Love it or hate it, Valentine's Day is fast approaching — Sunday, Feb. 14 for those who are, shall we say, comfortable — and 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 a nauseatingly loved-up couple, check out our roundup of where to take your date for Valentine's Day on the east side.
PRIX FIXE DINNER IN LESLIEVILLE AND RIVERSIDE
It's hard to wrong with a standard Valentine's date of candlelit dinner and drinks, and there are plenty of good options for prix fixe specials in the east end. Leslieville's Ascari Enoteca is offering a prix fixe menu for $59 per person on Valentine's Day, Tuesday Feb. 14. Leslie Jones is also serving a three-course prix fixe for $45 on the special day.
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.
STUPID CUPID ANTI-VALENTINE SOCIAL AT THE VANDENBERG HOUSE
Don't have a Valentine's? Who cares! Head to the The VandenBerg House to celebrate your singleness and all things non-Valentines. "Our house chef will be preparing a delightful selection of international sharing dishes, paired with wine and beer samples with a sweets selection to finish the evening," says Christiane Tetreault of The Vandenberg House.
This is a mature, over 28 affair. Purchase your advance ticket through Eventbrite.
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 special couples Valentine's package available at various times between Feb. 10-14. Express your love on an open canvas or string your hearts together — quite literally, with string art. 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. If you're looking to exact revenge or are just plain cold-hearted, Trenchcoat Press has created the ultimate anti-Valentine's card with Taylor Swift breakup song titles. The inside is blank for your own message.
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.