August 26, 2018 9:22 am

The InstaList: Canadian rooftop patios to visit this summer

Where is your favourite rooftop patio located? The Crazy Cactus is in Saskatoon.

via Crazy Cactus

Summer is reaching its end, which means patio season is soon to follow suit. While some people are taking advantage of every minute summer offers, others have yet to enjoy a couple of drinks, food and great company on some of Canada’s rooftop patios.

Here are a few patios that made The InstaList for summer 2018.

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Note: You must be of legal drinking age to enter some of these establishments. 


WHO @rtbsimmons. Calgary, Alta.

WHAT – With a Mexican taqueria-inspired menu, the Rooftop Bar @ Simmons, located right on top of the Simmons Building, brings the Latin heat during the summer season.

Its patio menu has many small plates, tostadas, taco sharing platters and salads. Happy Hour runs every weekday from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. “The cocktails are refreshing, with a wine list designed for easy sipping, and local beers to quench your thirst,” said Candace Bergman, the director of sales and marketing for the bar’s parent company Char-group, in an interview with Global News.

WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Rooftop bar @Simmons has been listed in Avenue Magazine’s “10 Great Rooftop Patios in Calgary”.  “It’s one of Calgary’s sunniest patios overlooking the beautiful Bow River on the rooftop of the historical Simmons building in Calgary’s trendiest new neighbourhood, the East Village,” Bergman added.

GOOD TO KNOW: Rooftop bar @Simmons uses Instagram to let its followers know of any updates such as closures for private bookings or due to the weather.

PATIO SEASON OVER: The patio closes for the season at the end of September.

Watch: dog-friendly patios


WHO: @joefortesvan. Vancouver, B.C.

WHAT:  If you’re over in Vancouver and aren’t necessarily looking for a bar vibe, this garden oasis is just the place to wine and dine while taking in the west coast sun. Downtown Vancouver steak-and-seafood spot Joe Fortes is a great place for “out-of-towners” to mingle and listen to live music.

According to the Joe Fortes website, its rooftop patio is the city’s most desirable roof garden – an urban oasis which features a living green wall, cozy outdoor fireplace and bustling horseshoe bar.

WHY IT MADE THE LIST: When it comes to awards, Joe Fortes has won a list too long to name, from the Wine Spectator, DiRona, Birks Silver Service (Clefs D’Or), Vancouver International Wine Festival and WHERE Magazine.

GOOD TO KNOW:  Happy Hour runs from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

PATIO SEASON OVER: Joe Fortes’ patio season ends at the end of September. Then the patio gets covered in a tent for winter parties.


READ MORE: The InstaList: best of the West Coast on Instagram


WHO: @crazycactus. Saskatoon, Sask.

WHAT: Self-titled “Home of the Gringo” for their own signature mixed drink, Crazy Cactus is located in the Central Business District of Saskatoon, and is known for daily specials such as 10-cent wings on Wednesdays and inexpensive drinks such as $5 Margaritas on Mondays.

Crazy Cactus’s rooftop patio is able to seat 160 people, and also has a bar for those who are just there for some drinks and a quick bite to eat.

WHY IT MADE THE LIST: The establishment won “Best Place for a Wicked Bender” and runner-up for “Best Restaurant for a Party” in the Planet S list of “Best of Food & Drink Saskatoon 2018” nominated by readers of the Saskatoon city magazine.

“We definitely notice an increase in customers when we post on Instagram whether it’s the specials or a quick video of a busy dance floor or patio,” said co-owner Jenene Folk. “People will often mention seeing certain posts when they come in.” she added.

GOOD TO KNOW: “This summer we are hosting our first ever full moon party on the patio,” said Folk, in an interview for Global News. “The party is on Aug. 25 and will feature a DJ up on the patio as well as a face and body paint artist,” Folk added. Prizes are available for the first 25 people to make it inside.

PATIO SEASON OVER: Crazy Cactus has heaters, so cooler weather won’t stop their “patio szn” from ending. “Last year was our first patio season and we ended up shutting it down in early October. With our short summers it’s nice to keep it open as long as possible,” added Folk.


READ MORE: 10 fascinating facts about beer in Canada


WHO – @terrassesurlauberge. Montreal, Que.

WHAT – Located in Montreal’s historic district, Terrasse Sur L’Auberge provides a panoramic view of the Old Port and St. Lawrence River. In terms of their Instagram account, marketing manager Alexandre Cossette said the establishment sees an increase in sales depending on what is shared. “Instagram inspires people and they want to try what they see,” added Cossette.

WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Terrasse Sur L’Auberge hosts several special events throughout the summer, but the main event is during the annual L’International des Feux Loto-Québec, or Montreal Fireworks Festival, that features world-class fireworks. “It’s also the perfect observatory to admire the illumination of Jacques Cartier Bridge, every night, at sunset,” added Cossette.

GOOD TO KNOW:  “Terasse sur L’Auberge is well known for its sangrias such as the “Sangria Bulles” with sparkling wine, wild berry Ciroc, Peach Schnapps and white cranberry,” said Cossette.

PATIO SEASON OVER: Their patio season runs until the end of September but that’s up to Mother Nature, warned Cossette. “Last year we closed on Oct. 8 so we crossed our fingers to get a long summer again this year!”


READ MORE: If your idea of eating healthy is salads or wraps, you’re missing out on these meals


WHO – @churchillswestboro. Ottawa, Ont.

WHAT – Located in Westboro Village, considered one of Ottawa’s trendiest neighbourhoods, the rooftop patio at Churchills is hard to pass by. The pub is owned and operated by Brenda and Walid Freije, along with their kids.

After taking over an antique lighting store in Westboro about seven years ago, the owners decided to stick with a rustic theme, giving Churchills an intimate feeling. Renovations to the rooftop patio gives Churchills a “feel-like-you-are-sitting-in-your-own-backyard’ vibe with a cedar fence and twinkly lights in the trees, according to Brenda Freije.

WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Also featured on boom 99.7’s rooftop patios of Ottawa and, the bar is known for the  “Churchill’s Colossal Caesar” which comes with pickled vegetables and home-made beef jerky.

GOOD TO KNOW: “Summertime brings to our cocktail menu the addition of sangria, increase selection of cooler options, new summer wines – rose, prosecco and a moscato,” said Freije. “Our craft beer selection both on tap and in cans lean toward the seasonal fruit varieties that everyone loves,” she added.

PATIO SEASON OVER:  Freije says the rooftop patio doesn’t close until the fall weather makes an appearance and it gets too cold to sit up top.

Watch: get the most from patio season

Where is your favourite rooftop patio located? Tell us in the comments or  tag @GlobalNews in your Instagram photos. You can also use the hashtag #GlobalNews

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