Whether you are looking for an intimate candle-lit lounge bar for two, or a relaxing alfresco glass of champagne – you will find it in Toronto. With so much choice on offer, we have carefully selected the crème de la crème of the luxury bars found here.
The Thompson Rooftop
550 Wellington St. W., 416-601-3595
Nowhere in Toronto can its world-class status be more easily confirmed than from a perch at the Thompson's rooftop bar. Even in winter, the view is really that impressive, and its best enjoyed with a sophisticated drink. The Millionaire #3 ($15) - with Belvedere vodka, Cointreau, grenadine and raspberry syrup - is sweet but not cloying, thanks to whipped egg white.
181 Wellington St. W., 416-585-2500
Open for a just a year, Toca, the bar in the Ritz-Carlton, already feels like an indispensable institution to suits in need of a stiff after-work drink. The main draw is the smart list of house cocktails. Our favourite: an ethereal frappé ($16) of egg white, thyme-infused Jamaican Wray and Nephew rum, bitters and citrus-elderflower liquor, all goosed by a naughty shot of absinthe.
The Harbord Room
89 Harbord St., 416-962-8989
One of few places to successfully pull off the resto-bar hybrid, The Harbord Room is where the cool kids of Toronto's food and drink industry gather on their nights off. Much of the draw is the bearded man behind the bar, Dave Mitton, whose charisma is matched by his cocktail creativity. The Ronald Clayton ($15) - vanilla-infused Crown Royal with organic maple bitters and tobacco syrup - is a smooth and smoky elixir named after Mitton's late grandfather.
55 Bloor St W, 416-967-0000
Panorama lounge has the best patio view in the city, and drinkers flock here for a piece of it. The wraparound patio on the 51st floor of the Manulife Centre in Yorkville has a complete panoramic view of the city below. Comfy sofas and lounge chairs line the terraces so drinkers can relax with one of their many cocktails while soaking up the view.