Despite what you may think, drawing up Best Of lists in a city like Toronto is about as lackadaisical as a wisdom tooth extraction sans anesthetic. You’ll have to leave some worthy contenders out. You’ll have to weigh the pros and cons as though you’re deciding which child is more worthy of summer camp. (Note to parents: send both so you don’t have to look at their jam-covered faces day in and day out during the best months of the year.) And you’ll have to endure behind-the-back eye rolls and slights because you’ve inevitably left a reader’s favourite off the list. No matter… I’m up to the challenge. So, without further delay, here are the five rooftop patios in Toronto whose scores (very) slightly outweighed the competition…
Drake Sky Yard
The Drake Hotel’s Sky Yard makes it on every patio best of list, rooftop or not. There’s just no denying its virtues. It’s got the ABCs down-pat: awesome apps, bronzed beauties, crafty cocktails, dreamy decor, and the list goes on. Sue me for unoriginality, but The Drake’s Sky Yard is anything but run of the mill.
The covered rooftop at Gusto 101 allows for any-season seating. But during the summer, this King West beauty really shines. Gusto 101 is on-trend in every way, without feeling like it’ll become tired and trite in a year’s time. Plus, the wine list is pretty cheap, so an all-day sit-in won’t cost you next month’s Kiehl’s budget. (Yes… I have a problem.)
The Roof Lounge at the Park Hyatt
Yorkville’s Old Glory, the balcony extension to the Park Hyatt’s Roof Lounge is where those with pocket-fire syndrome go to alleviate the stress on their trousers. (Think about it for a moment and all will make sense.) Overlooking downtown, you’ll feel slightly like Carrie Bradshaw that time she wound up with hot child in the city on his parents’ elevated digs. Sans fried chicken and dope, natch.
While not my favourite scene inside – I’m not much of a bottle service fellow – CUBE’s upper deck is simply one of the best expanses in the city. Sure, the beer selection may not be the stuff craft dreams are made of, but you’ll have a damned fine time while the DJ’s spinning some weather-worthy tracks.
Oasis at Wayne Gretzky’s
A bucket of Coronas and a pile of nachos create a sexcellent menage a trois when they invite Oasis out to play. The top floor of Wayne Gretzky’s, Oasis is aptly named thanks to its impressive size and feeling of respite from the drudgery of the day-to-day. Look for a bit of a facelift this summer… Hey, even the Great One’s gal has to age gracefully.