Love it or hate it, Valentine's Day is fast approaching. There are plenty of great ideas beyond the love cliche for getting it on in Toronto's east end. Whether you're flying solo or are one half of a nauseatingly loved-up couple, check out our roundup of where to take your date for Valentine's Day on the east side.
DINNER FOR TWO... OR THREE
It's hard to wrong with a standard dinner-and-drinks Valentine's date, and there are plenty of good options for prix fixe specials in the east end. Skin + Bones is celebrating the most romantic night of the year with a four-course Valentine's menu for $55 per person, which can be paired up with wine for another $35. Ascari Enoteca is offering a prix fixe menu for $55 per person. Further west, The Carbon Bar is doing a special five-course menu for $85.
STROLL THE TORONTO LIGHT FESTIVAL AT THE DISTILLERY
The Distillery District's cobblestone streets are romantic in their own right, but on now is the Toronto Light Festival, which has illuminated the entire area with the brilliance of thousands of lights to walk through. The event includes glowing creations of every size and type including interactive installations and light art.
VALENTINE'S DAY POP-UP AT SAULTER STREET BREWERY
Beer and cheese lovers and just lovers in general, unite! Saulter Street is pairing its beers (Riverside Pilsner, Golden Ale and Oyster Stout) with fancy cheese and chocolate from Sandy Aleksander in a Valentine's Day pop-up. If that's not a match made in heaven, we don't know what is.
INTIMATE COCKTAILS AT THE COMRADE
The intimate speakeasy-style of The Comrade make it a choice spot to take a date for a drink or two or seven. Although this spot is buzzing on almost any night of the week, the dark and moody atmosphere make it feel like you're sipping in secret. There is a small menu of nibbles but the real draw here is The Comrade's reputation for mixing an impeccable list of ageless classics and specialty crafted cocktails.
ART, CHAMPAGNE AND STRAWBERRIES AT PAINT CABIN
Paint Cabin, the Gerrard St. art studio and cafe, has a Valentine's package available at various times between Feb. 9-17. Express your love on an open canvas for $79. Sessions come complete with champagne and cupcakes.
OFFSIDE AND ANTI-VALENTINE'S CARDS FROM TRENCHCOAT PRESS
Get right to the point with your crush/lover with sexy, kinky Valentine's cards from Trenchcoat Press that are "just the right amount of wrong." Not your mom's card shop, the Leslieville-based card designer creates cards for occasions that call for you to be sassy, flirty, naughty and irreverent.
THROW AXES AT BATL
Whether you're still bitter over a breakup or just looking for something unconventional to do with a new crush, what better way to let out all of the wild emotions pent up inside than by throwing axes? Originally a munition factory in the Port Lands, Toronto’s Backyard Axe Throwing League provides the axes, the targets and the instruction. All you need to bring is your own beer. After all, there's nothing more romantic than getting buzzed and hucking sharp objects at a wall.
SLEEP IT OFF AT THE BROADVIEW HOTEL
If the mood strikes, snag a room at The Broadview Hotel. For stays between Feb. 9-19, the hotel is offering couples (or flings) a sweet package including a morning snack and in-room mimosa kit, late check-out at 2 p.m. and a $30 credit per person for the Cafe + Bar. With all the perks, why would you ever want to leave? Reserve a room.