Toronto the most romantic city in Canada, according poll

Jordana Divon
Shine On

Toronto is unlikely to win any awards for friendliest city in Canada, but underneath that all-business veneer lies a warm, beating, steamy heart, according to a new survey.

Or at the very least, it’s a city that would love to dress up and go out for a romantic dinner on February 14.

“Torontonian singles have shed their cynicism and will embrace the holiday this February,” reads a line from the press release.

The informal poll, which surveyed 1,054 Canadians over a four-day period last summer, showed that 72 per cent of single Torontonians believe that Valentine’s Day is a romantic holiday they hope to be filled with chocolates, flowers and declarations of love.

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On the flip side of the equation, Winnipeg proved the least romantic, with a mere 56 per cent subscribing to the notion that Valentine’s Day is a day unlike any other day and only 36 per cent planning to even acknowledge it – although many may see that as anti-consumer pragmatism rather than a distaste for romance.

And for Montreal singles, well, they are the most likely to want to be single for Valentine’s Day (19%).

Perhaps for Torontonians it's the abundance of attractive single people, the buzz of a bustling city, the endless possibilities for romance or the slew of terrific restaurants, that makes it their hearts eager for love.

A further trip into the mind of Torontonians reveals an even more sensitive, romantic consciousness. A surprising 74 per cent believe in the idea that somewhere amid the steel and concrete and gridlock traffic they have a soul mate out there just waiting to be spotted amid a sea of unknown faces.

What’s more, over half of these hardened big city dwellers (57 per cent) believe in love at first sight.

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If you manage to snag a date with one of these lovely, exotic Toronto creatures, here are a few things you may want to keep in mind.

A café or coffee shop is the preferred first-date location for 54 per cent of Torontonians, with only 21 per cent selecting a romantic restaurant in its stead (a meal is too big a commitment if you fear you may need a swift exit strategy mid-date).

If you do end up at a place with tablecloths, however, be sure to brush up on your amateur sommelier skills, as wine is the top first-date beverage of choice for this sophisticated lot.

Also the average date with a Torontonian does not come cheap. The poll shows they spend an average of $40 to $50 on a first date, but if you’ve ever been out in the city you know that’s a pretty conservative estimate.

All in all, February 14 does brisk business for florists, chocolatiers and restauranteurs around Toronto, all of whom likely look to the day with a similar anticipation as a child on Christmas Eve.