The d/bar: Toronto’s Hottest Bar for Single and Not-So-Single Boomers

The d/bar, comfortably nestled in the new Four Seasons Hotel at Bay/Yorkville, is the “go-to-place” for Toronto’s growing population of male and female Boomers – to engage in casual encounters.

But if you relied solely upon the Toronto liberal media, you would never be aware that such a vibrant and dynamic subculture does actually exist in Toronto, “No Longer The Good”.

Awhile back, Toronto Life magazine was all agog at its discovery of Toronto’s downtown sex-crazed Tinder generation – sex texting, drinking, partying and literally getting it on from nooners to last call at such hotspots as Earls Kitchen & Bar and Drake One Fifty.

Both establishments, located on York Street amid phallically-inspired bank buildings, cater to the downtown 20-early 30-somethings who populate the nearby towers as male and female junior bank/securities analysts, lawyers, accountants and consultants.

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The gang at d/bar.

Of course in this breathless Toronto Life article, there was no mention of 50 something Boomers (aged 51-67).

As if they do not exist.

What are they? Chopped liver?

Contrary to popular opinion, Toronto’s aging Boomers have not all retired to die in some sleepy suburban Amica Retirement Home called Aspen Woods or Celestial Gardens. Nor do they spend their nights in their condos or apartments chugging back Metamucil as they stare dimly at CBC’s follically challenged Mansbridge of The National, as he tries to lull them to sleep with liberal platitudes and empty bromides.

Though many of these Boomers are no longer Bay Street or Wall Street masters of the universe, they are still more than masters of their domain.

Many of these Boomers, unencumbered by spouses, children and mortgages, are still working hard and playing hard.

As in the classic film “Casablanca”, where all roads led to Bogart’s “Rick’s Café”, in Toronto – for Toronto Boomers and their friends – all roads still lead to the Four Seasons’ d/bar.

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d/bar hangouts.

I have been dropping in at the d/bar on a semi-regular basis. For research, of course. It is a Dirty Martini job, but someone has to do it. As a result, I have become familiar with the regular denizens of d/bar.

Just around the corner from the hotel’s lobby on the main floor, the d/bar displays a certain casual elegance- from the gracious hostess, to the friendly bar tenders manning the long marble bar to the taupe comfy chairs and couches located strategically around the room.

The place, particularly on Thursday evenings, is packed with a good and even natural mix of male and female lawyers, dentists, doctors, real estate agents, business people, publicists, consultants and wheelers/dealers and guests of the hotel. As expected, the men are roughly older (50-65) than the women, who are generally a little younger, 38-50, but not that age inappropriate.

Fred, the “Closer”, and Jerry, the “Dentist”, (actual names withheld to protect the innocent and not so innocent) are your typical d/bar habitués.

Both men in the late 50s, are fit, single, divorced and apparently quite content with the cards life has dealt them.

Fred is a friendly real estate guy, happily unmarried. His three children, all finished university, are independent and working. Woo-hoo! Off the family payroll.

Jerry is a semi-retired dentist, also with grown and independent children.

These two are not your typical Tinder demographic.

Their approach to women at d/bar is more old school. Easy banter and buying of drinks all around.

The only swiping they do, is with their credit or debit cards.

(FYI: Tinder is a dating app, in which men and women, living in close proximity, post photos and brief profiles online, and when two strangers on their smart phones swipe to the right on each other’s profile, an oral contract to Tinder date each other is consummated.)

As Jerry the Dentist confided to me, “d/bar sure beats sitting around alone in your place or at a sports bar with a bunch of strange guys, all staring at the female server’s tight t-shirt.”

Jerry, like the Closer, hangs out at d/bar, mainly for the regular social connections and the chance of meeting a new person or reconnecting with a familiar face. If these encounters lead to dinners, film dates, brunches and casual hook-ups, even better.

At this stage of their lives, they are just happy to let nature takes its course and just go with the flow.

Interestingly, the women at d/bar have more aggressive agenda. Sophia (mid 40s) a single mom from Brampton with two teenage children, regularly hangs out at d/bar in the hopes of meeting her Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now, for a little roll in the hay.

Lillian, Scottish-born from Burlington, is a married woman of two teenagers. Though happily married, she had confided to me of her desire to three way with another woman and a willing male participant. Apparently, she envisioned the male member more a bit player in this fantasy. Hence her nickname, the “Scottish Sappho”.

This quiet and sweet suburban married Burlington mother also confided to me that she fantasized about having rough sex with strange men in the d/bar unisex washroom. And then proceeded to ask what our safe word would be?

The first word that popped in my head was “Ezra” as in Ezra Levant, a notorious conservative right wing provocateur and pundit.

The Scottish Sappho laughed, nervously, then excused herself from the table, muttering into her Neo-Negroni cocktail, that I was really weird. I never saw Sappho again.

Clearly, she was a left wing Trudeau supporter.

Even here at this Boomer haven d/bar cocktails and politics apparently do not mix.

Oh well.

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