These 10 Hotel Bars in Toronto Smash the Dull Stereotypes

In a city full of amazing restaurants and bars, spending precious moonlight hours inside a hotel may not seem like the best use of one's time. But Toronto has undergone a hotel boom in recent years, with international luxury brands such as the Shangri-La, Delta and Ritz Carlton erecting in the city. To stand out from the pack, hotels needed to up their game.

Up they did: hotels now have incredible in-house bars and lounges that not only draw tourists to Toronto, but also locals looking for an upscale jaunt to enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail. The Delta Toronto impresses the after work crowd with Char No. 5, a whiskey bar that allows people to enact their favourite scenes from Mad Men, minus the smoking. Those who want to experience a hotel bar that has stood the test of time should visit the Library Bar at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, which has been serving nightcaps and casual meals since 1929. End your evening by enjoying a Manhattan in the wood-panelled Edwardian room and be whisked away to another era.

Want something a little younger and more lively? Karaoke nights at the Gladstone Hotel's Melody Bar are legendary in Toronto, drawing an eclectic mix of hipsters and former hippies who have lived in the west end neighbourhood for decades.

These bars might station tourists closer to their hotel. We do recommend getting out of the bubble from time to time, but until then, drink up.

Bar and Bakery don't necessarily go hand-in-hand, but if anyone is going to make it work, it is the Soho Metropolitan. The space is divided per purpose and the modern bar has an elegant light fixture, modern furniture and floor-to-ceiling...  Read More


If your hotel bar is located smack dab in the centre of a vibrant city, you will be expected to bring your A-game. The Chelsea Hotel does just that when it comes to their attached TBar. Although unassuming at first glance with stern marble...  Read More

Queen West

Housed in the Gladstone Hotel, which has operated in Toronto's west end for more than 100 years, the Melody Bar has a style all its own. When the owners removed the carpeting, it revealed vintage terazzo floors, and the mid-century feel...  Read More


Situated in the King Edward Hotel, the Consort Bar is reminiscent of a gentlemen's club. Luckily, ladies are now invited into the old world charm, with cocktails fancy enough to warrant playing dress-up. Sit perched on a bar stool and...  Read More


Once upon a time, there was a golden age of railway travel, fine crafted cocktails and well-worn library books. With the revival of Union Station, perhaps we can return to 1929 glory, the year that The Fairmont Royal York Hotel opened across...  Read More

Drake Hotel Lounge
Photo courtesy of Connie Tsang

We couldn't neglect The Drake, one of our favourite Hotel Bars. The Drake is not located in Toronto's city centre, but it sure feels like it is when you arrive. A hub for the fabulous, this revamped space manages to be edgy yet elegant. It...  Read More

For more than four decades, The Rex has been Toronto's go-to for great blues and jazz music. The venue books around 18 shows every week, with two or three different acts performing each weekday evening, and several weekend shows that start...  Read More

Perched on top of one of the city's most popular central hotels, this 18th-floor Park Hyatt bar has been a favourite with Canadian writers, actors and society types for decades. It also has been on Toronto's nightlife list since the 1940s being...  Read More


The newish Delta hotel in Toronto made a splash, defying the high expectations of locals. Their hotel bar, Char No. 5 continues the trend, tucked away so that it is free from the florescent lights of stereotypical hotel lobby. Dark and musky,...  Read More

DEQ Terrace and Lounge
Photo courtesy of Ron Starr

Wear something fancy and indulge in an equally fancy cocktail at the Ritz Carlton's elegant DEQ Terrace and Lounge. During the winter, cozy fireplaces and furnishings inspire patrons to hunker down. During the summer, the fireplace will follow...  Read More


Meet Courtney Sunday

Courtney Sunday has lived in England, Switzerland, Canada and the US, finding her way into the professions of freelance writing and yoga teaching in between travel opportunities. She learned...  More About Courtney

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