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Best of Toronto

The Best Rooftop Patios in Toronto

Posted by Erinn Beth Langille / June 19, 2014

rooftop patios torontoThe best rooftop patios in Toronto will put anyone in a good mood, especially after a punishing Canadian winter. For the price of a drink, a rooftop patio will literally raise you above it all - the gritty streets, the heavy worries of work - so you can have that much-needed reprieve after a knockabout day. With a bird's eye view of the city, a few rays, and a vibrant social scene, you'll want to take all your meals al fresco.

Some of the wildest rooftop patios in Toronto - like The Thompson, with its infinity pool, or the Spoke Club - require membership or a stay at the hotel, and haven't been included here. Instead this list has patios with mass appeal - where admission is marked by cocktails and pints, not clubs and secret passwords. The best vibes tend to be found at more inclusive places, where you don't know whom you'll be sitting beside, whether it's a celebrity, a happy family, or a cute girl next door.

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

Here are the best rooftop patios in Toronto.

Bovine Sex Club (top photo)
With notable punk and alt-rock bands coming through constantly, the Bovine has done its time in the city's rock scene. But there's always room for new additions, like the recently added patio, where the rockabilly love prevails in a tiki bar-themed oasis. Rock on!

Drake SkyYardDrake SkyYard
Ten years on, Drake SkyYard is still the creme de la creme of rooftop patios. There's plenty of barstools, flowers and lounging seats, umbrellas for shade and the oh-so-chill vibe of the Queen West locals. There may not be as much rubbernecking for the celebrity sightings these days, but it still feels a bit like Hollywood up there.

Hemingways TorontoHemingway's
Cross your fingers it's World Cup season, and then go straight to Hemingway's, where they're representing New Zealand. Don't worry about the posh Yorkville surroundings - there's no dress code, the kitchen serves pub food, and the atmosphere is chill. If the games don't interest you, the view of the neighbourhood surely will.

Rooftop Patios TorontoPauper's Pub
College kids flock to Pauper's rooftop patio for the pub food and pint specials, but anyone can enjoy a little fun in the sun. The unpretentious Annex vibe, topped off with basic plastic chairs and Corona umbrellas, draws a crowd.

The PilotThe Pilot
Yorkville is home to The Pilot's laid-back rooftop patio, where you can start with a casual hang out and find yourself settling in for hours. Silver chairs and tables are softened with lots of window boxes overflowing with lush greenery.

Gusto 101Gusto 101
The white seating may provide a bit of a glare, but keep on the sunnies, add a little extra sunscreen, and call your friends over to Gusto 101 (there's seating for 100). Enjoy their rooftop grill while you look out over Portland.

Murphys LawMurphy's Law
Providing a bird's eye view of the Beaches has not only distinguished Murphy's Law as one of the best rooftop patios in the area, but it almost has you believing you're on the ocean. Have a couple of their Caesars, and you'll believe it.

CzehoskiCzehoski
Ever wish you could sit in the eaves of an old Victorian house? Head to Czehoski on West Queen West, where you may not be able to see down to the street but you can feel the charm of the local scene in the cozy little enclave.

Madison Pub TorontoThe Madison
The long line of picnic tables and patio chairs bring all the boys to the Madison on the weekend - mostly students in search of a pint. Weekdays are more of an eclectic mix, with Annex locals hanging around with grads taking study breaks while working on their tans.

rooftop patios torontoThe Chase
The Financial District needed to have a patio, and poof - there it was, the Chase, just as fancy and glorious as you expected. The view is so lovely, you'll be shouting "Show me the money!" from the rooftops.

beverley hotelBeverley Hotel
It's natural to take your clandestine affair to a hotel bar, but at The Beverley Hotel, you could take it a step further to the patio, and air out your dirty laundry. Heck, just take a pal if you want, and relax in the tropical environment.

Queen and beaver TorontoThe Queen and Beaver
Queen and Beaver is a sophisticated pub in more ways than one. The food is fantastic, but why not take that grub outdoors to their intimate rooftop patio? The wrought iron railing gives you a sneak peek of the neighbourhood while you're enjoying your food from the exclusive perch.

cafe nervosaCafe Nervosa
Yorkville sophistication strikes again with the upper patio at Café Nervosa. As you bask in the rays, the dark chairs and benches, black and white checkered floor and white walls will really highlight your tan.

the ballroomThe Ballroom
You might think that a bowling alley would be in the bowels of the earth, cut off from sunlight and fresh air, but not The Ballroom. This "interactive entertainment centre" boasts a lovely rooftop patio, complete with TVs, an outdoor bar and some draping vines.

williams landingWilliams Landing
One of the many condo dwellers or designers who call Liberty Village home? Have your apres-work meetings at Williams Landing. Streamlined silver high chairs and a couple of umbrellas entice you to kick back and take in the view.

Did we miss any? Leave your favourite rooftop patio in the comments.

