Valentine’s Day may have come and gone very quickly, but that certainly does not mean that the romance must end! Here are a few suggestions for how to hold on to the butterflies in your stomach, the amorous chills, and the giddy giggles in our beautiful city of Toronto all year long.
Knox College Courtyard
This garden of paradise is a small gem hidden away by the tall walls of Knox College. At any time of year, this courtyard is usually deserted and yet it is filled with an ancient charm. It is riddled with benches and during the warmer months, the well kept grass can serve as the perfect place for a picnic. During the winter, wwhen it's too cold to sit outside, head inside to Caven Library and bundle up next to the windows facing King’s Circle. There are big comfy chairs that the two of you can share and cuddle in! Just remember it’s a public library!
Photo credit Blog UT
This scenic stroll that connects Bloor St. and Hoskin Ave. is one of my absolute favorite places in the city, let alone the campus. There is something about this picturesque walk that reminds me of that eternal scene in Pleasantville (1998) where two young teenagers drive down Lover’s Lane with At Last playing on the radio (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vmX00U13Jk&feature=related). Now every time I walk through U of T’s Lover’s Lane, I hear Etta James’ timeless voice cooing through the trees and lampposts that border the path of this beautiful walk. A cobblestone walkway that weaves its way through the magnificent buildings of Trinity College, the Royal Ontario Museum, and the Royal Conservatory of Music, it is the perfect setting to melt any girl’s heart.
Convocation Hall at Night
I know, I know. I must seem crazy to think that such a daunting and intimidating place can be romantic. However, when the Toronto sun goes to sleep and all the students have gone home, Con Hall is enveloped in a golden light that shows off its beautiful architecture. The structure glows, inviting you to have a seat on its steps while leaning against a massive pillar. I’m not saying you should have a date at Con Hall but if you’re walking by, doesn’t it seem like a friendly giant that wants to give you a warm hug? Instead of dreading the building because you have a grueling class there, just think of what might happen when you and your date are soaked in its golden light.
Why spend a fortune on plane tickets to Europe when you can just take the streetcar to Queen and University? Equipped with cobblestone paths and vintage architecture, you cannot deny the European charm when you come here. Osgoode Hall is a very historic building usually associated with the law but when you walk through the gardens, you can’t help but associate it with love. This building has become a tourist attraction of sorts but it is not as busy as the CN Tower, so you can go inside and explore the Great Library without being disturbed by too many people. The Great Library is known to be one of the most beautiful rooms in Canada, so why not have a beautiful moment there? There is also a restaurant in the building, with high ceilings and stained glass windows, you would think you’re in film! Enjoy Europe in Toronto!
There’s a small, darling bakery close to Bloor and Bathurst that is home to the most delicious cheesecakes and cookies, not to mention the sweetest atmosphere. Every time I go to Future’s it is buzzing with warmth and there are always small groups of friends satisfying their sweet tooths, lone couples chatting in a corner over a cup of coffee, and even singles simply taking a moment for themselves. There’s an inviting aura of comfort associated with this place, which is ideal for dates. Instead of going to familiar places like a Starbucks or Timmies, just take a stroll west along Bloor St. and find yourself immersed for hours in the cozy Future’s Bakery. And do not forget to try the divine Marshmallow Hot Chocolate!
The Distillery District
This historic district has been sitting on the east side of the city since 1832; it has seen it all, including romance galore. Cobblestone streets, little shops and cafes just scream amour. If you’re over 19, you can even go for a taste test of some native Torontonian beer (just remember to keep it classy, my friends). If you’re under 19, you can always visit the aforementioned cafes and vintage shops; keep it casual. The district during the holidays is something out of a movie, as all the trees are adorned with gold lights and the entire area just seems to radiate with excitement. During the warmer months, restaurants bring out tables and chairs to make a patio style environment where you can chat away as the summer sun bids you goodnight.
All in all, you would be surprised as to how enchanting this wonderful city can be. Please make sure to check these places out! Even if you go alone, you never know who you might stumble upon.
Knox College: http://www.blogut.ca/2008/06/26/makeout-spots-on-campus/
Osgoode Hall: http://www.toronto.ca/toronto_images/pages2/osgoode.htm
Distillery District: http://www.thedistillerydistrict.com/gallery.php