We’ve said it before: there’s no better time to be a Torontonian than in the lazy, hazy days of summer.
Aside from the inevitable patio sessions and testing out new restaurants that seem to open every week, here are 11 things you need to do before summer ends in the city.
1. Have a Sunday Funday in Trinity Bellwoods.
Top off brunch and vintage shopping along Queen West with a low-key afternoon in Trinity Bellwoods Park. You can tap into your inner hippie with a good, old-fashioned Sunday afternoon park session, complete with a playlist of perfect Sunday oldies. Don’t forget your blanket (and guitar-playing friend).
2. Party Vegas-style and hit a day party.
Yeah, they can be a little Jersey Shore-ish and are not for everyone. But if you haven’t hit Muzik Pool Bar or Cabana Pool Bar yet, you need to experience them at least once. If nothing else, it will remind you why you really don’t need that Vegas vacation. And who doesn’t love a little day drinking?
3. Start at Ossington and end in Leslieville.
If you have a whole day free and a trusted partner in crime to share it with, start with brunch somewhere along the Ossington Strip and end up across the city in Leslieville for dinner – all on foot. This means stopping along the way at some of your favourite boutiques, ice cream spots, and newly discovered hidden gems. And you don’t have to feel guilty about missing yoga to do so.
4. Have date night at Canada’s Wonderland.
Bail on work an hour early (and convince your date to as well) and enjoy the thrill of an amusement park date one night this summer… just like back in high school. It’s so much more exciting than that hot new restaurant, and won’t be open in a few short months.
5. Bike or blade The Beaches.
Dig out the rollerblades (or buy a pair because they’re probably on sale by now) or bike down to the path at The Beaches. For a brief moment in time you may just forget you’re in Toronto as you channel your inner California beach babe.
6. Jump on board a Hop-on-Hop off bus.
How well do you really know the city? Why not make like you did the first time you were in Europe and jump on board a hop-on, hop-off bus? If out-of-town friends are visiting, even better. If not, it’ll be just as fun after a Caesar at brunch.
7. Hit at least one concert at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre.
Because, well, you have to. Once winter comes and you’re jammed into a sweaty concert hall, you’ll wish you’d taken the option of enjoying the breezy Amphitheatre, complete with its sunset backdrop.
8. Have an ice cream on ‘the rock’ in Yorkville.
And by ice cream, we mean a cone of the creamy ice cream from Summer’s (chocolate peanut butter in particular). Add in the entertainment value of watching the Yorkville characters stroll by and you’ve got yourself a pretty satisfying summer weeknight.
9. Rediscover High Park.
Sure, it’s not exactly Hyde Park or Central Park, but High Park is still pretty cool in its own right. Yet most of us never go. Make it your mission to get lost in the park and bring along a picnic while the grass is still green.
10. Visit a farmers market.
You’re supposedly all about local, so why not make it a point to visit one of Toronto’s growing number of farmers markets for their summer selection of fruits and veggies? They’re actually all over the city, including the Evergreen Farmers Market at Brickworks, Dufferin Grove Farmers Market, and the Withrow Park Farmers Market, among others. It doesn’t get more local than that.
11. Try a unique, over-the-top cocktail on one of the city’s hottest and most over-priced patios.
Why the hell not? It’ll be ‘hibernation season’ before you know it. And you know they must be called expert mixologists for a reason.
There you have it. 11 amazing things to do in this city before summer ends. Don’t complain to us that you have nothing to do this weekend.