Discussion

45 Comments

chester / June 19, 2014 at 11:23 am
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Its only 11:20 and this whole article wants me to go get DTW because of these pics and the weather outside.
ohboy replying to a comment from chester / June 19, 2014 at 12:02 pm
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Haha, me too!

If you don't have a thirst by Thursday at noon somethings not right!
Dan F / June 19, 2014 at 12:06 pm
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Why are these lists always concentrated in one small area of the city? There are lots of great rooftop patios in North York, Scarborough, Etobicoke... How about expanding beyond the downtown?
Another One / June 19, 2014 at 12:07 pm
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I just ate on the treetop patio at Harvest Kitchen. That was very nice too. No umbrellas but you're completely covered by trees over top. 4 dollar pints (HK Lager, I think) from 3-5 and 9-11.
easy replying to a comment from Dan F / June 19, 2014 at 12:11 pm
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Because no one gives two fucks about North York, Scarborough, Etobicoke.
AV replying to a comment from easy / June 19, 2014 at 12:16 pm
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zing
granfrad replying to a comment from Dan F / June 19, 2014 at 12:22 pm
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Because it's BlogTO, not BlogEtobicoke.
CptNash / June 19, 2014 at 12:32 pm
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The Thompson hotel has a spectacular view too!
16 in the middle of Miami / June 19, 2014 at 12:35 pm
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How about Jack Assholes on yonge/dundas?
honested replying to a comment from easy / June 19, 2014 at 12:38 pm
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because those parts of the "city" suck.
sarah / June 19, 2014 at 12:41 pm
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"ohh John, i hear theres a great rooftop patio in scarborough, wanna go?"
SAID NO ONE EVER
TB / June 19, 2014 at 12:58 pm
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How is Oasis not on this list?
Jewls / June 19, 2014 at 01:10 pm
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I think you forgot 180 Panorama...51st floor of the Manulife - 2 rooftop patios with sweeping views of the city...
tokidoki / June 19, 2014 at 01:13 pm
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I would like a list of the best "No Smoking" patios in Toronto. When I'm enjoying a sunny day on a Toronto patio, I don't want it spoiled by a puff of toxic smoke.
Jessica / June 19, 2014 at 01:37 pm
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Terroni Price St. has a large, beautiful rooftop patio overlooking Rosedale and the Summerhill LCBO.
Tom / June 19, 2014 at 01:50 pm
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Terroni Summmerhill location should be on this list.
cmon really replying to a comment from granfrad / June 19, 2014 at 02:30 pm
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Toronto has amalgamated, in case you've been in a cave for the past what 15 years? The former boroughs are TORONTO.

Also, the holier than thou attitude against the suburbs didn't play too well in the last election did it downtown folk? Try expanding your horizons a bit and hop on that subway or bus we all pay so much taxes for and check out some of the spots outside of your cozy little downtown bubble.

Wendy Jarrett / June 19, 2014 at 02:44 pm
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The Globe Bistro on Danforth a must!!!!!
Skye / June 19, 2014 at 02:45 pm
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It might be a chain pub, but the Fox & Fiddle just north of Yonge and St Clair has an amazing double-decker rooftop patio. There's even TVs out there for when the game is on. AND it's right at the subway station.
paul replying to a comment from Dan F / June 19, 2014 at 02:51 pm
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I think blogTo refers to the city of Toronto, not the GTA. If I'm from Etobicoke, I say I'm from Etobicoke, not Toronto. Toronto is not North York, Scarborough, Etobicoke.

get the facts straight replying to a comment from cmon really / June 19, 2014 at 03:09 pm
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Those regions amalgamated in to the GTA - BlogTO is for the city of Toronto, i.e what suburbanites would typically consider "downtown".
burbs blow replying to a comment from cmon really / June 19, 2014 at 03:21 pm
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Suburbanites seem to think downtowners have a holier than thou attitude. The truth is most of us just don't care about the suburbs because they have nothing to offer. Things are so few and far between out there.
Paul replying to a comment from Dan F / June 19, 2014 at 03:29 pm
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There are a lot of good rooftop patios north of Bloor too!
!@ replying to a comment from Paul / June 19, 2014 at 03:31 pm
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Dont be silly.
HoseA replying to a comment from get the facts straight / June 19, 2014 at 03:47 pm
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Sometimes I wonder if people like you have even the slightest grasp of how our governance works. Who do you vote for? Do you vote? FFS it is no wonder that this city can't get its shit straight when people like you have no idea where the borders of this city are.

Metropolitan Toronto amalgamated in 1998 into the City of Toronto. Metro was made up of the Cities of Toronto, North York, Scarborough, Etobicoke, York, and East York. There is no political entity called the GTA.
no rocket science replying to a comment from HoseA / June 19, 2014 at 04:47 pm
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There is when it comes to BlogTO.

