The moment New Years Eve activity wraps up, retail stores are suddenly decked out in pink and red hearts and boxes of chocolates wrapped in delicate bows. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be the cheesy and cliche roses and fancy dinner. Make it fun this year with your significant other or your girl friends with a unique experience!
Sweet Tooth Duo
What’s more thoughtful than buying your sweetheart a box of chocolates? Making them together! Toronto offers some fun courses on making your favorite confectionaries from chocoalte to french macarons. In fact, this would be a perfect girls night out option too for the single ladies.
Purdy’s Truffle Making Class
Le Dolci’s Cupcake making or Parisian Macaron class
This is a great opportunity to get creative with paint cafes! They offer classes or free style options. Just purchase a canvas, and you have access to all the paint and tools needed to create your masterpiece. They usually have a cafe or bar in the lounge as well, so you can sip on your favorite tea or vino in a relaxed setting.
Not the type that likes to sit still? Want to do something active to bring the two of you closer? Release your energy in fun group activities like dancing or rock climbing or even something crazy like how to fly on a trapeze!
Salsa Dancing – Steps Dance Studio, Toronto Dance Salsa
Rock Climbing – The Rock Oasis, Toronto Climbing Academy
Toronto Circus School – Arial Arts, Flying Trapeze, Trampoline
Valentine’s Day is ubiquitous with loosening up and relaxing with a drink. Why not learn to make your own with a bartending class? BartenderOne offers a comprehensive introduction to the foundations of making a great cocktail. You can learn a few party tricks and sip on your own handcrafted drinks!
Up for something outside of the city? Everyone’s been talking about this, and it definitely is an ideal weekend excape (Valentine’s Day does fall on a long weekend!). Rent an Airbnb or a room in Muskoka and skate with your sweetheart down the 1.3km skating trail in the heart of the forest.
Ice Skating trail
Hope these ideas help spice things up for Vday! Let me know what is your favorite way of spending time with your significant other/friends? 🙂
DJ Skate Nights
Injecting your ice skating experience with some live music! Jam out to your favorite tunes on ice.
Jan 2 – Feb 20 at the Harbourfront Skating Rink
Admission – Free
Check out who’s playing
Celebrate Chinese New Year at the Yee Hong fundraising Gala.
Feb 6 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre
Reserve your table
Try something new for Valentine’s Day!
Tired of the same old roses and fancy dinner with your significant other? Does Feb 14 make you cringe? Regardless if you are single or in a relatonship, take the opportunity to do something unique this year. Keep an eye out for my Valentine’s Day post coming up!
Between Jan 29 – Feb 11, enjoy a 3 course meal for a fixed price. This is a great chance to try out the plethora of dining options in Toronto. Check out my personal favorites on my previous post here.
La Poutine Week
A poutine lover’s dream. Not that you need an excuse to get a Poutine… but now you really need to get one!
Feb 1-7 all across Toronto!
Check out participating stores
Admire 20,000 pounds of solid ice carved into magnificent sculptures
Feb 20-21 in Yorkville
Admission – Free
Great Canadian Chill
Stopping kid’s cancer COLD! Show your dare devil side for a good cause.
Feb 15, 10am at The East Mall
Between Jan 29 – Feb 11, enjoy a 3 course meal for a fixed price. This is a great chance to try out the plethora of dining options in Toronto. Also a great opportunity to hit up your coveted list of fancy restaurants that you would normally need to sacrifice a paycheck to entertain your tastebuds. Here are my personal favorites based on past experience.
Canoe – Contemporary Canadian. $28 Lunch // $45 Dinner
One of the most highly requested restaurants for Winterlicious/Summerlious, Canoe sits on top of the TD building on the 54th floor. Soak in the bird’s eye view of Toronto as you dine, or better yet, come during sunset for a extra special touch to your meal. The service is excellent and each dish is carefully crafted together like a work of art. Be prepared to experience a variety of unusual textures and tastes that Canoe aims to incorporate in all its seasonal dishes.
Where: 66 King Street West, 54th Floor (TD Tower)
Estiatorio Volos – Modern Greek. $23 Lunch // $35 Dinner
This is no Jimmy the Greek. Volos offers quite the upscale dining experience and their dishes are very flavorful and well prepared. Try the super tender Atlantic Salmon and the deliciously floral Pressed Greek Yogurt with Honey.
