The Best Rooftop Patios in Toronto
The 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.
Here is the list of the best rooftop patios in Toronto.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
The 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 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.