Toronto is an amazing city with unique neighbourhoods, beautiful parks, great sports teams and a vibrant nightlife. But is Toronto a romantic city? Yes!!! You don’t need to fly off to Paris or Italy to find romance – it is right here! Whether you are planning to propose to your soulmate, go on a first date with a crush, or celebrating a milestone anniversary with your love, we have got the perfect list for you. Without further ado, here are our six ideas for summertime romance in The Six!
1) Sunrise Surprise
Just a 30-minute drive from downtown Toronto are the Scarborough Bluffs, 15km of natural cliffs rising 90 meters above the coast line. Wake up while it is still dark and travel to the Bluffs with your partner, then look eastward to watch the breathtaking view of the sun rising over Lake Ontario. Once it’s risen, travel down to Bluffer’s Beach and take an early morning stroll hand in hand across the sand beside the blue water. The beauty of the landscape will have you both feeling like you are on an exotic vacation without ever having to leave the city.
2) Feel Like a Kid Again
Every August Toronto hosts the Canadian National Exhibition, better known as The Ex, for 18 fun filled days. Embrace your inner child and take your date to experience all the rides, games and food. Show off your athletic prowess by winning them a stuffed animal at the arcade games (or have a laugh at your attempts). Enjoy a kiss at the top of the Ferris wheel and share a sweet (and deep fried) treat from the many options in the food building. In the evening take a ride on the Sky Ride, a sky lift that takes you above the entire fair grounds where you can cuddle up while watching all the action below.
3) Travel Back in Time
A favourite spot for romance is Toronto’s Distillery District, an area of Victorian-era heritage buildings and brick-paved roads that are pedestrian only and are filled with cafes, restaurants and trendy shops. Enjoy a cold drink with your love on one of the many European-style sidewalk patios and watch the people go by (there is a good chance you will see some wedding photos being taken). Sign your names to a lock and add it to the famous Love Lock installation (and of course take a photo of it for the gram!). In the evening the area is lit up with white fairy lights strung above the alleyways, making every moment feel magical.
4) Island Time
A short ferry ride from downtown takes you and your partner to the Toronto Islands where you can wander along nature trails or spend a day lounging on one of the beaches. You can also rent a canoe or kayak and enjoy Lake Ontario, while getting a spectacular view of the Toronto skyline. Another idea is to rent a tandem bike, which is a bicycle for two, and take some cheesy photos to laugh about. For a romantic dinner outdoors, pack a cooler of food and head to one of the many public BBQs beside the lake to enjoy your meal while watching the sun go down. You can then take the ferry back to mainland after dark.
5) Living the High Life
If you are looking for something extravagant to knock your date’s socks off, look no further than the luxurious Thompson Hotel. Book a stylish suite in this high-end hotel located in the trendy King West neighbourhood of Toronto. Guests of the hotel can enjoy the rooftop pool which is ranked as one of the top rooftop pools in the world! After a day of swimming in the sunshine hit up the rooftop lounge where you can enjoy live entertainment every weekend surrounded by 360° views of Toronto. If you want to explore outside the hotel (although you may never want to leave), the neighbourhood is filled with romantic restaurants and bars for you both to explore and get a true taste of Toronto nightlife.
6) Pink Sky at Night
There is nothing more romantic than watching the sunset after a summer day spent with the one you love. While Toronto has many beautiful spots to watch the sun go down, our number one pic is Riverdale Park East. Lay a blanket at the top of the hill, where you will get an amazing panoramic view of the sun setting over the Toronto skyline. The sky will be ablaze in oranges, pinks and purples until the night has come, and then the city’s buildings will light up the dark sky like twinkling stars.
Summer in Toronto always feels special, probably because the season seems so fleeting compared to the winter. It’s also the reason that we get out of our houses and enjoy it so much! This city is filled with a seemingly infinite number of things to do, and I hope we have shown you how romantic Toronto really is. Let us know in the comments if you have a favourite romantic spot in this incredible city we call home!
Sara is the Jewelry Production and Social Media Coordinator at Kimberfire – a brilliant way to buy engagement rings, fine jewelry and loose diamonds in Toronto. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Art from York University and a Diploma in Jewellery Arts from George Brown College. She is skilled in jewellery design using CAD software, as well as traditional goldsmith techniques. When she is not immersing herself in all things jewellery, Sara is a dog mom to Barley, her beagle mix rescue dog who loves a good tummy rub.