While Canada may be known as the land of ice and snow, summer can bring blazing temperatures to Toronto for a blissful few months, making for perfect patio weather. From cheap dive bars to upscale restaurants, here’s where Torontonians take to the rooftops for a cold beer and epic skyline views.
Whether you want to gaze at the iconic CN Tower or the mesmerizing skyline at sunset, Toronto has the perfect rooftop bar no matter what the occasion or budget. While summer sparks a frenzy, most bars are fitted with heaters and some offer completely covered patios, so guests can enjoy an al fresco setting all year round. Those looking to escape the city can take to the sky with these 10 great rooftop bars in Toronto.
Thompson Toronto Rooftop Lounge for scenic views of the entire city
Hotel, Luxury, Boutique Hotel
This five-star hotel rooftop bar is known for its unparalleled 360-degree views over the city skyline and Lake Ontario. The Thompson is also home to one of the few infinity rooftop pools in Toronto and often hosts epic pool parties during the summer season. On the weekends, the chic King West Village spot is a popular nightlife hub serving up creative cocktails such as the Thompson Sour, featuring Woodford Reserve, cognac, fresh lemon juice, vanilla syrup and malbec.
Hemingway’s is spread out over four patios | Courtesy of Hemingway’s
Spread out over four patios, Hemingway’s is where sports enthusiasts from across the city converge to cheer on the Raptors (basketball) or the Leafs (ice hockey). Hemingway’s is not inspired by the writer, but rather the relaxed vibe of New Zealand, which is reflected in the simple yet tasteful decor. Home to trivia nights and silent discos, this spot is the perfect place to enjoy a few drinks with friends.
The Drake Sky Yard for a pint and some industrial design
Hotel Restaurant, Wine, Cocktails, $$$
The rooftop terrace at The Drake Sky Yard is open all year round | Courtesy of The Drake Sky Yard
The Drake Hotel has earned a name for itself for its industrial Mid-Century design and hip yet understated rooftop bar, the Sky Yard. Its expansive menu features burgers and sushi side by side and a delectable range of cocktails. In the winter, the climate-defiant, heated and covered all-season space comes complete with a firepit for marshmallow roasting, and its own satellite cocktail bar. As the temperature rises, the rooftop bar screens movies under the stars.
Gusto 101 for wine and antipasti in the Fashion District
Restaurant, Italian, $$$
Gusto 101 is where pizza, pasta and vino lovers unite. The Italian restaurant is home to a street-level patio and a rooftop terrace complete with a retractable roof, making al fresco dining an option all year round. The menu is inspired by the south of Italy, featuring tried and tested classics such as mafalde ai funghi and pizza diavola . But perhaps the best thing about this place is the happy hour house wine special, where a glass of vino costs just $1 – dangerous, we know.
Williams Landing to find fellow sports enthusiasts at Liberty Village
Bar, Canadian, $$$
Williams Landing is the perfect bar for pre- and post-game bevvies | Courtesy of Williams Landing
Just a hop, skip and a jump away from BMO Field, Williams Landing is the perfect bar for pre- and post-game bevvies. This Liberty Village venue features a two-story patio with panoramic views of the surrounding neighborhood. The outdoor space is furnished with parasols, high-top tables and a large rustic bar. Come here with large groups or for after-work hangs. The extensive menu is all made from locally sourced produce – the salmon and the maple cider chicken should not be missed.
Few rooftop patios are as centrally located as The Porch. It offers unmatched views of the CN Tower, as well as the surrounding Entertainment District. But it’s the signature bucket drink that draws in the crowds. The pail of margarita comes topped with Corona and watermelon, and pairs perfectly with the bar’s all-new food menu. Recommendations include the porch salad with coconut lime vinaigrette and the jerk chicken burger.
Bar Hop Brew Co. has an expansive patio | Courtesy of Bar Hop Brew Co.
Bar Hop Brew Co. is home to an expansive patio with over three dozen craft beers available on tap. The menu features traditional brewhouse fare, including schnitzel, chicken wings and burgers. The savoury roasted garlic brown butter and parmesan doughnuts are particularly delightful. Come during after-work hours on Monday for $5 draught beers.
This historic venue was once one of the most respected live-jazz bars in North America. Today, Jazz Bistro remains a harrowed hall for music aficionados and artists, who come for the robust live-music schedule and to clap eyes on the rare Steinway Red Pops grand piano. While the sessions take place indoors, patrons can enjoy their drinks al fresco without skipping a beat, thanks to the AV system that tunes into the performances.
Murphy’s Law is a pub and kitchen located in The Beaches | Courtesy of Murphy’s Law
Murphy’s Law is a pub and kitchen located in The Beaches, a neighborhood known for, well, its beaches. With a rustic, chic rooftop terrace decked out in string lights, there is no better spot to watch the sunset over Toronto’s East End. The menu serves up the classics, like fish and chips, as well as more unusual dishes such as the elk burger, which can be paired with over two dozen craft beers available on tap. This beachside hangout is the perfect spot to unwind with drinks, friends and live music.
The Fifth and Terrace for a cocktail around a cozy fire
Bar, Restaurant, Italian, French, Wine, $$$
The rooftop terrace at The Fifth may be the most romantic spot in the city | Courtesy of The Fifth
Tucked away in Old Toronto, this little rooftop patio is perhaps the most romantic spot in the whole city. Cozy up on cushy fireside sofas or dine over intimate candlelit tables. The menu changes seasonally, but is usually French-inspired and chock-full of classics like oysters, steaks and lobster risotto. Don’t forget to ask the knowledgeable sommelier for wine pairings.