The Best Rooftop Patios in Toronto
The 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The 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.
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.
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.
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.