Best Hidden Toronto Patios

Maybe you missed these under-the-radar spots the first time around – but there’s no better time to hit the deck

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  • 1

    Lucky Shrike

    This chill Dundas West hangout, formerly the Press Club, doesn’t look like a whole lot from the outside (blame that goofy spray-painted sign). Maybe that’s a clever ruse to make sure only those in the know get to hang in their spacious backyard. Bench seats, spreading grapevines and dreamy diffused lights make for a warm, almost romantic atmosphere – emphasis on the “almost.” After all, beer-and-a-shot deals are this place’s alcoholic bread and butter. NM

  • 2


    This August, Reposado celebrates a decade on Ossington – no mean feat in a neighbourhood in turnover overdrive. To mark the occasion (and for the Ossington street fest in July), the fetching back patio that never seems to have enough seats will spill out into the alley way for an extended margarita party. Look for mezcal, tequila and local beer, wine and cider tastings at the petite thatched patio bar on Thursdays throughout the summer. SP

  • 3

    David Laurence

    Fat Pasha

    Everyone knows about Rose & Sons’ patio (better known as Big Crow), and Bar Begonia just transformed their back deck into a burger joint and flea market (bienvenue, Madame Boeuf). But we spent so much time flipping out about Fat Pasha’s halloumi-studded head of cauliflower after Anthony Rose opened first the joint in 2014, we almost overlooked their gorgeous 70-seat patio, which doubles the restaurant’s capacity in the summertime. String lights, modern furniture and plenty of greenery make for a soothing getaway in the sleepy northern reaches of the Annex. NM

  • 4

    The Caledonian

    Scottish moors are hardly synonymous with fun in the sun, and we’re willing to bet you never stuck a festive patio umbrella in a fine glass of Ardbeg. But the go-to stop for Toronto whisky lovers has a lovely back patio that’s just perfect for a wee dram on a summer’s eve, complete with a mural of a St. Andrew’s cross and an all-weather roof (perfect for warding off drizzly Highland weather and shielding pasty skin from the sun)! NM

  • 5
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    Brian Summers

    Queen & Beaver Public House

    When rowdy sessions on colossal patios start to feel like dining in hell with 200 obnoxious strangers, grabbing a quiet drink on a verdant side street is pretty much heaven. The Queen and Beaver has two tiers of intimate outdoor space (streetside and terrace) for afternoon refreshments like minty jugfuls of Pimm’s. Continue the decompression fest after sundown over bottles of red wine, a few Scotch eggs and more treats from the very British dinner menu. SP

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    It’s known for having some of the best Middle Eastern eats in town, but Tabule doesn’t get enough props for its stellar taste in patio furniture. The hidden backyard patio at the Queen East location is filled with stylish geometric touches and juicy pops of colour: wood-panelled walls, cushy purple pillows on the bench seats, orange and blond-wood tables. You’ll want to linger for a second kumquat mojito. NM

  • 7

    La Cubana

    Everything about La Cubana just screams sunshine: the Cuban fare, the zippy blue-and-red colour scheme, the splashes of tropical fruit juice in the cocktails. Add to that a pleasant 30-seat backyard done up with box planters and modern chairs in a juicy orange-red. A partial roof keeps the weather from putting a damper on your party. NM

  • 8

    The Greater Good

    Get Well’s Geary Avenue sister bar hawks the full summer-in-the-city package: cold beer, fresh-out-the-oven pizza from North of Brooklyn, arcade games and a compact patio snuggled between Dufferin and the train tracks – really, the only thing missing is an adult splash pad. There’s no table service, so park the crew on a mini picnic bench under late-day rays or the amber flush of string lights and take turns hitting the bar for rounds of Ontario beer, some of which is so hyper-local that it’s fetched from Blood Brothers Brewing, a whopping 450 metres to the east. SP

  • 9
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    Lisa Poshni

    Her Father’s Cider Bar

    Invigorating, easy and effervescent, cider might be the ideal patio beverage. (Sure, rosé and weissbier are contenders, but the former goes straight to the brain and the latter into a swiftly bloating belly.) Her Father’s, which has the biggest cider selection in the city and a light-soaked west-facing patio (with umbrellas for the sun-shy), is a good place to submit cider’s patio supremacy theory to rigorous testing throughout the month of July. SP

  • 10

    The Walton

    The Walton brags, via the sandwich board out front, about possessing the world’s most adorable patio, and it’s not exactly lying. There’s a real-life secret garden vibe going on in the backyard of this College Street local, which serves coffee, booze and snacks from morning till late. Arrive in the afternoon to chill among hanging ferns and old trees and hours might sneak by unnoticed. Even when leaf-filtered sunshine has ceded to lantern-lit dusk, the prospect of drinking elsewhere still won’t seem quite as compelling as staying put.  SP

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