Who says you need to actually leave the city for a summer escape? From breezy rooftop lounges to hidden backyards and alleys, Toronto is stacked with patios. There’s nothing like letting a Saturday afternoon carry into the night on a good patio, pint in hand and old friends at the table.
This Indie88 feature is presented with Thornbury Village Craft Apple Cider.
Location: The Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St W
Rain or shine, the Sky Yard is a rooftop escape suitable for all weather — even winter. This popular Queen West spot is both casual and intimate, with seating available for dining/drinks as well as lounge space suitable for a Saturday afternoon.
Location: 22 Cumberland St
Located in the heart of Yorkville, the “Flight Deck” has been around for over 70 years. Its heaters and retractable awnings provide warmth and shelter during those colder early spring days, while its ceiling fans work to keep you cool on a hot August afternoon.
Mascot Brewery and Beer Garden
Location: 31 Mercer St
If you’re trapped in an apartment and craving a backyard barbecue afternoon, Mascot’s rooftop Beer Garden is ideal. This spot is located in the Entertainment District and serves hefty snacks that go perfectly with a refreshing home brew. Instead of splitting a pitcher of sangria somewhere else, opt in for the five-litre kegs of craft brews for a friendly buzz.
Location: 31 Mercer St
With a retractable ceiling, this King West spot is open rain or shine. Sit by the woodfire grill and enjoy a glass of wine in a sleek greenhouse-style terrace. If you’re not into the heights, Gusto also has a street level patio that opens up during pristine summer days.
Bar Hop Brewco
Location: 137 Peter St
Located just strides away from its parent location on King West, Bar Hop offers a wide selection of craft beers. Its rooftop patio is bright and decked out in yellow accents with high wooden beams and enough shade to kick it in on a sunny summer afternoon.
Location: 365 King St. W
While the Underground’s basement bar has long been a staple on the late night King Street circuit, its excellent rooftop patio is one of the establishment’s finest features. The UG Loft serves up drinks and food every weekday from 4-11 p.m. and opens at 2 p.m. on weekends.
CUTE & QUAINT
Location: 93 Danforth Ave
Factory Girl isn’t visible from the street, so one could easily walk by without ever discovering the wholesome spot. Named after the Rolling Stones song, this gastropub is a casual bar that loves its rock n roll. The patio is quaint and cozy, surrounded by a backyard-ish scene that lights up at night. Pop by for a beer before a show at the Danforth Music Hall and you’ve got yourself a good ol’ Toronto night.
Done Right Inn
Location: 861 Queen St W
At first glance you might think the Done Right Inn is just any old dive bar, but continue walking through and you’ll find yourself in a cozy patio surrounded by nature. The patio is small but incredibly comfortable and ideal for a beer after a stroll through Trinity Bellwoods. This bar also happens to have a great beer selection with equally great prices.
Location: 143 Danforth Ave
Located close to Broadview Station, Allen’s boasts a heavy bar menu that includes 340 whiskies, over 100 VQA wines, and 140 beers. Referred to as Allen’s backyard, this back patio is exactly that. Sheltered by the shade of surrounding trees during the day and lit up at night, this local spot is home away from home.
Location: 1704 Queen St W
The Raca Cafe is another humble Queen West spot. Inspired by Bali, Indonesia, the decor is calm and nurturing, with Buddha artwork and stringed lights draped across the top of the patio.
Location: 240 King St E
There’s something about hidden patios that make you feel removed from city life for just a few hours. Betty’s is one of these places. Hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Betty’s outdoor patio is a small, intimate nook on King Street that makes you feel like you’re at a backyard fam jam (in a good way).
The Three Speed
Location: 1163 Bloor St W
In the mood for a northern getaway? The Three Speed is located in Bloordale Village but might as well be located in a small northern Ontario town. Its outdoor fireplace gives it that northern getaway feel, combined with its high fences, wooden beams and greenery. Just the right amount of light escapes past its sheltering trees, leaving you to forget you’re right outside Bloor St.
Location: 539 Bloor St W
This patio is sort of a double whammy, with the option of both a rooftop and a sidewalk patio. This spot is great if you’re looking for a versatile place where you can change it up a little, especially if you’re prone to spending whole afternoons and evenings at the same spot. The rooftop patio is private and equipped with its own bar, while the street level yard is eclectic and usually pretty packed on a summer evening.
Duke of York
Location: 39 Prince Arthur Ave
This London inspired pub has an eye-catching garden patio that makes for a chill spot to lounge on a Sunday afternoon. This Annex spot is nestled between two buildings for privacy and blanketed in string lights and colourful blooms for a true summer feel.
Location: 245 Queens Quay W
Amsterdam’s open view of Lake Ontario makes it unique in its own right. This location has three patios and is located right on the waterfront, making for a Muskoka-esque patio escape in the middle of the city.
Bovine Sex Club
Location: 542 Queen St W
There’s no sign on the Bovine, but it can be recognized by the pile of broken bikes that are stuck to the front of the building. This punk rock bar and venue has called Toronto home since the early 90s. The kicker with the Bovine is its rooftop patio is a tiki bar, which strangely suits the rest of the bar’s interior. Also, who doesn’t love a good tiki bar?
Location: 2125 Dundas St W
Bandit Brewery’s sidewalk patio is among the most unique in the city, with its trees, hung lights, picnic table-style furniture and its proximity to a street (Dundas St). At night, it’s warmly lit string lights might make you feel like you’re sitting in a piazza somewhere in Italy.
Stay tuned to Indie88.com over the next few weeks for our entire Guide to Summer series.
Up next: The Best Outdoor Activities in Toronto (Monday, June 12)