Sure, date night in Toronto could follow the usual formula: a hearty meal and hefty glass of wine at that nice local restaurant round the corner, before rushing back home to pay the babysitter before it strikes 11pm. But as the horrors of winter finally start to sink in, you might as well make your precious few hours away from the kids really count. Yeah, we're talking genuinely unique activities, quirky music venues, a ton of booze, and some risqué stuff chucked in for good measure. Date night has never looked so hot...
Hang out with hipster musicians at Junction City
With interiors resembling the 1970s (complete with vintage arcade games), Junction City Music Hall provides Torontonians with an effortlessly cool venue for live music. Located down a set of mysterious stairs in a back alley near The Junction, this underground establishment radiates exclusivity, literally embodying the phrase “hidden gem.” Basically, it's where all the cool kids hang, so when the weather sucks, you and bae might as well join the party.
Embrace all the tequila and tapas at Reposado
Boasting a crazy expansive collection of premium tequilas, this quaint Ossington establishment also carries delicious freshly-squeezed margaritas, imported beers, and a refined selection of Mexican food. Reposado provides patrons with live music most nights of the week, but it's the local jazz and swing acts on Thursdays and Fridays that most bring some much-needed Latin heat to dreary winter nights.
Check out the abandoned Lower Bay Station
This desolate underground subway platform below Bay Station has been out of service for exactly 50 years, so now provides a quirky destination for the odd times of year that people are allowed in (Nuit Blanche, for instance, and a bunch of TIFF parties). The station itself was only used for six months before being neglected, so is pretty grimy, edgy, and well worth an explore. It's sure to get the heart racing...in a good way ;)
Battle winter like a Russian at Pravda Vodka Bar
There are few places in Toronto as wacky, stylish, and plain old fun as Pravda Vodka Bar. Downtown's chic Soviet-themed hangout actually stocks more vodka varieties than anywhere else in the city, so that alone makes it worthy of a drink or two. The sexy red decor, fantastic happy hour deals, and late-night Burlesque dancer seal the date night deal. Plus, the genuinely unique vodka cellar is something you've gotta see IRL...especially when the weather feels so cold you might as well be in Russia...
Get your sweat on at Pursuit OCR
Workout with a difference at Pursuit OCR, Canada's largest fully indoor obstacle course. Couples who sweat together stay together (there's evidence!), so there's no better way to whip your and your significant other's asses into shape than by heading there any icy day (so take your time – you have until May). Located at Queen and Dufferin, classes provide a full-body workout thanks to the genuinely exhilarating course. The walls are also decorated with hip work from local artists, making the 80s aesthetic full on Snapchat-worthy.
Escape to paradise at Shameful Tiki Room
Decorated with wooden signage, animal prints, and tropical greenery, this Vancouver export is sure to delight with sugary rum concoctions, finger foods, and a delightfully spirited atmosphere. It injects an essence of the Caribbean into downtown, giving couples a much-needed retreat to warmer climate zones amidst frosty temperatures. Also provided: a blissful escape from the kids.
Showcase your sensual side at Bovine Sex Club
Established in 1991, this storied Toronto establishment fuses many disparate parts into a singular whole. Whether it is the eclectic mix of music genres that soundtracks the interior, or the famously recognizable façade decorated with a clusterfuck of bikes, Bovine promises a unique visitor experience that may not involve actual sex, but does involve a whole load of glamour, grit and good music.
Get full-on raunchy at House of Lancaster strip club
Sometimes date night is just about letting loose and REALLY spicing things up. By this we mean hitting up one of Toronto's finest strip clubs, The House of Lancaster. Featuring some very hot ladies (particularly if you're into Eastern Europeans), the two locations are unlikely to disappoint, and also unlikely to leave the rest of your night devoid of passion. Dare to give it a go and you might never go back to weekly meals for two.