Long, damp winters make Toronto ideally suited to the belly-tingling warmth of good scotch. Add in the nation’s proud card of homemade whisky brands (think Wiser’s, Gooderham & Worts) and many smaller but outstanding craft labels and you’re sorted. These are some of the best places to excite the palate with deliciously peaty (or mossy or oaky…) liquid amber.
143 Danforth Ave., 416-463-3086
In addition to a wide selection of top-notch scotch, this spiffy yet relaxed east end mainstay looks the part: painted brick, lots of wood, chalkboard menus and arguably the city’s loveliest outdoor patio. Lest you need a chaser, Allen’s also pours an extensive list of fancy beers. The food (much locally sourced) is excellent, too.
The Feathers Pub
962 Kingston Rd., 416-694-0443
Considering its tagline—“Welcome to The Feathers Pub and Single Malt Bar”—it’s a given that this venerable Beaches-area spot is a must-visit for scotch devotees, not to mention Anglophiles and British ex-pats. Best: the pub’s flight and tasting menus permit sensualists to drink the world without leaving their barstool.
856 College St., 647-547-9827
No one will blink if you enter this unabashedly old world pub rocking a kilt… and that goes double if you order haggis alongside one of the 300 (!) malts and blends offered opposite exclusive Scottish ales, lagers and stouts. Tasting flight menus are also available.
794 Danforth Ave., 416-463-1794
Further proof that the area east of Jones is officially happening, this new favourite gastropub on Danforth between Coxwell and Woodbine offers a full slate of delectable drinks and eats including a small but well-chosen card of Lowland, Highland, Speyside and Islay selections.
Char No.5 Whisky Bar
75 Lower Simcoe, 416-637-5484
Tucked into the Delta Hotel by Marriott near Ripley’s Aquarium, this stylish saloon showcases one of the widest ranges of Canadian whiskies in Toronto, with over 60 different types on offer. Not only will the tipple delight the tongue, you’ll look sexy drinking it.