Heated patios in Toronto, Winter season Nov 2022- April 2023, especially when it’s below 10 ° C

It was around minus 3 ° C last night, and the only winter patio that was still open for business along Bloor between Spadina and Bathurst was the Victory Café, which has a plastic-sealed patio , which might as well be an indoor space in terms of ventilation.

By The Way Café’s furniture was still on their patio, but the patio was not being used, and the restaurant was fairly full indoors. I have a feeling their patio won’t be open when it’s this cold outside.

I would expect Shenanigans (formerly Scallywags) will have their covered heated rooftop patio open for soccer and Grey Cup today.

I will walk down to Emmer’s patio this morning for my coffee and something to eat and report back.

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Here is the inside or Emmer’s covered patio, on Sunday at 11:15 am. It was around minus 5 ° C outside.

There are some snow-covered benches, next to the covered patio.

By The Way Café had a fully occupied patio at brunch.

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By The Way Café for breakfast, opens at 10 am.

Not a big fan of the type of bagel that comes with the omelette, so I will say no bagel next time, or get a Benny. Their Bennies come with a dill sauce instead of Hollandaise.

Staff very friendly. Not too busy on a Wednesday morning.

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Headed up to By The Way again today, after finding another nearby heated patio with more decadent offerings had too high of a CO2 reading for me to enjoy brunch (1801 ppm).

It is getting a little chilly for ventilated heated patios. By the Way has a warm heater in the centre of the patio. My DC was agreeable to take a chillier table for my comfort zone.

I am also uploading the indoor reading at Rustle & Still, which is a reasonable number considering the coffee shop was full of people.

Some plastic- sealed covered heated patios have CO2 readings that are higher than some indoor CO2 readings.

To put this into context, the readings inside my apartment are around 500-650, and the reading inside Holt Renfrew was around 575. Restaurant owners should be allowing cracks in those plastic-wrapped walls to allow drafts. I had been going to some plastic-sealed patios last winter and I didn’t appreciate how much CO2 was collecting inside, until I purchased my CO2 monitor a few weeks ago.


Those semi-sealed patios are often essentially indoor rooms from a ventilation standpoint. The exception that we can verify is the one at F’Amelia, which is largely enclosed, but has a sizable gap at the top of the walls. A friend of ours had a CO2 monitor and the numbers were favourable (I can’t remember them exactly as it was last winter).


Agree. By The Way has a sizeable gap around the tree and along the back wall.

There was plenty of ventilation at Farmhouse Tavern when I visited in Oct 2021.

The CO2 readings on the covered, plastic-sealed patios have been worse CO2 readings than my readings inside indoor coffee shops this weekend, when I was inside waiting for a coffee to-go.

I think the enclosed patios can often be more dangerous for staff and customers than a regular indoor restaurant with decent ventilation.

I will try a patio lunch at Cano and at Union this winter. I might start inviting friends over to my own place for take-out.

We will see.

Apricot Tree in Mississauga, a Bakery Café, monitors their indoor CO2 levels carefully.

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Brunched with my HO pal this morning at Union. Air flow re: CO2 was pretty good, 650 - 1032 while we were there. In comparison, my favoured coffee shop’s reading was over 1800. Ideally, it’s safest ventilation in terms of air being exchanged , if the CO2 is less than 1000. When I’ve brought my CO2 meter into sealed patios, the reading has sometime been as high as 2200, which means very poor ventilation.

Union is my favourite heated patio that’s open in January and February. Most heated patios are either sealed in plastic, or closed when it’s less than 10 °C outside.

I had the Swiss Train Ride Croque ($22 CAD) and she had the crispy polenta with eggs ($23 CAD).


Has anyone dined on Chef 88 Elite’s winterized patio in Markham? Wondering if it’s a patio with ventilation or not.

Are there any winterized patios that are open in North York? I think most showing up through online searches are heated patios that are open in the fall or spring when it’s above 8 degrees or so. Thanks for any comments. I rarely drive up to North York these days so I’m out of the loop.

I’m trying to find a ventilated patio for a lunch or brunch, that is going to more convenient for meeting a friend who lives near Bayview Village.

Union on Ossington works for me in terms of good food, ventilation and reasonably good table spacing, but it is an inconvenient location for her.

I’m hoping to find somewhere north of Eglinton.

Shenanigans (the old Scallywags space) is an O&B pub that’s okay, for food and ventilation, at Yonge & St Clair.

I’m hoping to find something a little closer to Bayview Village, with food that isn’t pub food (I’m on a diet- again)

Shenanigan’s is closed until the Spring

Thanks for mentioning that. It goes to show the Google maps aren’t completely accurate for up-to-date searches. I’m guessing Parcheggio and Elite 88 probably also don’t have heated patios that are open right now.

I can wait to meet up with this friend until April or May.

I’m guessing very few, if any, restaurants and pubs north of Bloor have open winterized patios with decent ventilation.

The Pilot and Hemingway’s, both located on Cumberland, are open, and technically north of Bloor.

