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.
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.
Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queens Park, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 586 8000
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Art Gallery of Ontario, Dundas Street West, Toronto, Canada, +1 416 979 6648
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.
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.
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!