Summer Lovin' Stephanie Kervin

Paddle Toronto

If you and your date are more of the adventurous type, doing something active is a great way to break the ice, and get to know another side of the person you’re with. This doesn’t mean you have to venture too far outside the city. The Harbourfront Canoe and Kayak Centre offers a bevy of boating activities. Tandem kayaking, in particular, offers the opportunity to work with your date, while admiring what Toronto has to offer. The city skyline becomes the backdrop to this recreational date, while you paddle around the Toronto Islands, or even if you choose to stick closer to the waterfront. Apart from paddling, you and your date can partake in the many bars and restaurants that are both on the Islands, and surrounding the waterfront.

For more information, visit paddletoronto.com/rentals. An hour rental (tandem kayak) is $40 inclusive. All equipment is provided.

Go for a swim

Disclaimer: If you are uncomfortable rocking your swim jammies in front of your date, then this is not the date for you. Stanley Park Pool located in King West, is the perfect place to go for a quiet dip without breaking the bank; admission is free! Definitely one of the less-frequented pools in the city, going for a swim here in the early evening is like taking a dip in your own backyard pool. The surrounding park is quiet and peaceful later in the day, which offers a welcome escape from the usual. Cool off, splash around, and maybe have a pre-swim drink at the Wheat Sheaf Tavern, the city’s oldest.

Stanley Park Pool is located at 845 King St W. Leisure swim runs from 12-8pm Monday to Saturday. The Wheat Sheaf is located at 667 King St. W.

Movie Night

When it comes to movie viewing in the summer, there’s nothing better than grabbing a blanket and cozying up to your date in one of the city’s various outdoor movie viewing locations. Depending on your cinematic tastes, Toronto offers movie screenings at Metro Square, Christie Pitts, Parkdale, Downsview, and the list goes on. One front-runner is the Harbourfront Centre’s Free Foodie Flicks, a cinematic series based on the theme of food. Catch movies like Supersize Me and Chocolat while sharing a blanket and a bucket of popcorn with your date. Most movies start at 8:45, but show up early to claim a good spot.

Harbourfront Centre’s Free Foodie Flicks are screened at 235 Queens Quay West. For more information, visit blogto.com/film.

Drake Summer School

Fancy a musical night out? You could always catch a show at any number of venues in the city, or you and your date could do something totally out of the box. The Drake Hotel is putting on a summer series called Drake Summer School (last year’s was cutely called Camp Drake.) The artsy summer series features things like Shop Class and a lemonade stand, but the real stand-out is Band Practice. The event brings together different bands, established and emerging, and swaps band members. The newly-formed bands must come up with a new name, rehearse and then perform for the audience, who get to vote for the best freshlyhatched musical act. Band Practice is a great way to enjoy good music and bond with your date at one of Toronto’s coolest places.

Band Practice takes place on July 31st (featuring a Neil Young theme) and August 28th at 9pm, at the Drake Hotel. For more information, visit thedrakehotel.ca/ events.

Game on!

Different dates can bring out can bring out different sides of people you never saw coming. Why not test the waters with a night out at the ever-popular Snakes and Lattes? The board-game cafe is filled to the brim with a bevy of games, old and new. The welcoming, laid-back atmosphere is great for pretty much any occasion, but is especially good for a first date. The tasks of choosing a game, figuring out the rules, and, of course, trying to beat your date will distract you from any potential awkwardness and bring out the fun in your date. It costs $5 per person to play, and there is a small, but good selection of beverages (including some alcohol), as well as food. Make sure to reserve a table ahead of time, as this little place fills up very quickly, and waiting lists are a regular occurrence.

For more information, visit snakesandlattes.com.

Additional Info

  • Subtitle: Suzie Balabuch gives you five awesome date ideas for the hottest time of the year.
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