A Different Kind of Grouse Grind: Outdoor ice skating is a Canadian date classic, and doing it atop Grouse Mountain is probs one of the best ways to cross it off your list. Have dinner at the amazing resto The Observatory and make it a full evening, or simply bring a flask of something to fan the flames for…later. And don’t forget to take the ultimate romantic Insta shot at the Light Walk!
Retro Cocktails: The Hotel Georgia’s 1927 Lobby Lounge boasts vintage charm for mood, plush velvet couches for cuddling and custom cocktails for adding to that “OMG, I really like this guy/girl” light-headedness.
A Bicycle Built for Two: Rent a tandem bike (Bayshore Bike Rentals has them) and cycle the Seawall. Pack a picnic, a bottle of West Coast wine and a blanket so you can de-bike at a secluded spot along the way.
#DBGminitour Kurimoto Japanese Garden, the waterfall rumbles durning the hot afternoon #yeggarden #yeg #japanesegarden #waterfall #LoveDBG A photo posted by Devonian Botanic Garden (@devoniangarden) on
Green Thumbs Up: Bring thee to the flower(-y). If your date forgot to bring you flowers, go to them. Grab a picnic and a blanket and head to Devonian Botanic Garden. And check it, Thursdays is official Date Night at the gardens when the park is open until late and they host special events. It’s like they’re doing all the work for you! (Closed until May 1)
Take Your Date for a Spin: Fancy a fancy date, do you? La Ronde Restaurant is the city’s only revolving rooftop spot on the 24th floor of the Chateau Lacombe Hotel. On Tieless Tuesdays, things get a little less fancy—your date can show up tieless and without a reso. Huzzah!
Monster Mash: Indoor monster themed glow-in-the-dark 18-hole mini golf course? Why yes, thank you kindly Monster Mini Golf. If you get spooked, someone’s arms should be conveniently waiting for you to jump into. As long as he or she’s not swinging and missing if you know what I mean.
Ox-i-date-ion: If a chinook ain’t going on, Calgary can be hella cold in the winter. Warm up with your date at Ox and Angela while nibbling on jamon and pan con tomate at this Spanish small plates restaurant before you get to nibble on other things. Ole!
Take a Bow (and Arrow to his Heart and Guns): Rent a canoe and paddle down the Bow River to show off dem guns to your date. It’s a good excuse to enforce a post-date massage clause.
Our Localist-at-Large Ania’s Pick: Skating at Olympic Plaza It’s free of charge, open 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Daily, and you don’t even have to bring your own skates—just rent them at the skate hut on the premises. You can pick between ice skates, figure skates or hockey skates, or have your own skates sharpened before you hit the ice. Take the elevator up to the top of the Calgary Tower for dinner afterwards. With beautiful views of the city, it will always remain one of my favourite spots. Watch the city lights sparkle at night while you’re having a romantic dinner at SKY 360. Located 155 metres above ground, it completes its full rotation every 60 minutes during dinner. Got a fear of heights? Hit up River Café at Princess Island Park instead, with its cozy atmosphere in the middle of Calgary’s snow-covered park. The walk itself gives you ample opportunity to talk and enjoy the views of the Calgary skyline. Enjoy some delicious food while you warm up by the fire.
Benny Stirs are on the stage right now. Come on down and join us, they’ll be playing until midnight!! #yxe #yxeeats #livemusic #instadaily #bontempscafe A photo posted by Bon Temps Cafe (@bontempscafe) on
Hold Back the River: Come summer, the riverbanks of Saskatoon’s South Saskatchewan River are transformed into a stage for all the world (or just you and your boo) to see. Each summer, two full-length plays are performed in repertory by professional artists in large tents on its banks. The festival runs from the first week in July until mid-August. Grab a blanket and your Romeo or Juliet and get cultured.
C’est Bon Cafe: Saskatoon doesn’t boost bon temps in the winter but this dope resto will warm you right up. Bon Temps Cafe is an authentic Cajun restaurant with New Orleans as its muse. It serves up tasty treats and, post noshing, you and your date can twerk it to the live tunes.
Earls Girls: A chain resto wouldn’t normally be a suggestion for a date spot; however, Earls in Saskatoon ain’t quite your usual Earls. Built inside a vintage bread factory from the early 1900s, this joint has a warehouse feel to it with an in-house micro-brewery, an English-style brewpub and a fresh market with goodies like wines, fancy breads, deli meats and cheeses, flowers and chocolates. It’s also got a grand ole patio for some summer lovin’.
