Chill Factor

All across Canada, bars, restaurants and even art galleries are warming up to the fact that the summer patio season needn’t be cut short by that little inconvenience called winter. The new MO: Build a winter patio and they will come. And they will stay, provided there are plenty of creature comforts. Blankets? Check. Fireplaces? Check. Soul-warming drinks? Check. All of it proving that just because the mercury drops off the scene, it doesn’t mean we have to.

Winnipeg

RAW:Almond

From January 26 to February 13, some of Winnipeg’s top culinary artists team up with chef Mandel Hitzer at RAW:Almond, a pop-up restaurant where gastronomy meets design. A collaboration between Winnipeg’s RAW Gallery and Deer + Almond restaurant, the tented dining room is set at the fork of the frozen Assiniboine and Red rivers. Sheepskin throws, blankets and heat lanterns keep things toasty while you toast chef Hitzer’s wine-paired menu.


Parka Patio

Photo : Mack D. Male

Edmonton

Parka Patio

On January 30, in-the-know Edmontonians will hit up Latitude 53, a contemporary art centre that features live music, installation art, DJs and a live auction. Outside the gallery doors, find a heated patio where, in past years, local artists have created chilled-out environments – an igloo, a winter tunnel, an ice bar – in which guests sip signature cocktails served through an ice luge.


Toronto

Rose and Sons Big Crow

This outdoor covered patio evokes a vibe of urban winter glamping thanks to old-fashioned lanterns that hang from the rafters and heat lamps that keep the mercury up. Wrap a wooly blanket around your lap, order a pint of Santa’s Stache (a citrusy spiced ale) and you might just feel like you’re in the Canadian wild – minus the hassle of having to leave town.


Whistler

Fifty Two 80 Eatery + Bar

Featuring stunning views of Whistler Mountain, this outdoor patio at the Four Seasons hotel welcomes the après-ski crowd, snow gear and all. The blankets and fire pits are there, of course, but this bar throws in live music and a kids’ menu (the five-and-under set eat free). Don’t miss the delish spicy chicken wings smothered in sweet chili sauce and complimentary s’mores station.


Nordic Terrace at Foodlab

Photo : Sébastien Roy

Montréal

Nordic Terrace at the Foodlab

Digital culture and nomadic traditions fuse on the terrace of the Société des Arts Technologiques (better known as SAT), where a yurt becomes the hot place to be on cold winter nights. Here, low tables, fur-wrapped benches, pine tree branches and twinkling Christmas lights set the winterland scene while patrons warm up with mugs of hot grog.


The Roof at Black + Blue

Vancouver

The Roof at Black + Blue

Vancouver winters are so notoriously wet that locals affectionately refer to the rain as liquid sunshine. But this downtown steakhouse keeps damp weather from spoiling the fun with an expandable roof over the patio. Diners sit on comfy sofas arranged around individual hearths, while two surrounding walls of glassed-in fireplaces offer peekaboo views of the city. The menu by executive chef Zuzana Harsaghy is also fiery with spicy eats like bulgogi beef ribs with housemade kimchi and pork belly steamed buns with pickled rutabaga.

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