Nothing encapsulates the Toronto patio obsession better than the following squib by Chris Nuttall-Smith, from today’s Globe and Mail:
What does $150 get you in Toronto? Dinner and drinks at Susur if you leave without tipping, or 50 Polish sausage dogs (condiments and heartburn are free). It'll also, apparently, get you a sun-drenched patio table at the Black Bull on Queen West on the first decent day of the year.
It was a gorgeous afternoon on the kind of spring day when you overhear office-dwellers vow, "I hope I get a sunburn." Ahead of me, a sextet of starched-and-polished (and pallid) types were pining for a place in the sun.
They could have waited 40 more minutes, as I did. Instead, they pooled a stack of tens and twenties and marched it to their chosen table. The rest of the line watched, amazed. The table accepted.
One of the guys in the group, flush from the conquest, offered to let "the pretty one" stay. "We'll give another $50!" (She did not stay.) One hundred and fifty dollars will get you the table, but this particular table came with just five chairs.
So a guy from the group tried taking an empty seat from nearby. "No way, man," somebody said. "That'll cost you $50."