Toronto is such a busy city, and yet it’s still easy for the single folks out there to get lonely from time to time. The good news is that there are so many things to see and places to be in Toronto, which means plenty of opportunities to meet a special someone. Here are a few of our choice spots to look for love;
Bars and Clubs
Lee’s Palace/Dance Cave: Check out a cool band at this Annex music venue and later chat up the person who was bobbing their head next you. If not maybe find someone to dance with later at the busy nightclub upstairs.
The Brunswick House: This infamously seedy Toronto tavern has cleaned up in recent years, but is still a favourite meet-market with cheap drinks and loud music.
Cirro’s: This hub for beer connoisseurs is a gem in the rough of the Bloor and Lansdowne neighbourhood. With over 100 varieties of brew on hand at any given time, it might be the best place to try out your beer-related pickup lines.
Dakota Tavern: A hipster country bar located at Dundas Street and Ossington Avenue. A great place to show off your best flannel shirt.
Woody’s: One of Toronto’s most popular gay hangouts, located at the corner of Church Street and Maitland Street.
Crocodile Rock: A busy downtown club that tends to attract students and former students who have entered the Toronto business world. Purportedly one of the city’s spots for cougars and the young men who love them.
Devil’s Martini: King West club that is a pick up spot for the fun-loving twenty-something crowd. Dance the night away to a musical selection of top 40, hip hop, dance and ’80s classics.
Einstein Café & Pub: This casual College Street bar is favourite spot for University of Toronto students to mingle over a pint.
Brant House: Bar/club located in a spacious former factory. DJs spin lounge and house beats while partiers mingle by candlelight.
Bedford Academy: A warm and inviting bar and restaurant with a lively atmosphere and good beer selection. Located in the Annex near Avenue Road.
Lula Lounge: Toronto’s favourite spot for Latin grooves and grub. The regular live music and dance nights can provide singles a spicier evening than your average club.
Le Petit Castor: Notorious pick up spot for the more mature Rosedale crowd. A place to try out the skills again after that tough first marriage.
Real Sports Bar and Grill: Recently rated the best sports bar in North America, a great place to show off your impressive knowledge of hockey trivia or baseball statistics.
Menage: A bustling King West nightclub that is known for its popular “Wayback Wednesday” retro dance party. Has a patio with a great view to set the mood.
Bovine Sex Club: Don’t let the name give you any weird impressions, nonetheless this gritty Toronto music club is always a popular place for punk and rock & roll types.
Chick’n’Deli: Located northeast of downtown on Mount Pleasant Road, this is an infamous pick up bar for the more mature set. The dance floor here sticks mainly to classic rock.
The Crooked Star: A fun place to go on Ossington Avenue where you can try out the variety of international-themed Caesars offered at the bar. They make for a great conversation starter.
Thymeless: Toronto’s go-to spot for reggae. Head here on any weekend and bump and grind to the music deep into the night.
Bistro 422: While certainly not the most romantic spot in the city, bond with other drinkers here at the home of Toronto cheapest pint of beer.
Harbord Room: A classy cocktail lounge where the trendier citizens of the city come to enjoy unique cocktails and acclaimed food.
Sweaty Betty’s: This hip Ossington bar is small, making for an evening of close quarters with other potential singles.
Fox and Fiddle: This standard British-style pub has multiple locations around the city. Perhaps your best bet is to show up on karaoke night and show off your pipes.
Remy’s Restaurant: Home of one the most popular patios in Yorkville. A casual place to meet some of the city’s young professional set.
Guvernment: One of the city’s most popular and highest profile clubs. A place to dance all night with the hardiest of partiers. Conversations? Not so much.
Yuk Yuk’s: A popular downtown comedy club that regularly attracts big names. Laughter is the best aphrodisiac, right?
Fly Nightclub: Large, very popular club located in the Gay Village. Show off your dance moves on the sweaty dance-floor.
