The Toronto rooftop bar inspiring Canadian authors
Sip, savour, and find your creative spark at this historic downtown pub that literary legends love
A cozy, romantic nook in the Park Hyatt Toronto has been sought-after for decades by some of the most elite Canadian artists and innovators.
Now, thanks to a massive four-year renovation, the Writers Room is a refreshed and inviting spot for Torontonians who seek inspiration from its vibrant culture and history.
Framed collections of antique ink bottles, writing quills and writer-inspired decor set the tone in the Writers Room. In the lounge, sit back in the beautifully adorned space with oxblood banquettes, dark-stained oak-and-velvet walls, and black-stone tables.
A double-sided fireplace separates the indoor space into two sections, offering guests the option of an open area (to see and be seen) or a more private spot for quieter conversations. Floor-to-ceiling windows ensure all guests enjoy glorious city views—not just those on the expanded outdoor terrace.
“We sit on the outside patio drinking manhattans and looking over the stone balustrade…This is one of the tallest buildings around. Below us, Toronto festers in the evening heat, the trees spreading like worn moss, the lake zinc in the distance.”
This passage appears in Cat’s Eye, the Booker Prize–nominated classic novel by one of Canada’s most illustrious authors, Margaret Atwood. A work of fiction about a woman named Elaine and the childhood events that shaped her, the book contains a few autobiographical details. Like Atwood, for example, Elaine is the daughter of an entomologist. Plus, the bar described is known to be the rooftop patio of Toronto’s Park Hyatt hotel, a spot Atwood visited frequently in the 1980s.
And Atwood isn’t the only noteworthy writer who found inspiration in the cozy, sophisticated cocktail bar. Prolific Canadian author Farley Mowat has reportedly spent time in the Writers Room, too, as has Mordecai Richler. Even the Writers Guild of Canada was purportedly born here on the back of a napkin.
Beyond offering a taste of the past, a visit to the Writers Room is a chance to sip a curated selection of stirred cocktails—many of which are inspired by Canadian literary icons.
Sip on a glass of Conscience, comprising dark rum, Lillet, Nonino, and Amarena cherry and orange bitters—an homage to journalist June Callwood. If you’re a coffee lover, try an Atwood-inspired Bitter Relief, made with Roku Gin, sweet vermouth and coffee-bean Campari.
Writers Room mixologists prepare their signature drinks tableside in vintage shakers and serve the concoctions in timeless glassware for a sublime, artful experience.
If your appetite goes beyond beverages, the menu features elevated, tastefully plated options—try a foie gras doughnut blueberry fritter with an ice-wine vinegar glaze, or the tuna tartare with truffles, crispy shallots and nori chips. There are also plenty of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dishes available.
The Park Hyatt is also an ideal place to spot stars, thanks to its prime location at the corner of Bloor Street and Avenue Road. Just steps from Yorkville, the luxury hotel is rumoured to have hosted everyone from Brad Pitt to Keira Knightley.
With new menus, stunning renovations and the best people-watching opportunities around, there’s never been a better time to visit the Writers Room at Park Hyatt Toronto.