They go by many names. Papa, pops, father, and even pappy if you’re some kind of prospector from the 1800s.

But here at Old Town Toronto…well, we like the name Dad. 

Father’s Day is upon us and on this day we salute the Dads in our life who give us advice when we need it, provide us with guidance, or just make jokes that embarrass us around our friends. This day is for them.

Now we should also say that for us, the sacred role of “Dad” transcends gender, society, and the material plane altogether. Being a Dad is a state of mind. It’s being able to look into the depths of your very soul, declare your oneness with the universe, and proudly say “Hi, at one with the universe, I’m Dad”. 

So for this Father’s Day we’ve listed off a few things that will make the Dad in your life smile and nod in appreciation. From good eats and good meats for grilling, to sunglasses and beer glasses, we have a Dad joke and an OTT business to help you pay tribute to the one you call Dad.


“Hey Dad, have you seen my sunglasses?”

“No, son. Have you seen my Dad-glasses?”

This section is good for three reasons. First, it’s some killer shades for your cool dad! Secondly, these are wonderful businesses that you should support! And third and perhaps most importantly, June 27th is National Sunglasses Day and last year was just a COMPLETE disaster and your dad has to step up their game this year. Do you want the other dads to smirk when yours busts out the free sunglasses that someone handed them at the Ex four years ago? Of course not, that would be embarrassing for everyone!

Luckily, OTT is the place to get some shades. Evok eyewear + opticians are a boutique with collections from the likes of Maui Jim and Unique Design Milano that are guaranteed to turn the heads of the other Dads. For some wild designs in sunglasses, our go-to has always been the Optic Zone on Jarvis, which features some very colourful fashion forward glasses. And for more extensive eye tests and lens assessment along with providing some smooth sunglasses from the likes of Etnia Barcelona and Ray Ban, St. Lawrence Eye Care near the Esplanade will have your dad looking like one cool customer!


“I’d never BBQ on the roof of a house. The steaks are too high!”

Everyone knows that the BBQ grill is where the noble Dad calls home. They see a place where something is not being grilled and they say “no, this will not do”. The world, humanity, the universe, all is one when the Dad is by the grill, holding a beer and wearing an apron with a funny phrase. 

For everything BBQ we just have to go to the St. Lawrence Market and start with Sausage King for some classic sausage grilling. According to Sausage King, they “stand up for the whole hog, the entire chicken, the complete cow and the full lamb”, offering sausages of all kinds and ensuring that the sausages are of excellent quality coming from local farmers. Next up is Whitehouse Meats, which Toronto Life Magazine said has the best game meats in Toronto. We’re talking venison, buffalo, wild boar, kangaroo, camel and game bird. And one of our favourite stops for good quality meats is Brown Brothers Meats, which has been serving quality meats to Toronto since 1895 and has some of the best beef, pork, and chicken in the city!


“Hi hungry, I’m Dad!”

But let’s face it, the mantle of Dad is a heavy one, and sometimes Dads of the World’s Greatest or #1 variety needs a break from the grill and will often enjoy some excellent takeout. Besides which, trying food from restaurants and diners will provide some much-needed research so that your Dad may hone their cooking skills and recipes.

From the hearty breakfasts of the George Street Diner, lobster poutines and delicious po’boys at Market Street Catch, and the ever-popular pad thai at Sukhothai to burritos at Quesada Mexican Grill or Bolet’s Burrito, a gourmet sandwich from Fusaro’s, and a divine curry at Butter Chicken Roti, your Dad will soon be introducing himself to “Full of food”.


“I’ve never made a Caesar cocktail before, but I’ll take a stab at it.”

  A toast to your Dad! The comic relief, the fountain of wisdom, the moral compass, and the one who brings the snacks to the kid’s softball game (and a few beers for the other parents). On this day we drink in their honour!

And because an epic Dad deserves an epic drink, we humbly suggest you pick up one of the epically elaborate Caesars available at Score on King if patios open up this month. These aren’t just a drink, they’re a whole meal unto themselves, masterfully balanced out on top of the Caesar. Of course you have the regular ones with burgers and onion rings, but may we suggest the Checkmate Caesar, with a pulled pork sandwich, hamburger, hot dog, roast chicken, chicken wings, onion rings, and a brownie? Yes that’s real and yes, we told you it was epic. This is what you’d call a Dad-sized cocktail. And look, we know that this realistically should have been in the food section of this post, but we couldn’t let that quality Caesar-related Dad joke go to waste, you know?

But if your dad is feeling more like a regular drink, Goose Island Brewhouse Toronto has batches of freshly made beer ready for takeout, Scotland Yard Pub has a mixed selection of local craft and domestic beers available, Le Petit Dejeuner offers a dang good mimosa, and Terroni on Adelaide has a vast range of wines on hand along with a bottle of their in-house negroni. Any one of these businesses will have something that will make you proud to raise a glass to the Dad in your life!  

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