Big Daddy’s: This King Street Cajun bar and restaurant is known especially for its oyster bar. You know what they say about oysters.
Hugh’s Room: This intimate bar and concert hall is located in the west-end neighbourhood of Roncesvalles. A place to go for lovers of folk and roots music.
Bar Volo: A cozy bar that is one of the city’s leading destinations for unique beers on tap. Come here to show off your beer connoisseur skills.
Annex Wreck Room: If you’re a student looking to drink and dance all night to rock music, this spot is the meet-market for you.
The Painted Lady: A trendy Ossington music spot with ambience to spare, featuring jazz, folk and rock. A good place to meet a hip, artsy type.
Mod Club: One of Toronto’s most popular music venues. When there aren’t bands playing the place is a full-out bumping and grinding nightclub.
The Boat: This Kensington bar is a full dance club on weekends, with themed nights playing ’80s classics or ’50s and ’60s doo-wop.
Club V: Rich people and the singles who love them frequent this exclusive Yorkville nightclub.
The Dog’s Bollock’s: A pub with a good vibe and some of the cheapest drinks in town. The long tables encouraging mingling between groups of strangers.
Mill Street Brewpub: Located in the Distillery District, this bar and restaurant is an easy place to chat with other fans of Toronto’s favourite independent brewery.
Grace O’Malley’s Irish Pub: This busy Irish pub tends to attract a friendly crowd of people originating from outside Toronto, especially Ottawa and the Maritimes.
Restaurants, Shops and Indoor Attractions
Coffee shop: It might be a bit cliché, but the city’s thousand or so odd coffee shops are prime ground for picking up. Chat up the person in line behind you, or maybe that gorgeous barista. Important note: Tim Horton’s is not the best place to start.
Eaton’s Centre: Toronto’s biggest shopping mall is both a major tourist attraction and a magnet for young people.
Royal Ontario Museum: Visit Toronto’s most popular museum for the opportunity to show off your brain or simply try out your dinosaur jokes. They also put on a regular single’s night.
The Big Carrot: Voted by many to be the city’s best organic food store. A great place to meet fellow vegans and earth-lovers.
Bata Shoe Museum: For the gentlemen, this spot might not be on your radar, but the demographics of visitors here tilts towards the female side of the balance.
Hockey Hall of Fame: On the other hand, for the ladies this sports Mecca provides you with a distinct demographic advantage.
Smoke’s Poutinery: This relatively new entry into the city’s junk-food landscape attracts those individuals who know what real late-night food should taste like. Last-chance saloon for the after-bar crowd.
Sonic Boom: This Annex music store provides rows upon rows of new and used CDs, DVDs, and records. Find the music-nerd partner you’ve been looking for.
Bloor Cinema: Independent cinema where one can check out non-mainstream films and discuss them with other cinephiles. However, don’t try the popcorn trick until at least the third date.
SOMA Chocolate: This world-famous chocolate factory is a must-see stop on any visit to the Distillery District. After all, chocolate is an aphrodisiac.
World’s Biggest Bookstore: The bookstore is a classic pick up spot, what with the ability to gauge personalities based on choice of book. While this store, located near the Eaton Centre, has had its title contested in recent years, why not apply the maxim of bigger is better to the dating game?
The Beguiling: A great store in Mirvish Village to find fellow lovers of the graphic novel.
Village By The Grange: If you’re a downtown office worker, this downtown food court is both a great place to eat and mingle among the pack of white-collar singles.
Trinity-Bellwoods Park: Take your pooch for a walk (or borrow your friends), and chat with other dog owners. If not, maybe invite some other park-goers to toss a Frisbee around with you and your friends.
Sunnyside-Ryder Pool: Spend a hot summer afternoon at the city’s largest public pool. Hang out and impress people with your tanning skills or maybe with your cannonball.
Bickford Park: It’s hard to deny the conversational appeal of a cute dog, and this is another popular spot to bring them to run around. Otherwise, maybe invite that cutie over to join your impromptu soccer or softball game.
