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Food & Drink

Experience summer in Toronto on one of the city’s great patios

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Explore and share your experience at any of the city’s patios for your chance to win 52 weeks of patio dining with #PatioscapesTO

Experience summer in Toronto on one of the city's great patios

If there’s one thing the city is passionate about as soon as the weather heats up, it’s our patios. Whether it’s a leisurely brunch, a bountiful al fresco spread or a spirited nightcap under a star-studded sky, few summer experiences compare to dining out in the open air. Food lovers living or visiting Toronto are also privy to the array of flavours offered by the city’s diverse culinary scene. With over 7,500 restaurants in 158 neighbourhoods, from Etobicoke to North York and Scarborough, it’s easy to travel the world by sampling and savouring your way through the GTA’s many restaurants and bars. 

To celebrate the city’s delicious reopening through its patios, Destination Toronto has an exciting contest that makes discovering new gems even more rewarding: winning a year of patio dining.

For six weeks this summer, Torontonians exploring the great outdoor-dining scene can win big. In addition to five weekly themed $100 prize packs, the grand prize features 52 gift cards – one for every week in the year – each valued at $100 from pre-selected restaurants across Toronto. The latter totals $5200, meaning there are more appetizers, cocktails, mains and desserts than you could even dream of sampling.

To enter, simply snap a photo of your experience following the week’s theme and post it on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter using #PatioscapesTO – and don’t forget to tag @DestinationToronto, too. The more entries you submit, the greater the chance you have to win.

So get out there and discover a new tucked-away favourite. From hidden rooftops to new sidewalk patios, we’ve rounded up some local and lesser-trekked spaces by theme to get you started. And if you’re not quite ready to get back out yet, Toronto’s restaurants are still offering delivery and takeout on ToGoToronto.

Week 1: CaféTO Patios (June 29 – July 6)

Show some love for all the local businesses in the CaféTO program with a picture on one of their cozy city sidewalk or curb-lane patios. 

Kanto by Tita Flips, 707 Dundas St. W.  

When it comes to flavour bombs, look no further than those found in a Filipino feast. Be it a pre-ordered brunch spread noshing on marinated rib-eye and sweet bacon, garlic rice and ube pancakes or a bountiful Kamayan spread laid out on its CaféTO designated table, make sure you come hungry.

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Week 2:  First Timer (July 7 – July 13)

Get out of your usual routine and try something outside of your tried-and-true joints. Snap a shot of your first experience on a new (to you) patio in a different neighbourhood or space serving new flavours. 

Mexitaco, 1109 Victoria Park Ave and 2496 Kingston Road, Scarborough 

For cheerful and bright flavours from Mexico, check out this family-run restaurant that serves everything from tacos and burritos to traditional antojitos like elote (Mexican street corn) and pozole. Choose from two locations, their quaint corner patio on Victoria Park Avenue to people watch from, or their space near picturesque Scarborough Bluffs for a nice post-meal walk fueled by their specialty, a delightfully crisp tostada capped with shrimp ceviche. 

Week 3:  Hide and Seek (July 14 – July 20)

From hidden alcoves to secret sun-drenched gardens, experience the thrill of finding a tucked-away space you never knew existed, then share a photo of that newly uncovered gem. 

Café 23, 728 Queen St. W.

Escape the city and disappear into a lush Parisian-style garden hidden behind this Trinity Bellwoods coffee shop. Sip on an espresso-based drink – made with beans from local roasters Hale and De Mello on their smaller upstairs wooden deck – or lounge away the morning savouring a classic French pastry or toasted St. Viateur bagel in the ivy-wrapped stone-paved backspace.  

Week 4:  Under the Stars (July 21 – July 27)

Capture the vibe that’s only possible on summer nights, whether it’s your table at golden hour or the dazzling view illuminated by moonlight and under glittering string lights.

Bar Reyna, 158 Cumberland St. 

Sure, there’s a quaint street-facing patio to people-watch from, but head toward the rear of this Yorkville gem and discover a cozy and romantic all-weather patio. Sinking into plush cushions under twinkling string lights at Yorkville’s semi-hidden back patio is a perfect pick for any occasion. Paired with their Mediterranean-inspired lamb baklava and a flight of their addictive shoestring fries dusted with za’atar, wild Greek oregano and crumbled feta, Bar Reyna is the perfect date night adventure.

Week 5:  Patio Vista/Views (July 28 – August 3)

Show off that panoramic view from one of Toronto’s towering rooftop patios by posting the locale and the surrounding scenery for this week’s challenge. 

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Hôtel Le Germain’s newest option is an intimate refuge eleven floors above the hubbub and construction of the downtown streets below. A collaboration with Veuve Clicquot that only seats fourteen, the oasis serves bottles of bubbly and Chef Lanny MacLeod’s share-friendly plates, including a delicate yellowfin tartare accompanied by house-made (vegan) crackers or honey-chipotle glazed Miami short ribs. 

Week 6: People’s Choice (August 9 – August 15)

The moment of truth! Destination Toronto has shortlisted their favourites from the #PatioscapesTO contest submission but needs your help to decide who gets the grand prize. Vote for your top pick(s) and help a fellow Torontonian win a year of patio dining – on us. 

Ring in another great summer by checking out a new spot and sharing your experience for a chance to win 52 weeks of patio dining with #PatioscapesTO. Weekly winners will be chosen from submitted photo entries by the Destinations Toronto Brand Content team. The public will choose the People’s Choice grand prize from a shortlist of top #PatioscapesTO contest entries. No purchase necessary. Click here for more information, full contest rules and to submit your entries online.

No matter how you embrace Toronto’s vibrant culinary scene, be sure to follow provincial-advised COVID safety practices and those of the restaurant or bar you’re visiting.

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