10 Quirkily-Themed Spaces In Toronto

Maya Shankman

Like any bustling city, Toronto has no shortage of critically-acclaimed restaurants and trendy bars. And yet, sometimes you want something slightly out of the ordinary. Spend your evening a little differently; up the kitsch factor, the quirkiness, the tweeness and check out our guide for some of the quirkiest-themed spaces in the city.

Courtesy of The Addisons Residence

1. The Addisons Residence

Bar, Pub Grub

The Addisons Residence, staged to look like a mid-century Malibu beach house, gives guests the sense that they are crashing a house party rather than entering a stuffy bar. The space is staged as an actual home, divided into different rooms, tastefully designed by Lisa Ho. Head to the rec room, filled with board games, foosball, bubble hockey, a shuffleboard table, and a fully-stocked bar (just as a parent’s bar should be). Guests can order snacks in the kitchen, all catered by The Food Dudes, and take a seat at the large communal dining table. The living room, fashioned with comfortable armchairs, couches, and TVs, is perfect for those looking to chill and keep it low-key. Photographs of this ‘mysterious’ Addison family line the walls, making the home feel just as real as ever. Good music, great cocktails, tasty snacks, and endless entertainment (live bands play several nights of the week), leaves little room for doubt: the Addisons throw the best party in town.

2. The Lockhart

Bar, British, Canadian

The Lockhart, Toronto’s much buzzed about Harry Potter inspired bar, has hit Dundas West, paying subtle homage to the wizarding world of J.K. Rowling’s series, which debuted back in the late 90s. While die-hard fans will be quick to identify the nods to Harry Potter, others will simply find these features to be welcome additions to this charming space. The menu features ‘Potions and Elixirs’ as well as a short selection of bar snacks, but if you plan on stopping by, be sure to bundle up, line ups have been out the door since the place opened! It’s worth the wait, even for the most unacquainted ‘Potter’ fans. Track & Field Bar | © Ally Payetta

3. Track & Field Bar

Bar, Pub Grub

Track & Field, Toronto
Courtesy of Rock N Horse Saloon
Track & Field Bar is quite the hidden gem, this renovated basement bar boasts a cozy atmosphere, awesome tunes and bar snacks, craft beer, a long list of craft cocktails and is fashioned with several bocce ball and shuffleboard lanes, free from midnight to 2 am. Change it up and mix your cocktails with some friendly competition; what more could one want!

4. SPiN Toronto

Bar, Pub Grub

A trend that has its roots in New York City has made its way to Toronto in the way of SPiN: a 12,000 square foot warehouse converted into a glorified table tennis club. The franchise’s creators (hey, Susan Sarandon) have taken the game from mama’s basement and brought to your weekend nightlife except as a trendy social club. Complete with 12 ping pong tables, two full bars, bar snacks, and a list of signature cocktails, this neon-lit space is always packed. Reserve a table ahead of time, or pop in, but expect a queue. Consider yourself a pro? Go for the annual membership. Not a pro, but tired of the same weekend routine? Make SPiN your next night out and don’t forget: student nights are on Wednesdays (half-priced games and drink specials) and for those of you in the industry (whether you’re a bartender, dishwasher, or line cook), head here on Sunday where you can play for free from 10 pm-close.

5. CHILL Ice House

Bar, Pub Grub

CHILL Ice House, a permanent fixture to King and Bathurst’s already booming bar scene, provides guests with the winter wonderland experience year round as the largest ice lounge in the world. Rather than check your coat, be prepared to receive a CHILL Ice House parka, mittens and a toque. This space remains true to its name with everything being made from ice; tables and chairs, a DJ booth, lifelike ice sculptures, even the cocktails and shots are served in glassware carved from ice. Afraid of the cold? Make your way to the speakeasy-inspired lounge at the back, serving hot apple cider.

6. Pravda Vodka Bar

Bar, Pub Grub

Nostrovia! Pravda, an upscale lounge that pays tribute to Russia’s drink of choice, offers over 70 of the most highly-rated vodkas from around the world, you can even taste before you buy to help narrow down the selection. The martini list is extensive, featuring cocktails like the Marxist Espresso Martini and the Kremlin Lemon Breeze, and the dishes from the menu offer a number of Eastern European favorites, all which can be paired with a particular vodka. Patrons will take note of the Communist era propaganda and vintage posters adorning the walls along with photos of infamous Russian leaders. Head to Pravda for happy hour, offered during the week from 4-7 pm, check out one of the live bands, or even see an aerialist perform on Saturday nights. Courtesy of Mysteriously Yours Dinner Theatre

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