Toronto's full of romantic restaurants and charming cafés where a marriage-minded person could conceivably ask for another marriage-minded person's hand, but why not use a little more imagination? Here are some alternatives to the usual options (and hey, congratulations!).
1. Lace up your skates and head for a rink. The Natrel Rink at Harbourfront is just about the prettiest night-skating spot in town. Dufferin Grove Rink has campfires and a fire pit (and pizza bagels at the concession stand). There's skating at the Evergreen Brickworks, too.
2. The Toronto Islands/Island Ferry. The Islands have kilometres of walking/cycling paths and dozens of sweet little streets lined with pretty cottages. There's no motor vehicle traffic, so if you decide to drop down on one knee you're not going to be mowed down by a speeding Camry. The ferry is a nice option, too, as it chugs through the chunks of ice and flocks of bobbing seabirds.
3. The nature paths behind the Evergreen Brick Works. Take the shuttle bus down from Broadview Station to the Evergreen site. then wander out behind the main building to follow the paths that wind their way through the Don Valley ravines. There are pretty little footbridges and lots of quiet little pockets to sit and Discuss Things.
4. Dairy Queen, Broadview Avenue and Pottery Road. No, seriously; this may be the best-located Dairy Queen anywhere. The sweeping view of the skyline and the Don Valley is amazing, and you can hide a ring in your sweetheart's Peanut Buster Parfait while they're not looking. Open 11 to 11 all year round.
5. Snakes and Lattes. Have a Nutella latte and a Triple Decker BLT, then pull up a Scrabble board and spell out WILL YOU MARRY ME.
6. Canoe Landing Park. Climb into the big red boat with a bottle of champagne and a blanket. (Note: Curbed does not endorse or encourage consumption of alcoholic beverages while boating.)
7. The R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant, at the easternmost end of Queen Street East. Sure, the site where they filter poop out of the city's drinking water may not sound like the ideal spot to swear undying love, but the building itself is majestic. It sits way out on a promontory, surrounded by rolling lawns (snow-covered now, of course), rocky beaches, and a million screaming seagulls.
8. Riverdale Farm. A real working farm right in the city, with animals and paddocks and hay and everything. Wander through barns, pet a sheep, chase runaway chickens, get engaged. Afterward, head over to Parliament Street and have a pint at the House on Parliament to toast your future.
9. Allan Gardens Conservatory. A tropical refuge from the bitter winter. Exotic flowering plants and palm trees, plus koi and turtles, all in a lovely glass greenhouse. Think of the money you'll save on flowers.
10. Edgewalk. Come on. You're already about to take one of the biggest plunges of your life; why not add a whole other layer of terror? Pro tip: keep the ring on a string. You really don't want to brain any tourists.
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