Food & Drink, Venues

Patio Time

Screen Lounge offers a unique rooftop ambienceScreen Lounge offers a unique rooftop ambience

What better way to celebrate summer than by reveling in the outdoor scene from under a patio umbrella, cold bevy in hand.

TSEvents e-news takes a look at a few fab patios that make warm-weather soirées a breeze.

Picture Perfect

A retractable dome keeps patio action alive year round at the Screen Lounge, the sophisticated resto-bar that opened above Fran’s College Street location last summer. Potted plants and red-and-black loungers pop against grey brick walls. The 2,000 sq. ft. full-service rooftop patio holds 150 guests.

Noteworthy is its after-dark vibe with two projectors playing classic movies on the walls of the adjacent buildings. A DJ spins tunes. Inventive Asian-fusion tapas and shared plates marry well with an extensive cocktail list. Groups are particularly fond of the sangria pitchers – reportedly among the city’s best. The lounge’s main floor is also available for private events of up to 150 people.

Treetop Dining

Le Papillon on the Park's patio seats 100Le Papillon on the Park’s patio seats 100

Located between the Beaches and Leslieville, family-owned Le Papillon on the Park has a long-standing history of delivering Québécois-French fare with flare. Trees from the adjacent Pumphouse Park envelop the restaurant’s 2nd-storey 100-seat deck in lush green, leafy intimacy.

A covered full-service bar runs along one section of the patio’s inside wall. Radiant flooring and a supply of cozy personal blankets heat up cool nights, extending outdoor entertaining into late fall. New to the patio — an open kitchen, complete with 6-ft. BBQ and dedicated alfresco menu. Inside, the restaurant offers complete exclusivity for up to 200 guests and a private dining room for 30 people.

Alfresco Italiano

Gusto 101's skylights make unique bar tops on its rooftop patioGusto 101’s skylights make unique bar tops on its rooftop patio

Good thing Gusto 101’s rooftop patio is set to debut soon. The Portland-Adelaide Street hotspot attracts a nightly queue of anticipative but patient patrons eager to partake in the restaurant’s comfy down-home Italian cooking and well-matched easy atmosphere. Additional space will help with summer’s guaranteed overspill.

Glassed-in panes wrap the second-level rooftop patio with views to the area’s brick heritage buildings. Banquette and table seating accommodate over 100. The patio has its own bar and is available for private buy-out. Blueprints include installation of a 6-ft. grill top, essential for Gusto’s signature dish — mouthwatering Italian spiedinis. Three marble bar-tops (each seating 16) wrap around the roof’s pyramid skylights offering a bird’s eye view down to Gusto’s main floor action. Inside capacity is 100 including an 18-seat private wine cellar room.

After-work Crowd

Financial District's South of Temperance patio is a meeting-spot magnetFinancial District’s South of Temperance is a meeting-spot magnet

Pitched between downtown skyscrapers and overlooking the Bay Adelaide Centre’s courtyard, good weather packs South of Temperance’s super-sized patio with thirsty, social-hungry powerbrokers. Slatted wood fencing and an abundance of florals and greenery encase the exterior’s party area, capable of packing in 300. Radiant heaters keep lively crowds toasty when necessary.

Ultra-flexible for event staging, all furnishings are removable with the exception of the 20 ft. x 12 ft. patio bar. Put screening to work for semi-private patio events of varying sizes. Garage doors also roll up on an interior dining-lounge fireplace area for an indoor-outdoor option for up to 150 people. Full buy-out including patio is available for up to 600 guests.

Tropical Mirage

The Oasis Rooftop Patio at Wayne Gretzky'sThe Oasis Rooftop Patio at Wayne Gretzky’s

Life-like palm trees, a gushing rock waterfall, and cabana seating make for a ready-made Caribbean retreat at Wayne Gretzky’s Oasis Rooftop Patio. An Entertainment District darling of after-work sun-and-chill fans, the May to October open-deck is weather dependent, though event tentable if need be.

Holding up to 200 guests, bistro tables fill the centre space while groupings of cushioned chaise lounges line either side of the giant bar. A south-facing VIP area, ideal for semi-private events, affords views of the CN Tower. Black-out periods apply for private patio bookings.

Eco Gourmet

Evergreen Brick Works backdrops Cafe Belong's patioEvergreen Brick Works backdrops Cafe Belong’s patio

Wood and simplicity rule Café Belong’s 60-seat outdoor terrace, while proprietor-chef Brad Long fills plates with local, seasonal cuisine. Located at the Evergreen Brick Works in a converted factory warehouse, both restaurant and patio overlook the eco-site’s huge living wall sculpture.

Rustic hand-woven twig fencing winds around the patio’s hand-hewn wood and iron harvest tables and antique oak church chairs. Black umbrellas provide shade. Landscaping is a kitchen garden filled with herbs and veggies that will be harvested for future menu inspiration. Reception capacity on the patio is 109 and inside the café is 96. Buy-out for both café and patio is available.

Retro Groove

The Cadillac Lounge has a huge patioThe Cadillac Lounge has a huge patio

A Parkdale icon long before the neighbourhood went hipster, the Cadillac Lounge sports half a vintage Chevy draped above its front doorway, and a massive 4,000 sq. ft. patio out back. Seated, 205 can enjoy the patio’s laid-back rockabilly-meets-sun chill setting, or clear away tables and chairs for additional staging and reception room.

Flowered landscaping pretties up classic car and music memorabilia. A popular live music venue with great exterior audio-visual, management is a pro in hooking up events with happening sounds. Available year-round is an 80-seat covered section that protects from the elements with roll-down garage doors. Decent pub grub makes up the menu.

Waterfront Seating

Bar Milano offers a private lounge-bar and patioBar Milano offers a private lounge-bar and patio

Lakeside is the place to be, as Bar Milano opens in the Queen’s Quay Terminal with a chillin’ patio for taking in dockside action and Toronto Island views. Group events of up to 65 people can pair the resto’s lounge-bar for private indoor-outdoor cocktailing.

Black and red colour chic patio lounge furnishings. A retractable awning provides shade. Owner Fab Concepts follows the lead of the rustic, casual Italian cuisine and feel proving popular in Bar Vespa, its Liberty Village hotspot. Antipasti, pasta and pizza make for delicious shared and passed platters.