Unconventional Toronto Date Nights

So you’ve landed a date. Good for you!

This time, though, you might be thinking that dinner and a movie has grown stale. Or perhaps your date has proven to be a little different than most of the girls you hang out with. In either case, you need to try something new and exciting in Toronto tonight. Here are some great places in the city to check out that will allow you to break out of your dating comfort zone.

Toronto Underground Cinema

A night at the movies doesn’t have to cost more than $20, and the movie you’re seeing doesn’t have to be the latest hackneyed Hollywood offering. Hidden on Spadina just a few blocks north of Queen West, this movie house has been a part of Toronto since 1977 (it was originally a go-to spot for kung-fu films imported from Hong Kong and China). The Underground Cinema is a great place to go to catch classic films, childhood favourites and cult classics. Tickets are dirt cheap, with a single show going for $8 and a double bill costing only $14! Fresh popcorn and fountain drinks are available for the show. Upcoming titles include Labyrinth, The Princess Bride, A Night at the Roxbury and An American Tail.

Snakes and Lattes

Remember board games? Snakes and Lattes does. Located at Bloor West and Bathurst, this cozy cafe is Toronto’s first boardgamers hangout. Getting a group together for a night of classics like Risk or Dream Phone is a great alternative to a night of “Cameron Diaz stars in Romantic Comedy X.” Snakes and Lattes is stocked with over 1,500 board games, so there’s always something new to try. There’s also drinks, coffee and lunch, all moderately priced.

Laugh Sabbath at The Rivoli

Every Sunday night sees the back room of the Rivoli turn into a laugh factory as local comedians turn out for the brilliantly titled Laugh Sabbath. For a modest $5 cover, the audience is treated to a rotating line-up of Toronto’s best and brightest in stand-up and sketch comedy. Drinks and food are a must as well, as the Rivoli has one of downtown Toronto’s tastier kitchens.

Trampoline Hall at The Garrison

Brilliantly fusing TED talks with performance art, the Trampoline Hall Lectures were started in 2001 by author Shelia Heti. If you haven’t been to one, the premise of Trampoline Hall is simple; lecturers pick a topic outside their area of expertise and explain it to a sold-out audience. Past lectures have included topics as diverse as palmistry, science vs. religion, and how to dance in public. Tickets can be obtained for only $6 in advance or $5 at the door, but they go fast, so you have to keep your ears open for a (typically monthly) performance date.

The Rex Jazz Jam

The Rex Hotel offers Toronto musicians a shot at the spotlight every Tuesday night. Starting at 9:30 p.m., the Queen West landmark hosts a house band and allows anyone with jazz skills to spare to hop up on stage and show off their chops. It’s a lot of fun, especially when the band clicks just right, and the Rex bar offers a decent price on drinks. Entry to the jam itself is free but you should definitely help yourself to a round of drinks to get the proper jazz-effect.

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Image courtesy of axio.

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