I suppose I should say I’m looking for a patio north of Cumberland, and east of Spadina!

Cano on the Corso Italia has a winterized patio behind their restaurant.

Further south, I will stop by Bar Piquette at some point this month or next.

Google reviews is loaded with bad information.

And then there’s TripAdvisor. Always wrong, but this time they were going for the gold.

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I’ve found TripAdvisor Forums helpful when I can’t find my answers through Google, FB, Reddit, Twitter, eGullet or on HungryOnion.

I’ve had some great tips from people on Twitter and Reddit lately, but not about heated, well- ventilated patios with good food in Toronto.

We’ve kinda given up on patios for now. Although we love Bar Piquette, that back room is pretty much indoors. I’d be interested what the CO2 meter reads. Myth has a similar enclosed patio (Phoenikia had previously said that they were run by the same gang as Buca, Jacobs & Co, etc. but I don’t see them listed as part of King Street Food Company). The patio at F’Amelia is semi-outdoors and the food is decent.

Maybe we’ll risk Union if we are getting impatient for April.

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So, I decided to take a look online.

Myth is owned by Matty Tsoumaris and Eileen Tsoumaris.

Matty Tsoumaris is or has been involved with some King St Food Company restaurants, and Uniq.

The Tsoumaris family had also been involved with a mini chain of gyro restaurants.

Matty Tsoumaris is or was also co-owner or co-founder at Baro and Valdez.

Brandon Farmer and Matty Tsoumaris’ company is called Honeycomb Hospitality.

To clarify, I was mistaken. King St Food Company is not running the Myth at 522 King W.

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Thanks for confirming in more depth than I took the time to. We liked Myth when we went last summer and would like to go again at some point.

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I remembered John Tsoumaris had been connected to Jacobs & Brant House. https://www.chefdb.com/mnm/6788/John-Tsoumaris

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So what’s your sense, is there enough overlapping connections to be concerned about the management approach at Myth (and thus avoid it)?

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It makes me more likely to give it a chance, because I haven’t read anything about Baro or the other Tsoumaris restaurants that are not associated with King St Food Co having cash flow problems and not paying their suppliers.

I was someone who enjoyed the Brant House around 2003-2005, who went out to Brassaii, 606, Two Cats and other King W establishments in my 30s and early 40s.

At this stage in my life, I dislike the scene and vibe at most King W restaurants. That’s the main reason I haven’t been to Myth and it isn’t that high on my list. I also don’t like loud restaurants and most King W patios and restaurants are on the loud side.

Also, I’m half Greek, and a decent home cook, so I usually am fussy and seeking out specific dishes done in a certain way.

I like the food at Mamakas, but I find the space, service and other customers a little too sceney, and the portions sometimes precious. Koukla, I find a little gimmicky.

Take note, Chris Kalisperas at Mamakas had worked at Brassaii and I think Centro. The Greek restaurateurs and chefs know one another.

I’m not sure if the Nitza Tsoumaris who owned Myth on the Danforth for a short time according to ChefDB is Matty’s mother. John is older than Matty. Matty might be around 40 now, not sure.


Re: patios
Thanks for mentioning Bar Piquette is pretty much indoors. If that’s the case, I probably will just visit Union, which is close enough to me, and maybe The Three Speed , which is a very basic pub menu, so it is not worth a special detour from East York, but it had good ventilation last time I went so it’s a good option for Bloor & Dufferin) until more patios open in April or May. I found Bar Reyna’s seating on the patio and courtyard space too close for comfort, even in the summer.

For good indoor ventilation, for a coffee, the B Espresso inside the Royal Conservatory of Music, open Monday to Saturday during the day had a good CO2 reading. It was around 550, better than inside my apartment.

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The Three Speed is not running an outdoor patio at this time. I will post once it is open and running again. People were brunching indoors and the space was half-full 10 minutes after it opened at 11 am.

By The Way Café in the Annex had its heated patio open today for brunch, which surprised me. The heated patio was fairly full at 1 pm today, on a Sunday. I didn’t stop in.

Which patios would you consider for a buy-out, for a party in late April or early May? I have been trying to think of places that could accommodate 20-30 people.

Off the top of my head, I have Bar Neon, The Three Speed, By The Way Café and the Duke of York on my list of places to consider. I would think a patio buy-out at Union on Ossington, Bar Reyna in Yorkville or Cano on St Clair W, or anywhere on King W would be expensive.

I would be leaning towards something not located on King W.

I need to still check out F’Amelia, which is further east than I typically dine out these days.

For the patio buy-out, I’d probably be leaning towards something west of Yonge St, east of Keele, and south of Eglinton.

Thanks for any ideas.

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It’s been a while, but I was never too impressed with F’Amelia. I love going back to my old neighbourhood and do so regularly. I never even think of F’Amelia,

If your’re looking at that area and that cuisine, what about Dova? DR JOHN, will their patio accommodate a group of 30 comfortably?