17 Unusual Date Ideas to Try in Toronto

Graffiti Alley, Toronto
Graffiti Alley, Toronto | © OTMPC
Shaking up date night is a great way to revisit your #RelationshipGoals. In a city that is always in flux, with some experience or other opening up down the road or around the corner, Toronto is one of the best places to get creative with your rendezvous. Whether you are on a first date or in a rut, taking your BFF out or going on a solo date, these unusual activities are an excellent choice for the next time you want to try something new on date night.

Be tourists on a hop-on hop-off bus

Travelling with a loved one is almost always a bonding experience. Grab a hop-on hop-off sightseeing open-top bus ticket from City Sightseeing and explore Toronto all weekend. For visitors this is a fun way to see the city, and locals get to be tourists for the day with their significant other and make new memories at home. Your ticket will also get you some other perks, such as a free islands cruise, free downtown pickup, and a souvenir map.

Take their breath away at Aga Khan Museum

Architecture Museum, Art Museum, History Museum
18 Unusual Date Ideas to Try in Toronto
Exterior of the Aga Khan Museum at dusk | © Janet Kimber / Aga Khan Museum
Aga Khan Museum’s incredible collection of art, relics and remnants from ancient civilisations makes for a fascinating date, but what makes this museum such a desirable destination are the resplendent grounds of the architectural gem. Taking someone’s breath away is a whole lot easier amid white splendour, beautiful landscaping and glistening granite pools.
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Architectural Landmark
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Thu - Sun:
10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Night at the museum

Friday Night Live at Royal Ontario Museum © Electricity Events

As dusk falls and the weekend arrives, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) turns into one of Toronto’s unique social events. At ROM Friday Night Live visitors can explore Canada’s largest museum of art, culture, and nature while partying with the dinosaurs. Drink, try food from specially picked vendors, and enjoy live music from bands and DJs. No Friday Night Live is the same, as there are different themes each time (such as techno fashion, Bollywood beats, superheroes). Each season, ROM releases a new schedule.

Experience a rare kind of love at Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library

If your date is a literature lover whose heart melts at the scent of a book, take them to the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library. Inside this stunning building you’ll find the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections. The library holds over 800,000 materials, making it the most extensive collection of publicly accessible rare books and manuscripts in Canada. The shelves are home to literary treasures such as Margaret Atwood’s original handwritten draft for The Handmaid’s Tale, Shakespeare’s First Folio from 1623 and Leonard Cohen’s notebooks.
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Watch movies under the stars

Reimagine a quintessential date by taking things outside for one of Toronto’s top summertime activities, watching movies al fresco. There’s a host of programming all the way until September, from movies in the park at Christie Pits, Regent Park and St. James to the Sail-In Cinema down on Sugar Beach, Open Roof Festival and the giant screens showing classics at Dundas Square and Harborfront Centre. Most of the movies are free, so all you need to do is bring blankets and snacks.

Get your hearts racing at Canada's Wonderland

Amusement Park
Canada’s Wonderland,Toronto’s premier theme park, comes with all the thrills required for an exciting date. Theme parks, although relaxed and fun, can be full of intimate moments, and you can use the time you’re standing in line to get to know each other or to reconnect. Sitting on a rollercoaster beside someone you’re super attracted to is but one way to get your hearts racing. The adrenaline rush you feel after being hurled through the air on an exhilarating ride is similar to those first feelings of falling love. Apart from rides, Canada’s Wonderland has wacky foods like funnel cake, shows, games and lots of other attractions to keep you entertained.
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Experience an alternate reality

Traversing through new worlds and alternate realities while keeping your feet planted on the floor might be the new way to fall in love! Over the past year or so, virtual reality (VR) lounges have been popping up all over Toronto. VR is a neat idea for an immersive date experience. As with everything, there are plenty of choices but VRPlayin, House of VR, and Levelup Virtual Reality Arcade come highly rated.

Virtual reality booth © VRPlayin

Play games

Take your favourite somebody downtown and play a video game. Toronto’s game bars will be a nostalgic date or a novel one depending on when you were born. There are plenty along Dundas West, but Tilt Arcade Bar is one of the best. You can choose from over 50 vintage arcade games and pinball machines, or cozy up in one of their booths to play video games together. If Tilt is packed, you’ll also find a selection of arcade and video games across the road at Dundas Video, or head to Blnd Tger in Little Italy, where you can get fancy with bottle service. Also along Dundas West is Get Well; their games include favourites like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Centipede, Star Wars, Dig Dug. Further west still, Unlovable has a bunch of ’80s classics like Donkey Kong and Ms PAC-MAN

Throw a rager together at Battle Sports

Sports Center
Unusual Date Ideas to Try in Toronto
© Battle Sports Inc.
Do couples that rage together stay together? There’s only one way to find out. Believe it or not, Toronto has a Rage Room that offers a date night special. For $70, Battle Sports will let you blast the playlist of your choice, pick up a crowbar or baseball bat and smash your way through 28 items and two electronics. They say it’s hotter than hot yoga.
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Mon - Fri:
1:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Sat - Sun:
9:00 am - 11:00 pm

Art Battle

If you love a good face-off, check out Art Battle. It’s always new and always fun. Watch as painters use a handful of colours and some essential tools to transform blank canvases into works of art with only 20 minutes on the clock. Then as audience members, you and your date get to determine the winner by voting for your favorite pieces. Check their website to find their schedule.

