Deprived of the sun and warmth for six months or so each year, Toronto takes its spring and summer very seriously. Perhaps that’s why Torontonians are so energetic and full of life by the time the good weather finally rolls around.
There’s no better way to enjoy summer in Toronto than from one of its rooftop bars, as they combine great weather with the city’s insatiable appetite for the trendy, glamorous and contemporary.
These hip spots take patio season to a whole new level and bring out the best of what the city has to offer: incredible skyline views, an international dining scene, great design, and vibrant atmospheres — even hitting our list as one of the best things to do in Canada.
Fancy a drink? Here are ten impressive rooftop bars in Toronto that soar above the rest:
Centrally located in the heart of Toronto’s Entertainment District, The Porch always seems to have a vibrant atmosphere radiating from it. It’s become a favorite spot for after-work drinks, lazy summer nights, and pit stops after a visit to Toronto’s St. Lawrence Market (it’s just a 20 minute walk away, and makes for a perfect weekend activity). It’s convenient location even offers an up-close and personal view of the CN Tower itself.
This swanky Japanese restaurant and lounge is located in the upscale neighbourhood of Yorkville, which sits just outside of Toronto’s downtown core. The rooftop bar is characterized by its chic minimalist design with wooden decor, lush topiary and cabanas. Whether you want to enjoy a flavourful cocktail as the sun sets or you want to enjoy a wonderful dining experience at night, Kasa Moto is truly an oasis that will make you forget about the city life for a bit.
Oasis at Wayne Gretzky’s
Sitting atop Canadian hockey legend Wayne Gretzky’s restaurant, this sports bar fills up quickly and is usually packed all summer long. The wooden Toronto rooftop bar and deck features tons of greenery and fresh flowers, with lounge seating and bistro tables spread throughout the space. It’s a great place to go with a group of friends and enjoy a great meal and lively buzz, day or night.
Sky Yard at the Drake Hotel
Open all-year round, the Sky Yard at the Drake Hotel is one of Toronto’s most iconic spots. The upscale bohemian aesthetic that has come to define the Drake Hotel is on full-display across the comfortable furniture and eye-popping artwork, staying true to its West Queen West roots. With imaginative cocktails, bites to share and large dishes (brunch is especially popular) on the menu, it’s easy to see why this is typically regarded as one of Toronto’s very best rooftop bars.
Born out of a desire to create a menu that is sustainable, affordable and made with local ingredients, Harvest Kitchen is the perfect choice for those who are ethically-conscious about their food. When the weather cooperates, this Toronto rooftop bar offers a wonderful atmosphere that is quiet and tucked away in nature, with surrounding tree branches extending into the space to create a lush green oasis.
Bar Hop Brewco
With three dozen beers available on tap and more than 100 bottled beers in stock, Bar Hop Brewco rooftop bar is one of the Toronto’s premiere destinations for local and craft beer. The sprawling rooftop terrace is decked out with industrial decor, hanging lights and bright accents, where it’s easy to relax and enjoy a cold brew in the midst of summertime heat.
With a rooftop patio equipped with three pools and luxurious cabanas, Lavelle perfectly embodies the modish King West neighbourhood it inhabits. From day to night, the impressive restaurant offers an upscale menu that is sure to meet all your brunch, lunch, dinner or snack needs. The meticulous design isn’t even the bar’s best feature: Lavelle is perfectly posed against expansive views of the Toronto skyline.
When The Pilot opened its doors in 1944, it was originally dedicated to Canadian WWII pilots fighting overseas. Today, The Pilot continues to embody this spirit, with its large rooftop terrace dubbed the “Flight Deck.” The laid-back atmosphere is indicative of Yorkville and is a great option for some much-needed reprieve from the bustling downtown core. On Saturdays, you’ll be able to catch live jazz from some of Canada’s finest musicians, adding to the historic charm of the establishment.
The Rooftop at the Broadview Hotel
Breathing new life into Toronto’s east end is Broadview Hotel’s spectacular rooftop bar and restaurant that features a refined culinary experience with an emphasis on locally-sourced produce. With both indoor and outdoor seating, the expansive terrace offers an unobstructed 360º panorama of Toronto from Lake Ontario all the way to Eglinton.
Offering high-quality Italian dishes with a globalized twist, Gusto 101 has one of the most unique menus in Toronto. While the ground-level terrace is certainly nothing to balk at, the rooftop patio is one of the most romantic spots in the city with its eye-popping architectural pieces, bright colours and $1/oz house wine.