Where: 133 Richmond Street West
BOSK – Asian-Canadian fusion. $28 Lunch // $45 Dinner
Staff at the hotel will be gliding around in elegant traditional Chinese attire and your server will pour your water out of a glass tusk. BOSK ranks solidly across service, food and presentation. Relax in the lounge with a drink or some french macarons after the meal.
Where: 188 University Ave
Auberge du Pommier – French Classics.
Considered a highly request french dining destination, Auberge du Pommier immerses you in a woodcutter’s cottage complete with cozy wood burning fireplaces. Similar to Canoe, Auberge du Pommier offers a delightful experience for the palette in all of their seasonal dishes.
Where: 4150 Yonge Street
Sassafraz -French-Canadian fusion. $23 Lunch // $45 Dinner
A clean and elegant restaurant situated in the heart of Yorkville. Sassafraz offers a romantic, dim-lit environment for you to enjoy a delicious meal. Sit by the living wall and waterfall to complete the experience.
Where: 100 Cumberland Street
Last installment of the “Last Minute Holiday Gift” series. Everyone knows a few foodies, here are some great ideas on presents that will impress their palette.
For: The gourmet food lover who appreciates beautiful packaging
Where: Shops on Don Mills, 66 Wellington (The Path)
McEwan’s is like a Whole Foods but arguably even nicer with a fine selection of food packaged up so beautiful you may not want to even open it. They carry products like Sullivan & Bleeker
For: The one with the massive sweet tooth
Where: 176 Yonge St. (Inside The Bay, concourse level)
With its whimsical packaging and wide selection of candied treats, it’s like walking into an upscale Willy Wonka store. You’ll probably find some excellent stocking stuffers and gifts that practically don’t even need wrapping thanks to their adorable packaging.
For: The caffeine addict
This huge coffee store boats an impressive selection of all things coffee including responsibly sourced beans, grinders, French presses and more! The gadgets you can find in this store will probably impress even the most seasoned coffee critic! There’s a café inside too so you can sample some of the products before buying.
St. Lawrence Market
For: The foodie
You may not have thought of the St. Lawrence market as a likely place to shop for gifts, but it’s a prime location to scout a gift for your foodie friends. Gourmet jams, spreads, honeys would make great gifts.
For: The Macaron connoisseur
Where: A classy boutique shop selling a beautiful palatte of colorful and unique maracon flavors that rival that of Laduree’s.
Soma Chocolate Maker
For: The Chocaholic
Where: Distillery District,
You can’t go wrong with great chocolate. In Soma, you can find a lovely selection of rustic chocolates and beautifully packaged ready-to-gift items.
Your holiday shopping guide for men. Last minute hustling doesn’t have to mean boring cookie-cutter gifts that he will never use. I’ve uncovered a few Toronto based stores that offer a little something special for every man.
Frank & Oak
For: The man that appreciates the art of dressing well without breaking the bank.
Where: 735 Queen Street West
Frank & Oak offers a solid selection of dress shirts, blazers, and men’s accessories. There’s even a coffee shop right inside this store if you need a pump of caffeine to get the shopping started! They really do offer some great items for very reasonable prices.
For: Those who want to splurge for that special someone.
Where: 62 Bathurst Street
GOTSTYLE doesn’t mess around when it comes to dressing men impeccably. I remember walking in there with my boyfriend to try on some suits and I was very impressed by how knowledgable the staff were about fabrics and clothing production. They have an excellent selection and even a salon inside.
For: The stylish man that appreciates the fine details in his wardrobe.
Where: 26 Bellair
Forget about the same old plaid shirts, you’ll have the opportunity to explore much more interesting designs here like color block meets patterns and pebble leather shoes.
BYOB Cocktail Emporium
For: The man who dreams of dazzling guests with his alcohol cabinet and bartending skills
Where: 962 Queen Street West
With one of the largest selection of all things bartending, you can literally find dozens of different drinking glasses, bitters, and other gadgets to conjure one hell of a cocktail
For: The artistic man with a taste in unique decor. Perfect gift shopping for those who have recently moved into a new space.
Where: 389 Roncesvalles Avenue
Judging by the high ratings on BlogTO and Yelp, you can likely find a special item in there just in time for the holidays. Whether it is a cool shaving brush, a pineapple tumbler, or just some tasteful candles to bring warmth during the winter.