A day when I get to celebrate and honour my dad is one of my favourite days of the year. For years, my family would celebrate Father’s Day at Studio Café at the old Four Seasons Toronto Hotel. It was a tradition that lasted up until the hotel closed, before they built the new one.
Since then, my brother and brother-in-law are now fathers to a total of six little ones. So my dad is now a grandfather too. Now, when we look for a spot to celebrate we try to find a restaurant and activities that are not only kid-friendly, but also approved by the three dads.
And I’ve included some of those options here. Of course, if you’re a dad, on Father’s Day you get to call the shots on where you want to dine, drink, and get pampered or entertained, so I’ve also included some other new and notable options for you.
Perhaps this list will help you create a new annual tradition with your family:
This vibrant, just opened, talk-of-the-town restaurant is a Mexican vegan spot from restaurateurs Jamie Cook, Max Rimaldi and Grant van Gameron.
It’s in the heart of the Financial District and offers delicious food appealing to meat eaters and lifelong vegans.
Once you enter, you no longer feel like you’re in Toronto. The design is unlike any other spot in the city and has a very L.A. vibe. There are hand-painted wall murals, fresh greenery, with beautiful velvet banquettes.
There’s tons of seating and they take reservations directly on their website. The crowds young and hip, and the service is spectacular.
Located behind Bar Begonia on Dupont comes this new burger joint from Anthony Rose.
With five burger options, including a Portobello burger, a few hot dog options and fun snacks like crinkle cut fries, ice cream cakewiches and slushie floats, this is the perfect no-frills (but full of flavour) place to be.
Did I mention they have cocktails on tap, beer and wine as well? (Oh, and a little birdy told me that on Father’s Day, they’ll be doing an “ode to Bob’s Burgers.”)
And while I have your attention, I must say, any and all of Anthony Rose’s restos (full list here) are really rather perfect for Father’s Day, whether you want to have bagels, lox and cream cheese at Shmaltz Appetizing, or ribs at Big Crow.
Located in the Windsor Arms Hotel, The Gatsby is a newly launched lounge and piano bar with an acclaimed 10,000-bottle wine cellar, signature cocktails, a curated prix-fixe menu and elevated bar snacks.
Take back a drink while listening to the in-house pianist perform on the grand piano. The bar is open until 2 a.m.
Note: They’ll be open for a full Sunday brunch on Father’s Day, with John Campbell on the piano, if that’s more of your speed. (Though we’re not judging if you have some cocktails while you brunch. It’s your day, after all.)
This latest venture from Charles Khabouth and Danny Soberano may be my favourite spot of theirs yet — and perhaps my favourite restaurant in the city at the moment.
Located at 99 Yorkville Avenue, this upper-tier Italian restaurant, is as beautifully and masterfully designed as their menu and cocktail program.
Designed by award-winning Studio Munge, the space welcomes guests through a black-framed glass door into the foyer — a prism of high contrasts setting the tone for what’s to come. Lustrous crimson fabrics sensationalize brilliant, white walls and progressive furniture design.
An inspired David Drebin mural encases the bar, adding to the Italian fantasy of vacationing in the Tuscan hills above Florence. And rich marbles in gradient shades of purple, pink, and jade form an expressive herringbone floor. The art work is impressive, and the vibe is bar none.
To Be Entertained
The 8th Annual Yorkville Exotic Car Show
On Father’s Day (Which you already know is Sunday, June 17, right?), from noon to 5 p.m., Canada’s largest luxury car show returns to Bloor-Yorkville in support of Prostate Cancer Canada.
It will feature a red carpet display of over 110 classic and exotic cars. And it’s a free event, open to the public which makes for a fun date.
For the past handful of years my dad, siblings and all of their kids visit this car show and we are always impressed, amazed and wowed by the remarkable cars.
Among some of the rare and exotic cars include a 2008 Bugatti Veyron, 2018 McLaren 720S, 2016 Porsche GT3 RS and 2017 Viper ACR-E.
There will also be live music along Bloor Street. This whole experience is best served with a scoop of homemade ice cream from Summer’s in Yorkville.
To Be Pampered
The 6ix Facial at Four Seasons Hotel Toronto
Designed specifically for their male spa-goers, this six-step facial reinforces the skin’s natural defence system and leaves skin looking younger.
The treatment includes a double-cleanse, buffing, extractions, customized hydrating mask and rich moisturizer massaged into the skin.
Head down to the d|bar patio after for their famous Rosé All Day menu ($15/glass) or have some bites on the terrace (their whole d|bar menu is available outside).