A Couple's Guide to Toronto

View of Toronto from Algonquin Island | © Benson Kua / Flickr
View of Toronto from Algonquin Island | © Benson Kua / Flickr
Photo of Emily Paskevics
17 April 2017

No matter the season or what your budget is, there’s plenty to do together in Toronto—whether you’re going for your first date or getting ready to pop the question. Here’s just a sample of the fun and romantic outings for couples visiting the city, from outdoor activities to music, free cinema experiences, games, and long walks on the beach.

Head over to the Islands

Taking a trip to the Toronto Islands is always a romantic summer experience. Situated around one kilometer (0.6 miles) offshore—which is really just minutes from the downtown core—the short ferry ride from Queen’s Quay Terminal offers a stellar view of the city’s skyline. With multiple interconnected islands to explore, you can spend an entire day wandering trails and beaches together, enjoying picnic areas and sports facilities, and taking advantage of canoe and kayak rentals.

Kakaying around the Toronto Islands | © John Vetterli/ Flickr

Watch a movie under the stars

Throughout the summer, there are numerous scenic spots playing free outdoor movies for all to enjoy. Grab a blanket or a towel, bring some popcorn, and enjoy a film after the sun goes down at Harbourfront, Yonge-Dundas Square, the TIFF in the Park series at David Pecault Square, and, of course, the unique Sail-In Cinema over at Sugar Beach. The Sail-In involves a two-sided screen set on top of a barge in Toronto Harbour; therefore, you can watch movies for free from either the beach or the lake.

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Watch a Shakespeare play outdoors

If you love outdoor entertainment, in July and August, you can also head over to High Park for the annual Shakespeare in the Park season, created by Canadian Stage, which is always unforgettable as twilight fades into summer darkness.

Go to a romantic restaurant

You can pair your free outdoor movie with a romantic dinner at one of Toronto’s finest restaurants—especially one with a spectacular, panoramic view of the city. If your wallet can handle it, you can try the upscale Canoe restaurant, located on the 54th floor of the TD Bank Tower on Wellington. You can take it to a whole new level by going to the revolving 360 Restaurant at the top of the CN Tower, which holds the Guinness record as the world’s highest restaurant. Other romantic choices that are a bit more affordable include the Italian hot spot Sotto Sotto, the French nook La Palette on Queen West, and Patria on King West for some Spanish cuisine.

Canoe Restaurant | © Cindy La

Skate at Nathan Phillips Square

There are plenty of outdoor and athletic activities to do around the city, no matter the season. In winter, going skating at Nathan Phillips Square in the evening is a popular excursion. You can bring some skates or rent a pair there for $10. The rink is open daily from 9 am to 10 pm during the winter months, and during the holidays, the rink is decorated with lights and ornaments—making it romantic despite the cold. Nathan Phillips Square can get crowded, though, so if you’d prefer a quieter hand-in-hand skate, you can check out the many rinks around the city.

Nathan Phillips Square | © The City of Toronto/ Flickr

Go for a culinary adventure

Culinary Adventure Co. (CAC) and Appetite Adventure Co. offer unique foodie experiences in and around Toronto. With the slogan of “Eat Good, Do Good,” Culinary Adventure Co. is Canada’s largest culinary tourism and experience operator. CAC offers neighborhood food tours, culinary adventures, cooking classes, and corporate culinary programming across Canada. Check out their unique canoe and beach dining adventure, a combination of outdoor fun, romance, and delicious Canada-themed cuisine that makes for a perfect date.

Take a brewery tour

For something that’s a bit easier on the wallet, you can also head out for a brewery tour together, offered daily by Mill Street Brewery. This adventure includes a tour of the brewery, a guided beer flight tasting, and a sample of Mill Street’s Bierschnaps.

The Stonehouse Distillery at Toronto's Distillery District | © Benson Kua / Flickr

Have a games night

If you want a quieter night that’s still filled with fun—and dosed with a bit of healthy competition—board games are a great way to share time with your sweetheart. Board game cafés have sprouted up all over the city in the past few years. Try Castle Board Games or Snakes and Lattes.

Snakes and Lattes, Toronto | © Laura D'Alessandro/Flickr