The patio season started early this year, which simply means there’s more time to hit the city’s best al fresco dining and drinking destinations. Here, 10 of our favourites »
Best kid-friendly patio: Granite Brewery
Granite’s roomy rear terrace, facing an enclosed lawn under a canopy of trees, means parents can nurse a midday drink as their little ones run off a post-brunch syrup high. 245 Eglinton Ave. E. (at Mount Pleasant Rd.), 416-322-0723.
Best patio for celeb watching: One
Birkin bags and Bulgari bracelets are de rigueur at this Yorkville hot spot, especially come TIFF, when stargazers camp out to see stars of the Brangelina wattage. 116 Yorkville Ave. (at Hazelton Ave.), 416-961-9600.
Best patio for romance: Park Hyatt Roof Lounge
There are moments when Toronto seems about as romantic as mortgage insurance, but none of those moments take place on the charming balcony extension of the Park Hyatt’s wood-walled lounge. Here, the city feels straight-up Casablanca. Park Hyatt, 4 Avenue Rd. (at Bloor St. W.), 416-324-1568.
Best brunch patio: School Bakery and Café
Brad Moore’s legendary brunch tastes even more delectable when eaten on this large, leafy Liberty Village patio. 70 Fraser Ave. (at Liberty St.), 416-588-0005.
Best post-shopping patio: Czehoski
Provided there’s still room on one’s credit cards for a couple of cocktails, shoppers can head to Czehoski’s secluded rooftop retreat after a hectic retail schlep down Queen West. 678 Queen St. W. (at Euclid Ave.), 416-366-6787.
Best patio for cool nights: Ceili Cottage
Toronto’s not South Beach, but that doesn’t keep Ceili Cottage from operating its patio long into the chilly season. Staffers pass out blankets when the nights get cool; in winter, the space transforms into an ice rink. 1301 Queen St. E. (at Alton Ave.), 416-406-1301.
Best patio for big groups: Victory Café
Bulging out from a pair of Annex Victorians, this corner patio is the largest on the Mirvish Village strip, meaning friends, family and other hangers-on can fit at the wide picnic tables. 581 Markham St. (at Lennox St.), 416-516-5787.
Best patio for a bird’s-eye view of Toronto: Panorama Lounge
The perfect place to take jaded Montrealers or Vancouverites, whose criticism of Toronto is abruptly silenced in the face of Panorama’s breathtaking view. 55 Bloor St. W. (at Bay), 416-967-0000.
Best patio for pretending you’re in someone’s backyard: Allen’s
The gorgeous, century-old willow casts wonderful shade over patrons as they enjoy Allen’s famous juicy burgers or mull the long beer list. 143 Danforth Ave. (at Ellerbeck St.), 416-463-3086.
Best patio for drowning out work sorrows: Bar Wellington
Bar Wellington is a chilled-out watering hole situated conveniently between downtown’s office towers and the homey west end. 520 Wellington St. W. (at Portland St.), 416-341-8880.