Toronto’s Best People-Watching Patios

Dinner and a show

Whether you want to admit it or not, you love people-watching. Staring at strangers, wondering where they’re going or what they’re thinking about is very entertaining. Add a couple of drinks into that mix and that’s a nice little afternoon you have there.

These are the best patios to people-watching in the city:

The Rivoli | Queen West

Lots of people are going to debate this saying The Black Bull is better, but the two are very close. The only bad part about people-watching at Black Bull is that you can get seated pretty far from the street, thus no people to watch. At The Riv you’re seated right in the heart of Queen West! There’s vendors, tourists and city folk to lovingly creep on.


Java House | Queen West

Another prime spot on Queen West is taken up by a cheap eat shack called Java House. Not only can you spend less than $20 on a few beers and food but you can gawk away at the insane amount of foot traffic that passes by.


(Photo by Mike S. via Yelp)


The Dizzy | Roncesvales

This isn’t considered a patio by “legal standards” but they have a nice bar facing out onto the street. The seating may be limited but the view for pedestrian peeking couldn’t be better. You can check out all the people that clearly have their lives together on Roncy.


Bellwoods Brewery | Dundas and Ossington

Not only do you get to sample some of their delicious brews, you can be a peeping tom on all the humans tripping around lower Ossington. As my dad said when I took him here, “there sure is a lot of people down here.”


(Photo via BeerTime)


Ronnie’s Local 069 | Kensington Market

One of the best places to grab a beer outside in the city is also one of the best for staring at strangers. Kensington Market on a nice day or an especially sunny weekend couldn’t be busier. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see some dread heads kick a bean bag around.


Jack Astor’s | Yonge & Dundas

Say what you want about including a chain on this list but it’s hard to find a better spot to do some snooping than a giant birds eye view of Y-D Square.


(Photo via Ryerson StudentLife)


Statler’s | Church Street

Although there may not be an abundance of room on their rooftop patio, the few seating options available are key. Sit above the streets and watch the hustle and bustle of Church Street below.

(Main photo by Stephen Chanasyk via Flickr)