Marvel at Toronto’s street art

Graffiti Alley © OTMPC

Some say that Toronto is one of the best places to see street art. Many fantastic creations have been sprayed onto countless buildings throughout the city. There are, however, some particularly well-known graffiti hubs. Graffiti Alley (or Rush Lane) is especially worth a visit. The impressive murals and colourful creations by local and international artists are always changing, so it’s worth repeat visits. You should also go to Ossington Laneway, a strip between Queen Street and Humbert Street, where the local street artists have spray-painted garage doors with their works. Other places to make a note of are Kensington Market, Keele Wall and the Milky Way in Parkdale.

After-hours art party

The Art Gallery of Toronto (AGO) throws the city’s biggest after-hours art party on the first Thursday of every month. AGO First Thursdays are curated events that always showcase a headline performer or act, along with multiple DJs in different dance spaces around the gallery. As well as music, visitors can engage with interactive exhibits and enjoy themed food and beverages. First Thursday themes vary between what’s happening in the museum and what’s happening in the rest of world, but each party is a passionate attempt to showcase the best of art and culture.

Hit-up a speakeasy

Mahjong Bar © Finn O'Hara/Mahjong Bar

Discover Toronto’s hidden side by grabbing cocktails at one of the city’s speakeasies or covert bars. Wander hand-in-hand down narrow alleyways and look past inconspicuous storefronts for these irresistible venues. You’ll find innovative concoctions, erratic menus and an ambience that’s tailor-made for intimacy. Choose from one of the city’s unique drinking experiences at Gift Shop, pizza and shots spiced with fernet at SP184, sultry cocktails at Bar Batavia, speakeasy vibes at The Cloakroom or Gatsby’s, cheap eats and Bohemia in The Green Room. Or do a hidden bar crawl along Dundas West, stopping off at Mahjong, The Libertine, and The Hole in the Wall.

Create a signature drink together at Labothéry Inc

Bubble Tea Shop, Asian, $$$
Ingredients at Labothéry Inc
Ingredients at Labothéry Inc | © Sahar Aman
A lot can happen over bubble tea at Labothéry Inc. For starters, it’s not your average bubble tea joint; it’s more of a lab than a tea shop, and the servers even wear white coats. Visitors make their drinks by choosing from ingredients sold in test tubes, syringes and Petri dishes. A date here will be super experimental and creative, with all the different flavoured syrups, powders, sugars, kinds of milk, and toppings on offer. Why not put your heads together and create your special drink?
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Mon - Sun:
12:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Queue up for the latest “It” dessert

Ditch coffee, dinner and drink dates for something much sweeter. Living in a vibrant city has some serious advantages because there’s always a new dessert to try out, and Torontonians don’t mind standing in line for them. Perfect couple bonding time.

In case you are in need of some ideas, Toronto got its first Japanese souffle pancake shop in Toronto, called Hanabusa Cafe (and the jasmine tea pancake sounds incredible). Gold plated ice cream also just became a thing here, and Eative Film Cafe Restaurant is now offering blinged-out ice cream. The recently opened Craig’s Cookies sells the stuff dreams are made of; everything from crushed strawberry pop tarts to Mars and butter tarts are baked into chocolate chip cookies. Keep your eyes peeled for the latest exciting offering from the creator of Bang Bang ice creamery; it’s opening up sometime this summer on Geary Avenue.

Be beach bums

Sand and sea are the perfect settings for a romantic day or evening. While Toronto can’t exactly offer you the sea, it does have plenty of sandy shores along the city’s shimmering lakeside where you can lay out a blanket for picnicking and canoodling. The beaches of Woodbine, Kew and Balmy, Sugar Beach, Cherry Beach and Bluffers Beach are some of the local favourites, but if you really want to spice things up then head for Toronto’s nude beach, Hanlan’s Point!

Famous pink umbrella at Cherry Beach © Destination Canada/OTMPC

Visit fairytale Casa Loma

Architecture Museum
Unusual Date Ideas to Try in Toronto
Fairytale date within the city | © Casa Loma
Casa Loma offers couples a fairytale date within Toronto. The former abode of Canadian financier Sir Henry Pellatt, this majestic castle is replete with impressive suites, secret passages, an 800-foot tunnel, towers, stables, and lavish gardens. Only minutes away from the center of the city in a beautiful part of town where the streets are lined with Edwardian, Tudor and Georgian houses, it is the perfect spot for romance. Throughout the year you can check out seasonal events and programming. The fancy Casa Loma neighborhood offers lots to do. Relax in one of the cozy cafes along Dupont Street, or take a stroll together in Sir Winston Churchill Park. If you have more time on your hands, check out the 19th-century manor house Spadina Museum, or a contemporary play at Tarragon Theatre.
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Historical Landmark
Mon - Sun:
9:30 am - 5:00 pm
These recommendations were updated on May 20, 2018 to keep your travel plans fresh.