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In Toronto with friends over the holidays? Consider yourself lucky! This is the place to be if you want to throw down festive-style with great food, drinks and laughs. And being at The Pantages Hotel puts you within walking distance of some the best places in town to whip up a little Friendsmas in Toronto.

Never heard of Friendsmas?

Christmas celebrations are usually reserved for families, but what about celebrating the good cheer with your friends? After all, family get-togethers can get so stressful and political that it sucks the joy from the world. But a night with your pals is easy, fun and carefree. You can say what you want, do what you want and not be judged by that skeptical relative we all have.

Girls Friendsmas

Start at the Eaton Centre for a little pre-holiday shopping. With over 230 stores over four floors, you’re sure to find a few gifts to bring home. From there, head east along Queen Street to Carbon Bar for dinner and treat yourself to the  Carbon Bar Experience — a tasting menu prepared by chef Hidde Zomer. After dinner, make your way up Church Street to party in Toronto’s queer village.

Guys Friendsmas

Nothing screams “men having fun” quite like a pub crawl. Start at 3 Brewers in the Eaton Centre, a gastro pub that serves beer from around the world. Then make your way down to Real Sports for dinner and a game. It won’t matter who’s playing because it’ll look amazing on their massive TV screen, and it won’t matter what you order because all the food is outstanding. After the game, head down to the Bier Markt on the Esplanade for drinks, tunes and a rowdy crowd.

Group Friendsmas

You want a night that everyone can enjoy. And in Toronto, that’s not difficult. Begin just west of the hotel in Yonge Dundas Square where there’s always something happening and the people watching is second to none. Then make your way up Yonge Street to Salad King, Toronto’s most popular (and most bustling) Thai restaurant where there’s just the right amount of spice for everyone. After that, hop in a cab or Uber and head over to the Ossington strip where you’ll find bars, pubs and a lively street lined with people having a good time.

A few Friendsmas tips

  1. No political talk. This has the potential to ruin a fun evening.
  2. Turn your phone to silent. Some people even turn their phones off. You’re with your pals — be in the moment.
  3. Get separate. Splitting the cheque often leads to problems you don’t need.
  4. What happens in Toronto stays in Toronto. Let loose. After a long year, you’ve earned it.

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