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Toronto Hotel Bars & Lounges

Rialto Bridge

In a city full of amazing restaurants and drinks of bars, spending precious moonlight hours inside a hotel may not seem like the best use of one’s time. But Toronto has undergone a hotel boom in recent years, with international luxury brands such as the Shangri-La, Delta and Ritz Carlton erecting in the city. To stand out from the pack, hotels needed to up their game.

Up they did: hotels now have incredible in-house bars and lounges that not only draw tourists to Toronto, but also locals looking for an upscale jaunt to enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail. The Delta Toronto impresses the after work crowd with Char No. 5, a whiskey bar that allows people to enact their favourite scenes from Mad Men, minus the smoking.

  • University Avenue | Momofuku.com
  • Oz maple bitters
  • Queen St. W. (Google Maps)
  • Yonge Street (Between Queen and Dundas)
  • Wellesley St., Toronto, Ont. (and several other locations)

Want something a little younger and more lively? Karaoke nights at the Gladstone Hotel’s Melody Barare legendary in Toronto, drawing an eclectic mix of hipsters and former hippies who have lived in the west end neighbourhood for decades. These bars might station tourists closer to their hotel. We do recommend getting out of the bubble from time to time, but until then, drink up.

Bar and Bakery don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand, but if anyone is going to make it work, it is the Soho Metropolitan. The space is divided per purpose and the modern bar has an elegant light fixture, modern furniture and floor-to-ceiling windows that allow light in, even on the dreariest of days.

Signature cocktails air on the sweet side, with ingredients like butterscotch ripple and malibu mango layering over the stronger bases. The bar menu is elegant, with oysters and baby sliders stuffed with goat cheese available to help to space out the drinks. Senses closes early, so it is a good place to start a night out.

Bar and Bakery don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand, but if anyone is going to make it work, it is the Soho Metropolitan. If your hotel bar is located smack dab in the centre of a vibrant city, you will be expected to bring your A-game. The Chelsea Hotel does just that when it comes to their attached TBar.

Although unassuming at first glance with stern marble touches, it is a modern Canadian treat. The Chelsea staff are particularly proud of its Caesars, which are loaded with toppings and come with inventive rims, such as a pillow of crushed cashews. With housemade clamato juice, you might be able to count this as part of your 5-a-day fruit and vegetable program.

If you need a little more fuel, come downstairs between 11:30am and 2pm to feast on housemade Indian curry dishes, or better yet wake up in the morning for a Toronto brunch treat. If your hotel bar is located smack dab in the centre of a vibrant city, you will be expected to bring your A-game.

The Chelsea Hotel does just that when it comes to their attached TBar. Housed in the Gladstone Hotel, which has operated in Toronto’s west end for more than 100 years, the Melody Bar has a style all its own. When the owners removed the carpeting, it revealed vintage terazzo floors, and the mid-century feel continues with accents like leather banquette seating and wood-panelled walls.

Even the bathrooms are a treat, designed as if they were from the 1930s. Cocktails are well-mixed at the vintage wood-topped bar, while the beer list offers a solid selection of local bottles and taps. There’s live music most nights, including indie rock and country.

But the big draw, and the reason the Melody Bar has been written up as one of the best bars in the world, is its weekend karaoke nights, which are great fun even if you think you hate karaoke. It also has CD launches, burlesque shows and a Sunday bluegrass brunch.

Housed in the Gladstone Hotel, which has operated in Toronto’s west end for more than 100 years, the Melody Bar has a style all its own. Situated in the King Edward Hotel, the Consort Bar is reminiscent of a gentlemen’s club. Luckily, ladies are now invited into the old world charm, with cocktails fancy enough to warrant playing dress-up.

Sit perched on a bar stool and intersperse your drinks with some sharing plates, including a pile of nachos substantial enough to call dinner. The King Eddy has a formidable history. A 1961 menu priced the martinis at a mere 90 cents! Although the prices have inflated, the clientele has remained classy.

Business deals are still made over drinks and travellers still regale the bartender with their daily stories. Situated in the King Edward Hotel, the Consort Bar is reminiscent of a gentlemen’s club. Luckily, ladies are now invited into the old world charm, with cocktails fancy enough to warrant playing dress-up. Once upon a time, there was a golden age of railway travel, fine crafted cocktails and well-worn library books.