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If you’re newly relocated to Toronto, visiting on business, or live here and are thinking of launching a startup, it can pay to mix business with pleasure. So next time you’re thinking of heading out for a drink, choose one of these spots, where official and unofficial networking is the norm on a great night out:
Earls:This Financial District bar and restaurant on King Street is a great place to meet like-minded professionals. There’s a restaurant on one side (go for the full rack of ribs), and a crowded bar on the other with a popular patio in summer. Enough people that if you’re shy, you can pretend you’ve lost your group and join another one.
1812 Lounge: You can never go wrong in the bar of an upscale hotel, and The 1812 Bar in the posh Thompson Hotel is no exception. On Friday and Saturday nights there’s an age minimum of 25, so it’s the perfect location to mingle with young, affluent professionals. Get to know a hotel guest for access to the exclusive Thompson Hotel rooftop lounge upstairs.
Crush Wine Bar: Located at the start of the stylish King West strip, Crush often hosts wine tasting and networking events, so if you prefer officially organised opportunities, this is a good choice. Even when there’s no event taking place, it’s a great spot for mingling at the bar, enjoying an intimate wine-paired meal in the back or, if you want to organise a networking event yourself, renting out the private room downstairs.
P.J. O’Brien: If you’re looking for a casual pint then search out this tiny Irish pub, tucked away behind the Financial District. It’s usually packed with blue-jeaned, business district types, who are here to drink away the day’s stress and are generally friendly and welcoming to outsiders.
Toronto Business Casual: If you’re going to be in the city for a while, it’s definitely worth joining this social club for professionals. They organise stylish networking events which range from casual dinners to ingenious adventures like fencing classes and midnight horseback riding. Apply for membership here