Toronto Patio Guide: The Financial District
It's no secret that Bay Street traders, brokers, bankers and lawyers know how to party hard after a lucrative litigation or successful stock trade. Come the warmer months there are plenty of patio options to lay down the Visa Infinite, exercise the expense account and revel in a round of shooters. But consider yourself fore warned, the good times are strictly a Monday-Friday routine. Toronto's Financial District is nothing short of a ghost-town come weekends when most of the patios are deserted if not closed.
Here's a roundup of 10 of the best patios in Toronto's Financial District.
At the south end of the TD Bank Tower overlooking Wellington (and across from Tory's), one of Bay Street's swankiest restaurants emerges from the PATH with a heated patio that's partly covered with plenty of shade. An outdoor bar provides easy access to libations to wash down indulgent eats like the foie gras BLT or $35 burger.
Duke of Devon
Just east of Bymark near the corner of Bay and Wellington, the Duke of Devon offers a more casual, pub-like setting with a still Bay Street-ish menu featuring mini burgers, lobster caesar salad and watermelon mojitos. It's the closest patio to the Design Exchange but something tells me that's not really the draw.
Just as the name suggests, this bar and restaurant is really jumping come the late afternoon and early evening. The west facing patio in the courtyard of Commerce Court is large, attractive and comes complete with an outdoor bar and plenty of seating options. It's more casual than Bymark but still sophisticated enough to inebriate clients with apple pie martinis and beer battered onion rings.
At the south-east corner of Wellington and Bay, this Brookfield Place destination serves up some of the freshest (if not priciest) sashimi in the city. The patio is perfect for couples or large groups and like most of the options in this part of town has an outdoor bar, heaters and comfy seating that's a far cry from your typical plastic table and chairs setup.
Debut Cafe and Bar (121 King St. West)
What was that about plastic tables and chairs? For cheap suds in cheaper looking digs, the Debut Cafe and Bar is the place. Your're much more likely to find temps here than traders but with a $3.99 all day breakfast and domestic bottled beer for under four bucks I don't hear too many people complaining.
One of Bay Street's favourite hangouts, the Keg on York St. between Richmond and Adelaide has a small, covered street-side patio and a much larger one in the back. This is the patio to take large groups where fast and efficient service is made easy with a dedicated outside kitchen and bar area.
Reds Bistro & Wine Bar
At the north end of First Canadian Place where Adelaide meets Sheppard St., this high end wine bar draws an older crowd who come to its streamlined patio for housemade charcuterie, a 3,000 bottle wine cellar and a ridiculously large selection of cheese. With this large a wine list, it should be no surprise that Reds offers Toronto's largest selection of by the glass wine options (currently 88).
Duke of Westminster
Located right next to Reds, this sister pub of the Duke of Devon (they have the same menu) has two small patio areas directly outside the north entrance of First Canadian Place. Green Moosehead umbrellas provide more than enough shade. Have a pint and then stop in and say hi to the friendly receptionists at the nearby Toronto Board of Trade.
This Chinese restaurant makes for a good but greasy lunch-hour option on the second floor of the First Canadian Place. The south-facing patio overlooks King St. and is a nice alternative to the nearby food-court. Best during the noon-hour (read: don't go after work).
Also on the second floor of First Canadian Place, Vertical restaurant provides a stark contrast to its Chinese neighbour with white tablecloth service at its larger outdoor space where there's slightly better views of the action on King St. below. The setting is much more elegant and attracts a well dressed executive-level crowd who rendezvous for mini meatball sandwiches and stiff margaritas.
A special thanks to Bud Light Lime for sponsoring this section.
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