Droppin’ Science: Get all Neil Degrasse Tyson on your date by heading to the Saskatchewan Science Centre Adult Science Nights. On these ages 19+ nights, the centre is adult-friendly with a bar, snacks and events.
Flip it, Sip it, Turn it Upside Down: Flip Eatery & Drink opened in 2011, contributing to the revitalization of downtown Regina. Today, it’s a cozy, popular spot, serving up North American comfort food with local or sustainable ingredients when possible. The scene can get a little noisy on Saturdays but hey, it’s the weekend so you’re allowed to throw down some rowdy.
We Like Big White Butte Trails and We Cannot Lie: Get back to nature by taking your date on a hike. About 20 minutes east of the city, White Butte Trails has biking, hiking and cross-country skiing for year-round frolicking in the forest.
Dear Hunting: Located in the heart of the Exchange, deer + almond serves home-style cooking just like his or her mama might have done. Show her up by taking your date here.
Rainbow Nation: Located in the beautiful Kildonan Park, the Rainbow Stage is the oldest running outdoor theatre company in Canada. Don’t be Les Miserables and head here to see one of their acclaimed productions under the stars with your numero uno star.
Shakespeare in the Ruins: Wherefore art thou, date? Why move with me and you’ll see. Shakespeare in the Ruins produces adaptations of the Bard’s most famous work in the beautiful Trappist Monastery Ruins. These productions are promenade style, meaning the audience becomes actively engaged in the play by moving from location to location guided by the actors themselves as they put on the play not just in front of, but around the audience.
Our Localist-at-Large, Gracie’s Pick: Whether or not love is in the air for you this February, don’t miss out on the chance to try a romantic brunch at one of the city’s most stylish new restaurants, FIGO Toronto (295 Adelaide Street W.). With a bright and airy, Instagram-ready interior, this downtown spot is definitely my top date night pick. Be sure to order the Punch Americano, a lovely light pink cocktail served in a stunning crystal decanter that’s perfect for sharing.
SURPRISE! Initially scheduled on January 25th, the Hôtel de Glace is now complete ! Snow, Ice, Machinery and Artists Teams did an outstanding job! Until march 28, come visit us for an unforgettable experience! #bucketlist #ice #hotel #explore #explorecanada #snow #sculpture #proud #picoftheday #quebec #tourism #unique #room #extraordinary A photo posted by Hôtel de Glace (@hoteldeglace) on
Ice, Ice Datey: What’s one way to get up close to your date? By heading to the Hotel de Glace. Made from ice and snow, this iconic seasonal hotel basically forces you to cozy up to your girl or guy for warmth. From January 4 to March 28, throw on your thermals and take a tour of the beautiful ice sculptures before grabbing an ice cold drank at the bar. Shooters might be in order. Y’know, just to warm you up.
Skate Bait: Since we’re on a chill theme, literally, embrace the winter by doing figure eights with your boo at the Place D’Youville. The vibe here is effortlessly romantic and charming, just as your date hopefully is as well.
Go Together Like a Horse and Carriage: For a bit of a baller date, step right up to a carriage ride with Les Calèches du Vieux Québec around Old Quebec. It’s already a pretty picturesque city so take a romantic tour of it via un cheval. Giddy up!
Our Localist-At-Large Gabrielle’s Pick: My suggestion? Reconnect with your bae and the city at the same time with a climb up Mount Royal. Bundle up and bring a bottle of bubbles to toast over the view of the city lights. Bonus: it’s absolutely free and good for your health (the walk, not the champagne).
Sea Your Date Shop: Saturdays at Seaport, dig it. (Or Sundays for that matter.) This market has literally been around since 1750. 1750! Grab your date and stroll the fresh market fare on a weekend before grabbing a sweet rooftop spot on the seaport to sip that latte and discuss your hopes and dreams with Mr. or Ms. (hopefully) McDreamy.
Arts and Culture: If you want to impress your date, take them to this beautiful gallery located in the village of Herring Cove. Once you’re done taking in the art, refuel at the Pavia Cafe and work off that chocolate croissant by strolling along the Granite coast line.
