ICY FUN Take a stroll through Yorkville during its annual IceFest, on from February 21 to 24, to admire the professionally carved ice sculptures created for the Sassafraz Ice Carving Competition. Members of the public are invited to vote for their favourite sculpture, and the winners will be announced on February 23 at 5 p.m. in Yorkville Park. Located at Cumberland Street and Bellair Avenue; call 416-928-3553 for more information.
COFFEE TIME Post IceFest, warm up with a specialty pick-me-up at a neighbourhood café. Try a Monte Cristo—coffee with brandy and Grand Marnier—at 7 West Cafe (7 Charles St. W., 416-928-9041) or the Sweet Butter—a mix of coffee, amaretto and butterscotch liqueur at Avenue Bar.
STRESS MELTER Wrap yourself in a robe and indulge in a glass of bubbly and some chocolates in one of Novo Spa’s luxury couples’ rooms. The spa’s Luxury for Two package ($237) offers an idyllic retreat from winter and a surefire way to heat things up. Open daily; call 416-926-9303 to book.
FIERY FOOD Richly textured saffron-coloured walls and dramatic lighting makes Greg Couillard’s Spice Room & Chutney Bar a romantic, exotic oasis with food to match. Dishes such as veal chop with chili, ginger, honey and soy glaze or crispy lobster dumplings scented with chili, ginger, green onion and cilantro take centre stage here. Dinner Tuesday to Saturday 5:30-11 p.m.; call 416-935-0000 to reserve.
BUYING TIME Holt Renfrew’s flagship Bloor Street location is the perfect place to find a special gift for that certain someone in your life. Check out the his and hers watches from the Celsius collection by Links of London—exclusive to this upscale department store—featuring a winter-white ceramic band accented with diamonds and mother of pearl. Available in three sizes $1,500-$2,200. Open daily; call 416-922-2333 for more information.
NIGHT GLIDERS Toronto’s largest outdoor refrigerated rink, the Harbourfront Natrel Skating Rink, livens up on Friday nights when local DJs mix and mash music as skaters boogie around the ice. If you didn’t pack your skates or need a refresher course, rentals and lessons are available. Call 416-973-4866 for times and details.
GRAPES OF GOODNESS Develop your appreciation for vino at Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar with a four-part wine-tasting class offered in February and March ($80 per class or $220 for all four). Even easier, book a table at the restaurant and put your trust in sommelier Jamie Drummond, who will guide you expertly through an evening’s worth of fine wine and food pairings. Lunch and dinner daily; call 416-362-1957 to reserve a table or a spot in the class.
HAUTE HOTEL Get pampered at the Soho Metropolitan Hotel by taking advantage of one of their three packages, created specially for couples ($505 to $670 per night, for two). Each package includes luxury accommodation and a dozen roses, with a choice of either a four-course dinner with wine pairings at Senses, or spa treatments such as massages and pedicures. Call 416-599-8800 to book a package.
SHAKE IT Learn some new moves at Ba Ba Lúu, a sizzling Yorkville club that offers free hour-long salsa lessons that’ll have you swinging your hips like Shakira in no time. Classes are offered Wednesday to Sunday at 9 p.m., and on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. for beginners. Call 416-884-0097 for more information.
STEAMY STEPS If you’d rather leave the dancing to someone else, pick up tickets for Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story on Stage, the stage adaptation of the hit 1980’s movie, which features Johnny and Baby’s intense love story accompanied by sexy dance moves. Tuesday to Saturday 8 p.m., and Wednesday and Saturday 2 p.m., $26-$120; call 416-872-1212 to buy.