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The top 10 bars to read at in Toronto

Bars to read at in Toronto let you escape into a book as you down a boozy drink, or perhaps a coffee, depending on what you're feeling. Some might fear going to the bar alone, but it doesn't have to be scary, especially when you pick a warm, cozy and welcoming spot.

Here are my picks for bars to read at in Toronto

Famous Last Words

This bar in the Junction is literally book-themed, so it's pretty much built for reading. All of its cocktails are named after literary figures and it even does specials if you visit with your book club.


Head to this Annex spot in the basement of the Duke of York to relax with a beer, pub grub and a good book. Bring a friend, do some reading and then take a break with a board game.

No One Writes to the Colonel

This bar at Bathurst and College is suitable if you want to have a conversation with friends or settle in with a good book. Even if it gets a bit rowdier later in the evening, there tends to be a literary-friendly crowd.

The Paddock

Bars in the Queen West area might not seem like a good place for reading, but this one's a little bit quieter than most in the area. You can also get a nice stiff drink to go with your Hemingway.

The Walton

If you visit this Little Italy bar (and cafe) in the summer time, a visit to the back garden patio is a must. But even if you sit inside, it's easy to read and get work done in this light-filled space that has lots of food and drink options.

Glad Day

Not only is Glad Day a bookstore, but it's also a cafe and bar. Peruse the shelves and then pick something up to read as you sip on a cold or hot beverage.

Gladstone Cafe

The Melody bar at this West Queen West institution is far too bustling and loud to encourage leisurely reading, but the cafe next door is just about ideal. It's a low key space with a high ceiling and brick walls. You can really sink into a book here.

Royal York Library Bar

It always feels like you've stepped into the past at this downtown hotel, especially when you head to the quiet bar that opens at 11:30 a.m. on weekdays.

Done Right Inn

Find some solace (and a drink) after spending the day at Trinity Bellwoods Park. Why not unwind with a book at this West Queen West dive bar?

Grey Tiger

Like most cafe-bar hybrids, the place is filled with light during the day. Since it does both coffee and cocktails, you can pick your poison. If you're reading PDFs on your laptop, be sure to tuck your computer away before 7 p.m. - that's when you'll have to bust out an actual book.

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns at Glad Day

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