Toronto Bars, Pubs

Seating:You might think you’ve stumbled into an airline lounge without paying. You did, sort of. Workstations are so much more appealing when you’re not at work. Porter Airlines gives all paying passengers access to their lounges. In the case of their Downtown Toronto (YTZ) hub, the lounge IS the gate area.

Street art in city centre.Instead of sad rows of connected armrest-free chairs, you’ll find leather loungers, nicely sectioned office-style armchairs and even a few retro lounge chairs. I guess those are for you, young urban traveler. Food: We’re told that there are often a few other choices but our late-day, midweek visit shows that Porter doesn’t want to spoil your dinner. Almonds appeared to be the lone snack while we were there.

Complimentary lounge-style non-alcoholic beverages are available but happy hour (booze) will have to wait until you’re on the plane. Wi-Fi:Wi-fi is fast and free in the Porter Airlines Lounge. But get your surfing in before the flight, the wi-fi ends as you board the plane.

Service:You won’t need to check into the lounge, so your exposure to staff is limited unless you need to speak with someone about your flight. At the head of the lounge is a help desk staffed with agents to help make changes or answer questions. The counter staff on our visit was friendly and helpful. If their coffee is too strong for you try their new “Nothing” blend.

Summary:If you’re able to appreciate the level of service Porter Airlines provides in the air, you’ll be baffled that they throw in lounge amenities too. This large room stacks up with paid-membership domestic lounges with comparable beverage and snack service, superior business center and good wi-fi.

If there’s business to be done in Toronto, Porter Airlines is our fave. How to get in:Buy a ticket to fly Porter Airlines from Billy Bishop Airport in Downtown Toronto (YTZ). Because this is the ONLY waiting area at this airport, Air Canada customers also get to enjoy the perks of this lounge area before boarding the short flight to Montreal.

The newly renovated venue contains an exposed wine cellar, a sleek dining room, stylish nice liquor and lounge as well as two private dining rooms for personal or professional events. Brassaii offers a tantalizing Mediterranean inspired menu specially crafted by our Executive Chef. Drink and dine in stylish elegance amongst a refined urban atmosphere that will delight the most discerning palate. We provide the portrait of well-choreographed service while you enjoy a culinary experience and dynamic social ambiance not soon to be forgotten.

It’s hard work for a writer, getting a “best bar” assignment. Even though it has been a struggle, we did manage to scope out everything from watering holes to high end establishments that require the right shoes (and no, Toms don’t make the cut). Drink by drink, we established what makes a bar unforgettable in Toronto. Then we promptly forgot what we were writing about.

  1. Brunswick Ave. (Google Maps)
  2. Spadina Ave. (Google Maps)
  3. Wellesley St., Toronto, Ont. (and several other locations)
  4. Yonge Street (Between Queen and Dundas)
  5. Queen Street East | 416-901-5570 |

Bar-goers can have it all in cosmopolitan Toronto. Whether it is a drink that puts hair on your chest, or the right people who make you forget about your 9 to 5, the bar can be a personal hub of community and transformation. Plus, most bars have booze, which, we have learned, most Canadians tend to enjoy.

If you like feeling like a spy, go to Toronto Temperance Society and be transported to the roaring 20s, where cocktails and gentlemen are equally classy. If you like to go to somewhere with live music and lots of (good) tequila, try out the Reposado Tequila Bar Toronto.