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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.