Earth at Jane/Bloor.
Paul / August 2, 2012 at 05:46 pm
Screen Lounge above Fran's still open?
mommie blogger replying to a comment from whine / August 2, 2012 at 05:55 pm
Listen, as an attachment parent my child never leaves the breast and I feel that I am entitled to bring them wherever I choose to go.

The Lonely Troll replying to a comment from mommie blogger / August 2, 2012 at 06:16 pm
The trouble is I'm on the patio and I'm not attached to your kid...
Steve / August 2, 2012 at 07:53 pm
You mention Brazen Head Patio but you failed to mention Williams Landing patio across the street. A much better patio in my opinion.
more replying to a comment from Steve / August 2, 2012 at 08:50 pm
Completely agree with Steve, WL is great.
jrichardson / August 2, 2012 at 10:38 pm
Dear Mommy Blogger

You are NOT entitled to take your child anywhere you want to go. Last time I checked "the right to take an infant into a bsr" was not enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The bar owner can decide NOT to allow anyone under the age of 19 into his/her place. Thank heavens.

Jacob / August 2, 2012 at 11:28 pm

I haven't been to most of these, but I can definitely throw out a recommendation for Pauper's. Their Farmer's Breakfast is still one of my favorite cheap breakfasts in T.O.
Gareth / August 2, 2012 at 11:58 pm
Pilot "Flight Deck" is best in the city. Get there if you haven't been.
danielle replying to a comment from jrichardson / August 3, 2012 at 09:19 am
Are you sure this person isn't a troll?
Janet replying to a comment from Jacob / August 5, 2012 at 11:43 am
Thanks Jacob, and a Paupers little known 'secret', our breakfast is available any day of the week until 3pm even though it isn't on the menu...just ask!
Chris / August 8, 2012 at 01:04 pm
One of the best roof top patios is a little oasis by sheppard and yonge that I love to visit: Smokey Joe's Cafe. They put beach corona posters all over the walls and have umbrellas spread out. A good amount of room, amazing food and a nice vibe. Shame it's so out of the way though.
COSPLAY / September 26, 2012 at 11:40 pm
Great list and, unlike many of the lists here, a lot of these places are near me!
Arbors Dallas TX / December 26, 2012 at 06:14 am
Roof top patios are the best. Its cool and casual. away above the traffic. With natural air conditioning. Its so refreshing.
rudy / January 28, 2013 at 07:50 pm
Most of my faves are listed, one new one I happened upon last fall was the Bovine's at Queen/Bathurst. Great Rock n Roll night vibe.
Urs / February 12, 2013 at 05:39 pm
Love the roof top patio at the Drake. I go up there on Halloween, even if it's -10 out.

Trying to find a patio with an actual lounge setting. Does anyone know if there is anything like that in TO?
New Toronto Condos / March 11, 2013 at 05:40 pm
so happy to have found this list! bring on Toronto patio season!!
Freddie / May 1, 2013 at 09:36 pm
The Pour House on Dupont also has an amazing two storey patio, one on the ground level, one roof top. My favorite spot in the city.
Stepan Hoking / May 3, 2013 at 08:34 am
That is a nice place. air conditioner Montréal.
Self-Entitled replying to a comment from mommie blogger / May 9, 2013 at 02:33 pm
Key phrase: "I feel that I am entitled..."

Mommie Blogger = Troll or scumbag Mommie Barfly
sandras replying to a comment from mommie blogger / June 14, 2013 at 04:00 pm
to Mommy Blogger- your days of partying like teenagers are over and you are a mom now.. keep your kid away from smoke and alcohol, if not for ur child- do it for others who are out to have a good time. We dont want to hear a baby crying while we are getting our freeaak on!
Also a mommy / September 2, 2013 at 08:43 pm
Dear Mommy Blogger - I think you're ridiculous. Instead of taking your baby to the bar, try a playground or splash pad or mommy and me class. Your social life doesn't end when you have a babe but it changes, a lot, accept and enjoy it. Leave the babe with family or a sitter before going to the bar. It's just common courtesy.
Matt replying to a comment from sandras / September 2, 2013 at 11:24 pm
She sounds a lot like where Robyn/Amy/Sarah/whatevernamesheisusingthistime is headed.
arissa165 / November 27, 2013 at 12:48 am
This is nice and fabulas heating and cooling blog.

Heating and cooling Toronto

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