Stay Outside: the 7 best new winter patios in Toronto

Stay Outside: the 7 best new winter patios in Toronto

(Image: Sara Collaton Photography) One of the best new winter patios in Toronto: the covered outdoor space at Rose and Sons Big Crow (Image: Sara Collaton)

There’s something vaguely illicit about sipping a drink outdoors after October—which is precisely the appeal. Several new Toronto restaurants and bars are catching onto this fact. Thanks to their crop of heated, all-weather patios, you can assert your ballsy northern pride this winter without risking frostbite. Here, our top seven picks for cozy outdoor revelry, plus a soul-warming beverage to sip at each spot.

Rose and Sons Big Crow

Quaint lanterns dangle from the rafters at Anthony Rose’s snug, Canadiana-themed winter lodge. Heat lamps and stripy woolen blankets keep diners cozy.
Covered: Yes
Liquid Warmth: Santa’s Stache, a citrusy spiced ale. Five per cent of proceeds go to Movember Canada, benefiting research for men’s cancers.
176 Dupont St. (in the back), 647-748-3287,

Bellwoods Brewery

The bustling street-side patio was crammed all summer with beer-happy locals. Recent additions include a roof, powerful heat lamps and strings of pretty Christmas lights.
Covered: Yes
Liquid Warmth: The Grizzly Beer, a hoppy brown ale with toasty notes of chocolate, nuts and fruit.
124 Ossington Ave., 416-535-4586,

(Image: Mill Street Beer Hall) (Image: Mill Street Beer Hall)
Mill Street Beer Hall

This massive patio in the Distillery District has heat lamps, two fireplaces and a full-service outdoor bar with 15 taps, one of which is devoted to the bar’s house-made root beer.
Covered: Yes
Liquid Warmth: Bierschnaps, a clear liqueur that’s double-distilled on-site. The Coffee Porter variety has notes of roasted coffee with just a hint of chocolate.
21 Tank House Ln., 416-681-0338,

El Catrin

Also in the Distillery District, this massive Mexican restaurant has a sprawling patio to match. There’s no roof, but heat lamps and a huge fire pit keep the space habitable when temperatures plummet.
Covered: No
Liquid Warmth: The Michelada, a spicy cross between a beer and a Caesar.
18 Tank House Ln., 416-203-2121,

The greenhouse-style patio at Gusto 101 (Image: Renée Suen) The greenhouse-style patio at Gusto 101 (Image: Renée Suen)
Gusto 101

With a fully retractable ceiling, the King West trattoria’s rooftop terrace provides as much (or as little) coverage as necessary.
Covered: Yes
Liquid Warmth: The Hot Negroni, which is blended with house-made chai and served with a cinnamon stick.
101 Portland St., 416-504-9669,


Like nearby Gusto, the Latin street food spot goes the greenhouse route with glass-paneled walls and a retractable glass ceiling. The summery menu of ceviches and empanadas helps sustain the tropical illusion.
Covered: Yes
Liquid Warmth: Quentão de vinho, a Latin-style mulled wine infused with Brazilian sugar cane rum.
606 King St. W., 416-363-8388,

Electric Mud

An industrial-strength canvas ceiling and clear plastic walls have kept the party going on the Parkdale barbecue joint’s rowdy front patio.
Covered: Yes
Liquid Warmth: Four-dollar shots of Wild Turkey are pretty much guaranteed to keep you feeling toasty.
5 Brock Ave., 416-516-8286,