The city skyline shimmers behind Shim (left) and Lea Sousa on the Panorama patio.
1. 180 PANORAMA
55 Bloor West, at Bay, 416-967-0000, eatertainment.com
This sleek resto-bar on the 51st floor of the ManuLife Centre isn't for anyone afraid of heights and/or claustrophobic elevator rides.
However, those who appreciate two postcard-perfect views of the skyline - one looking south to the downtown core, the second facing north and almost straight into the new Four Seasons Hotel (bring binoculars during TIFF!) - on an airy South Beach-style terrace will be in patio heaven.
Lit by requisite rococo chandeliers and outfitted with low-slung black leather sofas, the south deck makes a swell perch to swill a straight-up martini while catching this weekend's fireworks or the upcoming Pride parade way down below.
66 Wellington West, at York, 416-777-1144, bymark.ca
The ground-level terrace of this money's-no-object Bay Street boîte is 180 Panorama's polar opposite. Yabu Pushelburg-designed Bymark's vantage point, rather than the top of a skyscraper, is from below, surrounded by the soaring towers of the Toronto Dominion Centre. Be sure to order Top Chef Canada judge Mark MacEwan's infamous $35 USDA prime beef burger with onion rings, fries $7 extra.
3. JACK ASTOR'S
10 Dundas East, at Yonge, 416-263-9800, jackastors.com
Despite the lacklustre card and suburban roadhouse service, this franchise pub on the top of the AMC on Dundas Square offers some of the best sightlines in the city, particularly at night, when the electronic neon vista equals that of Tokyo's Shibuya or New York City's Times Square.
57 Adelaide East, at Toronto, 416-203-3093, terroni.ca
They won't put cheese on your seafood spaghetti and they won't cut your pizza, though they'll give you a fork. But the terrific garden terrace on a sculpture court behind the old Courthouse - the scene of Hogtown's last hanging - makes the contrariness seem worthwhile.
Stéphane Bigué brings the beer at Papillon on the Park.
5. LE PAPILLON ON THE PARK
1001 Eastern, at Woodfield, 416-649-1001, lepapillonpark.com
Other than the Boardwalk Pub, the Beach has no patios remotely near the water. The exception: this tree-veiled rooftop deck of a relocated French creperie on the edge of Woodbine Park. You won't necessarily see the lake off in the distance through the summer's haze, but you'll definitely feel the breeze.