Toronto Valentine's Day Ideas for a Not-So-Average Date


Valentine’s Day has become an over-hyped, highly commercialized, capitalist time of year.  Couples now feel shamed into thinking they don’t love each other unless they spend a good chunk of their savings account or perform some outlandish act depicted in a Hollywood movie.  Boy, that’s a depressing way to start a post about Valentine’s Day.  Let’s turn it around.

I remember when love meant getting picked by your schoolyard crush in duck, duck, goose.  Or buying them their lunch on that first day of freshman year.  Or believing in their dreams when no one else would.  All that wonderful, sappy stuff.

Valentine’s may have been taken over by horticulturists, Ferrero Rocher and Victoria’s Secret, but even the stone-cold hearts feel a bit of guilt if they don’t do at least something romantic on February 14th.  It may be warped and cloaked in altruistic media motives, but Valentine’s Day still deserves some of your attention, so we’ve done a bit of digging to provide you with the following list of not-your-average date ideas for Cupid’s big day.

If you’ve got a special someone you want to impress this year, skip the flowers, chocolates and lingerie and go with an option that gives you both a more eclectic date experience.  Singles can get involved too, this isn’t just about couples keeping the fire burning, it’s also about making a new spark.  If you want to try the not-so-subtle approach, share this post with someone you’ve got your eye on.  Who knows, it just might work! Or if you're not quite sure and want to stick to the traditional forms of wooing, there are more than enough Toronto restaurants and events as a back-up plan.

Valentine's Day Date Ideas
  • Paintlounge

    784 College Street , Toronto

    When’s the last time you painted something? If you answered “Pre-school with my fingers,” or “My bathroom last spring” you’re probably in the majority. Try and change that this Valentine’s Day by heading to Paintlounge and busting out your creative instincts. Paint a portrait of your sweetheart or collaborate on a single masterpiece together. You pay by the canvas (50% off the second one with a date) and they provide you with all the other materials needed. If you’re worried about your talent, they also offer three skill-rated workshops, all aimed at beginners. If talent doesn't matter to you, don’t worry about it. You don’t need talent to create masterpieces like these.

  • O Noir

    620 Church Street , Toronto

    The premise alone is enough to have you intrigued: restaurant dining in complete darkness. O Noir offers its patrons “a sensual dining experience like no other” and we all know sensual and Valentine’s Day go hand in hand. The experience of conversing, dining and being in each another’s company, all in complete darkness, is meant to heighten your other senses. Just like absence makes the heart grow fonder, so too does blackness make the other senses stronger. Also, O Noir’s entire wait staff is blind, so you’re in good hands. Being unable to see your date for an hour also creates a bit of excitement for whatever you plan to do post-dinner. One last thing: you don’t have to worry if there’s something stuck in your teeth.

  • SPiN

    461 King Street W , Toronto

    Introduce a little healthy competition into your romance with a trip to this downtown ping-pong club. The level of exercise might not reach actual tennis standards, but things can get pretty heated here. SPiN has a couple bars serving from their cocktail menu, so you can indulge in a few drinks while you compete. Face off against one another or bring another couple for some doubles action (if you're into that kind of thing). They also offer a full menu (loser buys the apps) and a lounge. If you’re looking for some tips and pointers before your big match, SPiN has professional ping-pong players. Rates are $30 per hour and $15 per half hour after 5pm.

  • Grand Prix Kartways

    75 Carl Hall Road , Toronto

    Everyone tends to have a lead foot now and again, but usually it’s not the safest choice of action. Head over to Grand Prix Kartways for some indoor go-carting, so you can enjoy some genuine adrenaline thrills without operating an actual vehicle combined with potential road rage. Located in Downsview Park, this 47,000-square-foot facility offers a top-notch racing experience. They use the safest carts on the market and they are electric to boot. This means not only will you not have to worry about showering after, but the gas fumes won’t have your head spinning before the final lap. It’s currently $22 per race for non-members and the track is open late, even on weeknights.

  • What’s the first thing you do when you get to a hotel? Jump on the bed? Maybe not anymore, but Sky Zone’s Indoor Trampoline Park is trying to emulate that same feeling from when you were a kid. They run different programs throughout the days, which can be done by sign-up or drop-in. Included among these programs are fitness regimens and sports like gymnastics and dodge ball. Sign up for a SkyRobics class together and burn 1,000 calories in an hour. First class pricing is dirt cheap at $6. You get to act childish and get a workout all at the same time.

  • Stockyards Boxing & Fitness

    215 Ryding Avenue , Toronto

    Nothing says love like suiting up and throwing down. Not with each other of course (unless you've got a lingering argument you need to hash-out), but intense exercise is a scientifically proven method for a whole host of positive body developments. Strap on the gloves and do a serious boxing routine with one another to get your heart pumping this Valentine’s Day. Intense exercise helps improve that love-muscle of yours, as well as helps burn high amounts of calories, strengthen muscles and alleviate stress. Rigorous exercise also has some very useful "perks". Also, Stockyards's first trial class is free!

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Brent Gladney
Brent Gladney

Brent Gladney is a writer and content grunt for
He spends his spare time writing unfinished novels, listening to the devil's music and creating Would-You-Rather questions.