6 Fun and Affordable Date Spots in Toronto

By Sarafina Romano

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, CanCulture has got you covered with the best date spots in Toronto.

With midterms just around the corner, it is easy to get sucked into a dizzying vortex of cue cards and iced coffee. Here’s a gentle reminder that the red hearts stuck to coffee shop windows are not the product of a sleep-deprived hallucination. Yes, it is almost V-Day folks.

Valentine’s Day gets a lot of criticism for being a ‘Hallmark holiday,’ but who doesn’t love, well, love. Whether you are in a long-term relationship, flirting with your crush or forever single, this is a great time of year to celebrate “La Joie de Vivre” in one of the funkiest cities in the world.

Below is a list of unique spots for a cute Valentine’s Day date with your significant other or maybe, your squad. And no need to worry, they are all cheap.

The Clay Room - 279 Danforth Ave

The inside of The Clay Room on Danforth Avenue in Toronto. (CanCulture/Sarafina Romano)

The inside of The Clay Room on Danforth Avenue in Toronto. (CanCulture/Sarafina Romano)

This one is for all you artists or wannabe artists out there and for the adults who never grew out of their paint-by-numbers phase. You know who you are. Located in the heart of the Danforth, The Clay Room is a fun and creative way to spend Valentine’s Day. Choose anything to paint that your heart desires, from plates to dog figurines to vases. After you complete your piece of art, you can pick up your shiny masterpieces a week later. Prices vary from $8.75  to $20.75 depending on the size of the piece.

Skating at Nathan Phillips Square – 100 Queen St. W

The skating rink at Nathan Phillips Square in located right in front of Toronto City Hall. (John Vetterli/Flickr)

The skating rink at Nathan Phillips Square in located right in front of Toronto City Hall. (John Vetterli/Flickr)

If being outdoors is more suitable to your liking, try skating at Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square. Just minutes away from Ryerson University, this skating rink is surrounded by tall arches and twinkling lights. If you do not have your own skates, you can easily rent a pair for $10 at the rink.

Star Gazing at University of Toronto - Bahen Centre for Information Technology (50 George St.)

At the University of Toronto’s Bahen Centre for Information Technology, they have a small observatory for stargazing. ( Sabrerider /Wikimedia Commons)

At the University of Toronto’s Bahen Centre for Information Technology, they have a small observatory for stargazing. (Sabrerider/Wikimedia Commons)

On the first Thursday of every month, the University of Toronto hosts free stargazing at their planetarium. This is a great option for those who are not into candlelit dinners in packed restaurants on Valentine’s Day. Or, for those who forgot about the holiday - oops! Head up to room 1160 of the Bahen Centre for Information Technology for the next out of space tour on March 7th.

Rooster Coffee House – 568 Jarvis St.

View of Rooster Coffee House from the upper level of the café.  (Photo courtesy @Roostercoffee via Twitter)

View of Rooster Coffee House from the upper level of the café. (Photo courtesy @Roostercoffee via Twitter)

New relationships can sometimes get fuzzy around Valentine’s Day, with a lot of uncertainty surrounding expectations. A chill coffee shop that’s just far enough away from campus is sure to be reassuring in that department. Rooster Coffee House is a cute, two-floor café with a mixture of barstools and comfy chairs. CanCulture recommends the tea lattes, which range from traditional chai lattes to toasty almond lattes.

Art Gallery of Ontario – 317 Dundas St.W.

Wooden arch hallway designed by Frank Gehry for the Art Gallery of Ontario. (Photo via Pixabay)

Wooden arch hallway designed by Frank Gehry for the Art Gallery of Ontario. (Photo via Pixabay)

Take a relaxed stroll through the Art Gallery of Ontario, situated near Kensington Market. The famous artwork and unique architecture will give you and your date plenty to talk about, not to mention tons of photo-ops. The current rate for students at the AGO is $11. Insider tip: if you show your Presto card at the ticket counter, you can get 20 per cent off your ticket!

Allan Gardens Conservatory – 160 Gerrard St. E.

Allan Gardens’ Cool Temperate house. (CanCulture/Jessica Fonseca)

Allan Gardens’ Cool Temperate house. (CanCulture/Jessica Fonseca)

Allan Gardens is just a few minutes away from the Ryerson University campus and is the perfect escape from the hectic city life. The conservatory consists of six greenhouses with flowers, cacti, and even papaya trees. It is a perfect spot for some romancing and warmth in the February chill. Allan Gardens is open every day of the week, free of charge.