Top Toronto First Date Spots

So you’ve been chatting for a while and it’s time to meet in person. Your heart starts beating fast. You nervously type queries into Google that resemble the desperate, neurotic pleas to advice columnists: Where should we go on our first date?  How do I make it special  but no too special? You know, interesting, unique but casual all at the same time? What if he’s boring and I’m stuck talking to him all evening? Where can I go to avoid this?

It’s okay. Take a deep breath. Remove your hands from your keyboard. Make yourself a relaxing herbal tea or better yet, pour yourself a glass of wine and read on. We’ve got your back. Here are just a few interesting places to take that first date in Toronto. In no particular order.

Games! And Drinks!

There is no better way to take a quick measure of a person then by the way they play a game. The nicest, most easy-going guy can all of a sudden turn into a jerk, rigidly policing the rules and turning surly and mean  if they start losing. Or they might be the kind of person who likes a good competition,  yet is as graceful at losing as he is at winning.

A game is also a nice way to ease into a relationship. You have something other than each other to focus on; the pressure is off.  You can use the game as a focal point and talk around it, see what comes up. Why not combine your cocktail with some friendly competition?

Snakes and Lattes, a board game cafe and cocktail bar, offers many games as well as a great menu and cocktail list. Or, if you want something a little more active, check out,  SPiN, a restaurant where you can book a Ping Pong table. Play a game of table tennis, then sit down to an awesome meal, all the while surreptitiously checking out how your date deals with winning and losing.  Trust me, you’ll know right away whether there’s going to be a second date or not...

Go Check out the Stars

By John H. Martin. July 14, 2006     english wikipedia    CC BY 2.5

By John H. Martin. July 14, 2006  english wikipedia CC BY 2.5

Toronto has many things going for it - a great, bustling city life, good gastronomy and many interesting cultural spots, yet the one thing you will be hard-pressed to find, like any big city, is a clear view of the sky. Dunlap Observatory is a great place to take a first date who isn’t afraid to get their geek on and who has a love for nature and the open sky.  Reserve tickets for one of their Star Talk Nights. Learn about the sky. Tour the observatory and look through some of their telescopes, maybe even check out a meteor shower close up. There’s no better way to start a relationship than by contemplating the wonders of our universe.

Get Lost!

Photo credit: Jenna King. “This is what the Maze Looks like on Toronto Island.”  BlogTO

Photo credit: Jenna King. “This is what the Maze Looks like on Toronto Island.” BlogTO

Toronto Island is mostly known for its fun rides for kids and great picnic areas. But nestled deep inside is the William Meaney maze, which offers a 1200+ hedge of black cedars and over 15,000 square feet of winding paths, dead ends, and generally delightful disorientation. You could spend hours in there laughing at how lost you are and getting to know each other.  If you ever get out of the maze, come prepared with a picnic lunch and enjoy the rest of the island.

Go on an Adventure!

Urban Capers offers Scavenger Hunts on a variety of themes. With titles like the Kensington and Chinatown Caper (which also includes nibbles along the way!) to the Great Whiskey Heist Mystery, not only will you have a lot of fun , you’ll probably learn something new about your city. Solve the mystery, then go for a drink in the historic neighborhood you just toured  and discuss!

Tell Me a Story

Want to see how your date deals with uncomfortable revelations? (Oh, come on. You know you do.) Then check out Tell me something good, a live story-telling event. Every month strangers and friends come together to share and listen to stories related to that month's particular theme. The theme changes every month so it's always a new show!

In Winter

 Natrel Rink. Photo Credit:  Michael Tutton.

 Natrel Rink. Photo Credit: Michael Tutton.

Need an excuse to hold hands? A fun, casual yet beautiful spot to take a first date is always Natrel Rink overlooking Lake Ontario at the Harbourfront. Once the cold gets a little too much, take off the skates and warm up inside the rink-side restaurant, the new, upcoming Boxcar Social.

In Summer

Okay. I know. Going to the movies is not the most original idea for a first date. But it is when you get to see a movie on a big screen outdoors or even better old school it and drive to The Docks Drive-In Movie Theater. You can pretend your Olivia Newton-John and he’s John Travolta and his hand is creeping...No wait. Forget that last part. Still. Drive-in Movies? Still equals cool in my books.

Or, if you don’t have a car, every Wednesday evening there’s a show at Harbourfront Centre.  Or check out the Sail-in Cinema at Sugar Beach, and the movie schedule for Yonge-Dundas Square for some great options.

Let’s Go for a Walk

Allan Gardens  By Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0,]

Allan Gardens By Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0,]

Looking for a quiet place to get to walk and talk with your date? Why not meet at the Allan Gardens Conservatory? It’s free, open year-round to the public, is over a 100-years old and, “contains tropical plants from all over the world from palm trees to cacti.” Whether you are looking to get away from the cold in winter or simply looking for a beautiful, quiet location to chat in peace, this garden’s got you covered no matter what the season.

Comedy Bar

Just as the way we approach winning and losing can tell a lot about who we are as people, so can our sense of humour. If the person laughs at jokes that we don’t get, or even worse, doesn’t laugh at our own jokes, chances are the relationship isn’t going to last long (Or you have to work on your jokes ;)

The Comedy Bar allows you to gauge how compatible your date’s sense of humour is with yours without that awkward moment where you find out that neither one of you think the other is funny. Oh yeah. While you’re there have a drink. Laugh a little. Have some fun!

These are just a few of the amazing spots Toronto offers for that perfect first date. Hopefully, you’ve been chatting for a while and have an idea of what might be fun for that person. Still, if it doesn’t work out, don’t give up. Zepeel will help you find the perfect  match for that perfect first date spot!


By Zepeel