17 Unusual Date Ideas To Try in Toronto

Make a date to visit some of Toronto's great street art
Make a date to visit some of Toronto's great street art | © Sisoje
Photo of Sahar Aman
Staff Writer17 June 2020

Shaking up date night is a great way to revisit your #RelationshipGoals. In a city that is always in flux, with new experiences always opening up, Toronto is a great place 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, here’s our choice of what to do on date night.

Be tourists on a hop-on hop-off bus

Traveling with a loved one is 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 other perks, such as a free islands cruise, free downtown pickup, and a souvenir map.

Take their breath away at the Aga Khan Museum

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18 Unusual Date Ideas to Try in Toronto
© Janet Kimber / Aga Khan Museum
The Aga Khan Museum’s incredible collection of art, relics and remnants from ancient civilizations makes for a fascinating date, but what makes this museum such a desirable destination is the resplendent grounds of the architectural gem. Take their breath away amid white splendor, beautiful landscaping and glistening granite pools.

Night at the 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

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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 more than 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.

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
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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 reconnect. Sitting on a rollercoaster beside someone you’re super attracted to is a great way to get hearts racing. The adrenaline rush you’ll get is similar to those first feelings of falling in love. Apart from rides, Canada’s Wonderland has wacky foods such as funnel cake, shows, games and lots of other attractions to keep you entertained.

Experience an alternate reality

Traversing new worlds and alternative realities while keeping your feet planted on the floor might be the new way to fall in love! Virtual reality (VR) lounges have been popping up all over Toronto, and it 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 all come highly rated.

Courtesy of VRPlayin

Play games

Take your favorite somebody downtown to play video games. There are plenty along Dundas West, but Tilt Arcade Bar is one of the best. You can choose from more than 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 on Dundas West is Get Well; their games include favorites such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Centipede, Star Wars and Dig Dug. Further west still, Unlovable has a bunch of ’80s classics such as Donkey Kong and Ms Pac-Man.

Throw a rager together at Battle Sports

Sports Center
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Unusual Date Ideas to Try in Toronto
Courtesy of 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 CA$75 (£44), 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.

Art Battle

If you love a good face-off, check out Art Battle. Watch as painters use a handful of colors 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


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 well-known graffiti hubs. Graffiti Alley (or Rush Lane) is well worth a visit. The impressive murals and colorful creations by local and international artists are always changing, so it’s worth repeat visits. Also check out Ossington Laneway, a strip between Queen Street and Humbert Street, where local street artists have spray-painted the garage doors. 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 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

© Finn O'Hara / Courtesy of 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 at 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, $$$
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© 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 flavored syrups, powders, sugars, kinds of milk and toppings on offer. Why not put your heads together and create your own special drink?

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.

Japanese soufflé pancake shop Hanabusa Café (the jasmine tea pancake sounds incredible) sells gold-plated ice cream, while Eative Film Café Restaurant offers blinged-out ice cream, and Craig’s Cookies sells the stuff dreams are made of: everything from crushed strawberry pop tarts to Mars Bars and butter tarts is baked into chocolate chip cookies. Keep your eyes peeled for the latest exciting offering from the creator of Bang Bang ice creamery 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 favorites, but if you really want to spice things up, then head for Toronto’s nude beach at Hanlan’s Point.


Visit fairytale Casa Loma

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Unusual Date Ideas to Try in Toronto
Courtesy of Casa Loma
Casa Loma offers couples a fairytale date within Toronto. The former home of Canadian financier Sir Henry Pellatt, this majestic castle has impressive suites, secret passages, an 800ft (244m) tunnel, towers, stables and lavish gardens. Only minutes from the city center, 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 also offers lots to do. Relax in one of the cozy cafés 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.
These recommendations were updated on June 17, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.