Those border towns are not part of what goes on here.

Get it straight.
really not this hard / June 19, 2014 at 04:49 pm
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No body gives a shit about any patios out there, because no one who comes to Toronto or lives here and wants to enjoy a patio will ever say "hey i wonder what kind of patios are good in Scarborough?".

People want to know whats good in Toronto proper. Downtown, where its actually enjoyable to spend time.
Al replying to a comment from really not this hard / June 19, 2014 at 05:06 pm
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A lot of tourists go to the Zoo, or the Science Centre, or Black Creek Pioneer Village, or Wonderland, or go shopping at Sherway Gardens or Yorkdale. If you ever got out of downtown, you might meet some.
really not this hard replying to a comment from Al / June 19, 2014 at 05:24 pm
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This isnt about tourist spots in the GTA.

This is about patios.

And no one wants to sit on some dingy strip mall plaza dive bar patio out on Kennedy Road.

Kim / June 19, 2014 at 06:46 pm
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Hey Erinn Beth:

The railing at Queen and Beaver is "wrought iron", not "rod-iron".
HoseB / June 19, 2014 at 09:21 pm
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What y'all on about?
Sarah / June 20, 2014 at 09:15 am
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Though a nice patio atmosphere at The Pilot, the food was appalling and I would never return there to eat. I am not a picky eater, but the food here was just gross.
Samantha / June 20, 2014 at 09:21 am
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How is The Porch at Rock N Horse or Oasis not on this list?
Random Reader replying to a comment from sarah / June 20, 2014 at 09:57 am
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I needed that. Thank you.
Andrew / June 20, 2014 at 10:28 am
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If you go to Hemmingways to cheer on New Zealand in the WC you might be a bit disappointed.
Kaila replying to a comment from granfrad / June 20, 2014 at 11:37 am
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TO = ALL areas in Toronto proper, which actually includes Etobicoke, North York, and Scarborough, much to the surprise of many ignorant Torontonians. Therefore, while this article is absolutely FANTASTIC, it would be amazing to see some more places featured in the lesser known and apparently "ominous" areas of the city.

There are some lovely spots in these areas, some great and vibrant neighbourhoods that seem to get forgotten more often than not when talking about Toronto (and no, I am not talking about dingy spots in a strip mall on Kennedy"
kj replying to a comment from paul / June 20, 2014 at 01:07 pm
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Actually, that is where you are wrong. While I have lived equal amounts of time in both North York and "downtown" and neither consider myself to be from one area or another, they are both in the same city. For all intents and purposes, they are both considered Toronto proper. Politically, educationally, and otherwise, the City of Toronto amalgamated all its immediate suburban municipalities, including North York, Scarborough, and Etobicoke in 1998 to form the current City of Toronto (see: Mike Harris and the 'current' City of Toronto).

A little modern history lesson.
macguffin / June 20, 2014 at 03:48 pm
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Whatever you think of North York, Scarborough, and Etobicoke, they are considered part of Toronto by blogTO, which has featured locations in those areas in other articles. The assumption that the site only deals with central Toronto and not the entire GTA is incorrect, even if most of the focus is on downtown.
haha / June 20, 2014 at 06:59 pm
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The point is no one cares about rooftop patios out in North York
Oz / June 22, 2014 at 04:23 pm
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The list focuses on downtown because people from the Etobicoke, Scarborough and North York areas generally work or visit the downtown area for work or drive down to visit. People who live in the downtown area really have limited transport options. I wouldn't think 'hey it a Saturday night, lets go for a drink in North York' and then have to take a 20min subway journey and finish the night on the vomit comet is not the preferred option! Downtown has more options, more people to meet and bars stay open later.

Why does Rob Ford who loves Etobicoke, keep hanging out at downtown locations? It really doesn't matter where you're from or where you go, just have a good time with great company.
Goobe / June 25, 2014 at 11:05 am
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Wow white people love patios, there are two Asian dudes in a pic but they are on their phones and disinterested.

TorontoFoodBwoy / June 29, 2014 at 11:25 am
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If the TTC doesn't go to your area then you aren't in Toronto, sorry, you're in the GTA.
HCMC / July 3, 2014 at 04:10 pm
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Hahahaa! Lesson of the Day: Suburbanites get really really bad FOMO when you don't include them on "Best Rooftop Patio" lists...or when you suggest they're Suburbanites.
tj replying to a comment from TB / July 4, 2014 at 07:55 am
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because it a group of places the person writing this goes or has friends that work there... there is a ton of great patios missed on this list. the prob with these lists are there is NO set criteria like size, variety of seating, water features, permanent bar, lounge area etc... its just a missmash. I agree with you Oasis is a great patio, as is the Hey Lucys patio around the corner
meme / July 24, 2014 at 08:06 am
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This list is incomplete without the Hyatt Rooftop Bar. The best martini in the city with the best view.

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