By Lisa Lagace
There’s a new attraction in Toronto – and it’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen in the city before.
While you may have been to IceFest in February, you’ve probably never been in a room completely carved out of ice on a hot summer day.
And while CHILL Ice House (82 Bathurst St.) doesn’t want to be categorized as just a bar, there is a bar in both the ice room and the warming room.
Before 8pm it’s open to kids; schools come in regularly during the day to learn how to carve ice and experience the charm of this cold form of art. They also plan on holding ice carving classes open to all ages in the future – so if you’ve ever been curious to try your hand at carving, keep watch of their news page.
The bar menu is on the premium side, with sponsors Glenfiddich, Belvedere, and Jagermeister featured in the majority of their cocktails. They also have a strong selection of warm drinks available to enjoy in the ice room, in case you start to feel a little too chill.
We opted to try their version of the classic cosmo – and it definitely rose above the usual version of this drink, which, at $12 a pop, should be expected.
The service staff is friendly and helpful, and the bartenders are more than happy to take photos of you and your pals among the icey art. Of course, a selfie is probably also a must.
The price of admission for adults is a cool $18.95, while students and seniors pay $15.95, and kids get in for $9.95. You can also get a yearly pass for $50 that’ll let your friends and family get in with a 15% discount.
And don’t worry too much about freezing your butt off in the ice room – everyone is provided with a very warm, Canada Goose-like coat and given gloves upon entrance – so you can drink your scotch out of a glass made of ice without having your hand turn numb. Which is a nice touch (see what we did there).
Every season will bring a new theme to the ice room, with plans to highlight Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day already in the works. Currently, however, CHILL Ice House is showcasing a bit of everything with the CN Tower, the Stanley Cup, the FIFA World Cup, a snowman, ice jewels, and a DJ setup on display.
Open every day except Mondays and Tuesdays, with hours varying from 11am to 2am depending on the day, we suggest you beat the heat this summer by putting on a parka.