Withrow Park Farmer’s Market: Strike up a conversation about those juicy strawberries or firm cantaloupes at this busy east-end farmer’s market. It happens every Saturday from May to October.
Toronto Island: A great place to spend a summer afternoon and hang out with the many downtown city dwellers escaping the heat. Maybe you can meet someone on the ferry, or for the very confident, there is always the nude beach at Hanlan’s Point.
HTO Park: This downtown park is part of the city’s ongoing revitalization of the waterfront. Mingle among the yellow umbrellas on this sandy urban beach (just don’t swim here!).
TTC: While it’s not the easiest place to pick up, riding along the subway or streetcar provides numerous opportunities to chat up other commuters, especially while commiserating over a delay. Or maybe meet the driver, if you have a thing for the uniform.
Ashbridge’s Bay Park: Show off your beach body or join in on a game of volleyball happening at this, one of Toronto’s most popular beaches.
Queen West: Take a cruise down bustling Queen Street West and chat up one of the other trendy twenty-somethings shopping there during the day and partying at night.
Christie Pits Park: Another of Toronto’s most popular parks, located north of Bloor Street West in Koreatown. Find a fellow recreational sports enthusiast here playing anything from soccer to baseball. In the winter people love to toboggan here — maybe bring two sleds.
Nathan Phillip’s Square: In the winter, the ice rink in front of city hall is both a great place to bring a date and somewhere to meet ice-loving types.
Don Valley: For outdoorsy types trapped in an urban environment, it’s not a bad place to meet singles out biking or hiking on a sunny weekend afternoon.
Festivals and Events
North by Northeast: Every June this festival fills up the bars and clubs of the city with music lovers listening to rock, pop, electronic and hip hop artists from Canada and around the world. As a bonus, participating bars are granted an extended 4:00 a.m. closing time.
Taste of Little Italy: Foodies flock to this culinary festival that shuts down College Street from Bathurst Street to Ossington Avenue. Every food stall lining the street is another opportunity to meet someone new.
Toronto After Dark Film Festival: Everyone has heard of the Toronto International Film Festival, but go to this event to schmooze with fellow fans of horror, sci-fi and cult movies.
Beaches International Jazz Festival: This huge east-end music festival attracts thousands of jazz lovers, many of whom are single.
Toronto Buskerfest: This wacky August street festival gives you so much to talk about it’s almost impossible not to strike up a conversation with that clown next to you.
Toronto Caribbean Carnival: Formerly known as Caribana, every August this massive festival brings hundreds of thousands of visitors (and singles) to Toronto to celebrate Caribbean culture, dance and party.
Pride Toronto: The event of the year for Toronto’s gay community, this bumping street party features live bands, DJs, and innumerable special events. It’s a giant single’s mixer for the LGBT community.
Doors Open Toronto: This popular annual event allows visitors to check out over 150 significant buildings that are not otherwise open to the public. Strike up a discussion on the spooky history of the Don Jail, or the retro-futurism of Toronto City Hall.
Toronto Beerfest: Maybe a little on the nose, but this annual festival of lagers attracts singles both young and old. There’s nary a bad mood at this party.
Nuit Blanche: Every October this all-night “art-happening” takes over downtown Toronto, with people crowding the streets to check out the many bona-fide conversation pieces on hand.
Toronto Freedom Festival: This celebration of cannabis culture takes place in the spring at Queen’s Park, and is quite the mixer for the stoner crowd (or those who simply love snack foods).
Toronto Comic Con: Finding the right place to pick up is all about knowing what you’re looking for. For the nerd at heart, you just might find that someone here.
Toronto Fringe Festival: Meet fellow devotees of the arts at this, Toronto’s largest theatre and performance festival.
Canadian National Exhibition: Impress that hottie over there by winning them a giant stuffed animal from the carnival games, maybe just by buying them a pack of legendary Tiny Tom donuts.
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