Be Still Your Beating…: Stillwell might be the Tinder capital of Halifornia, but its craft beer selection makes first dating with others worth it. And hey, it’s often quite bustling so if things don’t work out with Date #1, you might be able to ditch him or her for another cask away. (Get it, get it?)
Our Localist-At-Large Ellen’s Pick: My fiancé and I spend most of our date nights over scallop linguine, sausage pesto pizza and affogatos at La Frasca Cibi & Vini (5650 Spring Garden Rd.) The food and drinks are fantastic and the setting is intimate, yet bustling. Finish dinner off with a romantic stroll along the waterfront, and you’re sure to have a perfect date night.
Parks and Rec: Located in the heart of the citay, Centennial Park is all like, look at my 230 acres of parkland, turf sports field, tennis courts, lawn bowling greens, ski trails, yo. So you should be all like, Imma take my bae and picnic the *ish outta this park.
Beach Babe: In just under 30 minutes, you can beach it up in Shediac, which boosts some of the warmest water north of Virginia. And it’s apparently the lobster capital of the world. Fresh seafood + fresh bikini-clad you + fresh wee beach-siiiiide art galleries = happy date times.
Veggie Deelight: If you and your boo recently watched Cowspiracy and you’re feeling like the only meat you want is your boo’s, head to Calactus. This vegan/vegetarian resto in the heart of downtown Moncton is a warm, inviting spot that serves up fair-trade coffee, local beers, organic wines, homemade vegan desserts and dishes that won’t have you asking, where’s the beef?
Cure What Ales You: Jesse Vergen, Saint John Ale House’s chef, was a competitor on Top Chef Canada in 2014 and has won accolades like Best Local Chef in Atlantic Canada and New Brunswick’s Best Place for “party down celebration drinks.” So party on down with your date to this lively joint that serves up tasty dishes with ingredients from local markets, Vergen’s organic farm and local fishermen. And wash it all back with a pint of Moosehead Cask Conditioned Ale, brewed by hand exclusively for the Ale House.
Rock Down to Rockwood Park: Impress your date with this fact: this park be one of Canada’s largest urban parks. The outdoor company DayTripping rents out canoes, kayaks, pedal boats, mountain bikes and rock climbing gear in the spring and summer, and snowshoes, cross-country skis and pond hockey equipment in the winter. And if the date ends up going really well, turn it into a weekend escapade in the woods by renting out a camp site!
Blow a Little Steamers Off: Claw at your date and a little lobster tail while being entertained at Steamers Lobster Company. Steamers is reputed to have the best lobster in the city. On weekends you can check out live comedy skit shows while you dip them fresh tails in butter.
The Rooms with a View: The Rooms is arguably the best art museum in Newfoundland with rotating exhibits and a cafe with the best view of the Narrows.
Get Yo’ Coffee Fix: Fixed Coffee and Baking sells direct trade java, which means that their coffee roasting supplier purchases their green beans directly from the farmer that grew them. This process cuts out the middle man and is mutually beneficial for both the farmer and the roaster. And for you, when you’re all feel-good-y about taking your date here. It’s a charming, chill spot at a great location on Duckworth Street. If jumping beans ain’t yo thang, grab a European beer or swig scotch alongside some of their delectable dishes and baked goodies.
Cottage Country: Mallard’s head chef first came to Canada’s attention as a contestant on Top Chef Canada, when he tried to sell the judges on seal meat. His standout restaurant in the historic Quidi Vidi village, a small fishing inlet nestled in the east-end of the city, is demure. It’s housed in a typical island outport cottage but the dishes are anything but typical with a menu that changes daily based on seasonal fare.
Let the first preview for #ChFestEvangeline begin! #theatre A photo posted by Confederation Centre (@confedcentre) on
Give it up to the Forefathers: If you live in or are going to be in the birthplace of Confederation, get all patriotic at The Confederation Centre of the Arts in the heart of downtown Charlottetown. It houses Atlantic Canada’s largest art gallery. Unite with your date here and discuss the merits of your nation’s dominion.
Queen Park Bae: Slap on skis or snowshoes and head to Victoria Park’s trails. Go in the evening to see the crows that migrate onto the park’s snow-covered treetops at dusk before catching the sunset from the boardwalk across the street.
Merchants of Charlottetown: This oyster bar by the Charlottetown waterfront is housed in the historic Peake-Carvell building. It serves up seafood galore and has live music on Friday/Saturday.