Impress Your Special Someone With These Romantic Date Night Ideas In Toronto

Romantic doesn't mean doing the same thing every Friday night. We know this, yet sometimes we forget. Toronto can have such extremes in temperature that we can make avoiding the elements a full time occupation. Going out to find a romantic activity can easily fall to the wayside when we can choose to snuggle under a giant down comforter. Snuggling for the win.

The comforter will always be available when we need it, but every once in awhile we really should put pants on (although not too often, as pants off time together is crucial too). Try out one of our romantic, pants-required picks for your next date night. If it is the middle of winter, consider ice skating mitten to mitten at Nathan Phillips Square. If it the heat of summer, tie a ribbon in your hair like Sandy and rev up your Greased Lightening to go to Polson Pier Drive In Movie Theatre. Other choices can be enjoyed year-round, such as board games at Snakes and Lattes, or a dinner in the dark at O Noir (perfect for those days that you aren't feeling like your most attractive self). Or enjoy the softening effect of candlelight at the high-end Jazz Bistro and play footsy to a live soundtrack.

Toronto is a giant city that offers so much choice that sometimes it can get exhausting to do the choosing. 10 Best has done the legwork. Choose a number, make a reservation and take all the credit. We won't breathe a word.


This drive-in movie theatre is a must during the fleeting summer months in Toronto. By day, the same space is used as a driving range. By 9pm, it becomes available for back to back movies with sound streaming through an FM station that listen to in your car. You can buy snacks and drinks (including bar drinks) at the complex bar. Movies are generally a few months old and the screens aren't incredibly modern, but it has a charming retro feel. Hold hands and consider letting your date get to first base. A nightclub is nearby if you want to keep the evening going past the double ticket event.

It is not exactly surprising that we put a hotel under the umbrella of romantic things to do. Turndown service, plush linens and a room that has a bed as a centrepiece are surefire ways to keep things spicy. However, we included this hotel because of the sublime rooftop lounge. A day spent by the pool (which during the summer can be from 7am to 7pm) is a day well spent, provided that you bring enough sunblock and remember that early cocktails need to be paced. The view from this hotel of the city is grandiose, sweeping from skyscraper to skyscraper. Of course, you and your sweetie get to look down on it all. How sweet it is to be in love.

Cocktails 'N Canvas
Photo courtesy of Cocktails 'n Canvas

If the last time you put a paint brush on a canvas was in your Elmer's glue-eating days, it is time to reconsider. Cocktails 'N Canvas has events all over Toronto and for less than $50 you can be left with a masterpiece all your own. Cocktails are of course the lubricating social force and they may also help you to drop your artistic inhibitions. Rather than expecting you to go rogue on a piece of canvas, everyone in the room will paint the same thing (although they will look dramatically different). An artist at the front of the room will guide you through, brush stroke by brush stroke. It will be as simple as "draw a circle on the right hand corner in blue" and moving from there. Before you know it, you will be an artiste.

Snakes and Lattes Board Game Cafe
Photo courtesy of Snakes and Lattes Facebook page

For an "out of the box" romantic date idea, consider breaking out the board games. Snakes and Lattes has over 2500 board games with an alphabetical menu to help you to decide which game you want to use to stimulate healthy relationship competition. Games range from retro classics like Battleship to modern favourites like Cards Against Humanity. This quirky cafe is open late most dates of the week in case you become invested in a long playing game like Monopoly. Wash it all down with a hot drink, like their infamous Nutella Latte or Salted Caramel Latte. Snakes & Lagers also does exist if it is beer you are after.

Whether you are a former Toronto Maple Leaf or more like Bambi on the ice, it is always a romantic choice to hold hands and attempt to stay upright on skates. Nathan Phillips Square is the perfect place to wile away a romantic hour or two. Located right in front of City Hall and around the corner from the Eaton's Centre and popular restaurants, it is a great activity to sandwich between other downtown pursuits. Bring your own skates for free exercise or rent skates for $10 or less (they even sharpen skates!). During the holidays, the rink sparkles with lights and displays a large holiday tree for Toronto's version of the Rockefeller Centre.

SPIN Toronto
Photo courtesy of Caitlin Wickham

Ping pong used to be about as cool as shuffleboard. Well, we better keep our eye out for a shuffleboard resurgence, because Susan Sarandon made ping pong hot. The SPiN clubs have popped up around the US before it came to Toronto to bring a little friendly competition to cocktail hour. Tables book around $20 an hour and it is advisable to book early as many people take the game seriously. There is a menu with the usual Canadian bar snacks (late night poutine, anyone?) but a local and ethical sensibility. Drinks can be as fancy as champagne or as low key as a punch bowl with 9 oz of alcohol added. Whether or not the punch will improve your game is yet to be decided.

Church & Wellesley

The picture we have chosen for ONoir is deceiving. It makes you believe that soft candlelight flickers across the restaurant. Indeed, you will be eating in the darkest room you have ever been in. This restaurant is no gimmick. It is meant to make you understand what it is like to be blind, if only for an hour or two. It will be hard to find your fork, and your voice will sound different. Why is this romantic? Because it will make you focus on your partner in an entirely different way. Without the scene of sight, your other senses immediately become heightened. You will smell and taste the food you eat with renewed passion. You will hear the words your partner says with fascination, rather than expectation. Mains include filet mignon with roasted vegetables, or marinated shrimp with risotto. Are you afraid of the dark?


What a little moonlight can do (and a little candlelight). If you need a place to talk and listen and enjoy the finer things in life, Jazz Bistro is for you and your beloved. Jazz musician J. J. Johnson said, "Jazz is restless. It won't stay put and it never will." For the foreseeable future, Jazz Bistro is staying put to give Toronto a jazz club with style. From hot music to spectacular food, it entertains on all levels. The stage is visible from all angles and the neon red cursive sign makes sure that your attention is pointed in the right direction. Whether you are going to fill your ears with a new and startlingly talented musician, or you are reminding yourself of the soft spot you hold for a revered artist, the music circulates around the room beautifully. That's jazz, man.

It is one thing to connect with your romantic partner. It is quite another to feel more connected with the universe. Just a 30 minute drive out of Toronto offers you access to a world beyond the city. The David Dunlap Observatory is a large astronomical observatory managed by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. It houses a 74 inch telescope which also happens to be the largest in Canada. There are public viewing nights that enable you to really see Orion's belt, as opposed to trying to peer through light pollution. Come during a meteor shower night for a special treat, watching meteors streak across the sky. Everyone has a little astronomy awe in them somewhere.

The Canadian Opera Company unveiled its amazing building in 2006 in the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. With majestic staircases, grandiose ceilings and pitch-perfect acoustics, going to the opera quickly became a dream of an evening in the heart of downtown Toronto. This is Canada's first and only custom built opera house and it has a European vibe that beckons you to put on your best ballgown or bow tie. Sets and costumes display the romantic themes behind classics such as La Boheme and Aida. Whether you decide to put on your white satin gloves and get swept up by soprano, or you wish to take a breakfast backstage tour of the nooks and crannies of the magnificent building, visiting the COC is an amazing experience.


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