Toronto is Canada’s downtown, and they’ve got the nightlife to prove it. Out travelers can choose from an amazing selection of restaurants, bars, museums, and theaters throughout the entire city, and should definitely save time for fun in the gayborhood of Church-Wellesley Village. This is our perfect night in Toronto.
SEE FRIDAY NIGHT LIVE AT THE ROYAL ONTARIO MUSEUM:
Established in 1914, the Royal Ontario Museum in Queens Park features nature, art, and culture from around the world and throughout time. With over 40 gallery and exhibition spaces, Canada’s largest museum is home to a world class collection of more than six million objects and specimens and conveniently located next to University of Toronto’s Saint George campus—another intellectual and historical center of Ontario.
Danielle’s Tip: Friday Night Live at ROM is the place to be. The DJ will keep you jamming as you sip champagne, mingle with the locals, and dance alongside the dinosaurs.
Kit’s Tip: We had a blast. The crowd was so lively, welcoming and ready to get the weekend started. Dancing to a live jazz band amongst dinosaur fossils and geodes was an experience I’ll always remember.
John’s Tip: This is a great place to get to know the local residents and try out great food and drinks from unique local restaurants, too. There was a stand with ice cream made to order with liquid nitrogen, and a Hawaiian stand serving grilled spam wrapped in seaweed. Be sure to get an early bird ticket so you can skip the line.
STAND HIGH ABOVE THE SKYLINE AT THE CN TOWER:
An iconic landmark, this observation tower in downtown Toronto stands over 1,800 feet tall. Completed in 1976, The CN Tower is the tallest freestanding structure in the Western Hemisphere and attracts more than two million international visitors annually.
Danielle’s Tip: Looking for dinner with a view? Look no further. Head to the top of the CN Tower where you can experience a rotating 360-degree view of Canada while indulging in a delicious prix-fixe meal at 360 The Restaurant at The CN Tower. I selected the three-course meal and ordered the 360 New Farm Greens Salad, Atlantic Salmon Fillet, and Carrot and Quinoa Cake. Afterwards, you can walk off your dinner by taking a stroll through the observation deck where you can learn the history of the tower, step outside for an amazing view, or stay inside and look down below.
Kit’s Tip: Head to the restaurant on top of the CN Tower for a 360 degree look at Toronto. Literally. The restaurant rotates as you dine, and every table has a breathtaking view of the city below. For my prix-fixe meal, I chose the Farm Green Salad, the Prairie Grains Risotto, and the Banana and Toffee Verrine for dessert.
John’s Tip: I also ordered the three-course prix fixe menu and chose the Albacore Tuna Crudo, the Atlantic Salmon Fillet, and the Carrot and Quinoa Cake. Everything was delicious and beautifully plated. Make sure to visit the observation deck below for an even more amazing view, but be careful not to look down if you’re afraid of heights—some of the floors are transparent!
TREAT YOURSELF TO AN ECLECTIC MEAL AT SMITH:
Situated right on Church Street next to Church-Wellesley’s Barbara Hall Park, Smith serves a seasonal menu of comfort food where everything is made up of simple, fresh ingredients.
Danielle’s Tip: The ambience was perfect! A cute and quaint space lit with candles. I began with the appetizers, which were so delicious I almost ordered a second batch. For my main course I chose the salmon that sat on top of a crème sauce, corn salad, and avocado. It was a pescatarian’s dream.
Kit’s Tip: The menu here was perfect; I started with the Potted Cheese (I’m obsessed) and John had the Oysters. For my entree I had the Kale Salad with Roasted Mushrooms and Miso Vinaigrette and John had the Prosciutto Wrapped Tuna.
John’s Tip: The food was incredible and the space was really warm, intimate, and charming. If you’ve got a group of six, request the table up front by the window and the fireplace. We loved it.
STOP INTO WOODY’S WHILE BAR-HOPPING ON CHURCH STREET:
Danielle’s Tip: I’m always so excited to explore the LGBTQ nightlife in new cities. It’s rare that I find a lesbian nightclub, but it’s okay because I love partying with the boys. Woody’s was the place to be. The huge club was split up into two rooms, which was perfect. One room featured a show while the other was for dancing, mingling, and drinking. The crowd was so nice and welcoming.
Kit’s Tip: This was our first time visiting Toronto, but we’ve been hearing about Woody’s from friends for years. It was so fun to finally get to check it out! The crowd and the staff were so welcoming, and there were great shows going on all night.
John’s Tip: As a fan of “Queer as Folk,” I was excited to finally get to hang out at Woody’s. There are a bunch of different rooms, bars, and lounge spaces, so give yourself some time to explore it all.
VISIT BUDDIES IN BAD TIMES THEATER FOR THE BEST LGBTQ THEATER & DRAG QUEENS:
Founded in 1979 and situated a short walk from Church Street, Buddies In Bad Times has grown to be the largest and longest running queer theatre company in the world. In 1994 they moved to their current home that includes two stages, a cabaret space, and a flexible black box. On Saturday nights, they feature drag performers to help fund their MainStage productions.
Danielle’s Tip: Know that you’re in for a treat!
Kit’s Tip: Everyone in town was talking about how amazing the Saturday night drag shows are at Buddies In Bad Times, and they were right. Mona More and Sapphire to the Rain were two of our favorites queens; their lip syncs to “Rocky Horror Picture Show” and Kelly Clarkson songs were jaw-dropping.
John’s Tip: The queens at this place were amazing! Be sure to bring cash, not only because it’s a cash bar, but also so you can tip the girls.
If you’re looking to plan your night OUT in Toronto, head to www.SeeTorontoNow.com for the best travel information, planning resources, and insider deals.