Where you’ll find Western Living staffers on a hot day.

Exterior---River-Valley-Patio-Viewb1. Confederation Bar at the Fairmont Hotel MacDonald10065 100th Street, Edmonton, 780-424-5181 

For a city that has a spectacularly lush river valley literally dissecting it, Edmonton has a surprising lack of patios that take advantage of the view. The long-closed Vi’s was the go-to of my youth, but these days if I’m hankering to drink and drink in a view of the mighty North Saskatchewan, there’s only one place—the Confederation Bar at the Hotel MacDonald. It’s clubby in a way that only a bar that’s celebrating it’s 100 birthday this year can be, but when you head out onto the stone patio all you see is an explosion of of green heading west to east. I understand they make fine cocktails here (they properly only use Gosling’s Rum to make their Dark and Stormys) but for me this is always a whisky spot: the prices are crazy low (Highland Park 18 is $14.25 here, $20 at the Hotel Vancouver) and the location suits a whisky-sipping, quiet contemplation of things while the river flows by. —Neal McLennan, Food and Travel Editor

the galley jericho patio2. The Galley, Jericho Sailing Centre1300 Discovery St., Vancouver, 604-222-1331The day I moved to Vancouver back in 2001, a friend took me to the Jericho Sailing Centre to watch the sunset over a plate of nachos, and it’s remained my go-to patio since. You don’t need to be a member, but you can’t help but feel a part of a sailing subculture, watching the wetsuits dry on the chain link fence and spotting sail masts glide by the upper deck as you sip pints of R&B’s Sun God wheat ale with slices of lemon. Go for a seat as far west as you can secure, watch the sun dip down behind Bowen Island, and revel in the fact that this is where you live.Anicka Quin, Editor-in-Chief

3. Milltown Bar, Milltown Marina & Boatyard#101, 9191 Bentley St., Vancouver, 604-269-2348For the longest time, the south foot of Vancouver’s Granville Street was sketchy, 7-11 and dollar stores its main draw. Then along came developer Ian Gillespie’s sweeping copper-clad Safeway project and the seeds of Marpole’s reboot were planted. But there’s a gem of a gentrification project few know about: directly at the south end of the street (don’t veer left towards the airport) where the mouth of the North Arm of the Fraser River meets the southern Strait of Georgia, sits the shiny Milltown Marina & Boatyard, a sparkly new harbour project with restaurant/bar. Skip the yacht club attitude found further north: here, a made-to-look-old clapboard restaurant in snappy red shingles stands like a beacon ushering returning weathered sea captains, but inside, hipsters, grandparents, students and neighbourhood locals all jostle equally for dynamite patio real estate. The north side terrace flanks the Fraser with an outdoor fireplace and views of the moored boats; the south side deck offers ringside seats of YVR planes landing. It’s crazy-packed all the time and you’ll wonder where all this buzzing mash-up comes from—the simple answer is if you build it, they will come.—Amanda Ross, Contributing Editorpatio vancouver island4. Crow and Gate English Pub2313 Yellow Point Road Cedar, Nanaimo, 250-722-3731 

Missing the ferry from Nanaimo is a blessing in disguise—it means there’s time for a pint at the Crow and Gate down the road. The pleasingly shabby British-style pub (the wood-panelled walls are covered in beer coasters) is a cozy spot to kick back during in climate weather, but the back garden is an essential summer destination. Grab a spot at one of the long, sun-dappled picnic tables among the blooming rose bushes and wait for your platter of crispy pan-fried oysters, surrounded by lush greenery, chirping birds and chatty locals. Stacey McLachlan, Associate Editor


5. Tap and Barrel, Olympic Village

1 Athletes Way, Vancouver, 604-685-2223

Absolutely an obvious choice in Vancouver when it first opened, but the Olympic Village Tap and Barrel is better now than it ever was. A couple weekends ago, in the middle of a sunny Saturday afternoon, I happened along the Tap during my seawall bike ride and instead of an unapologetic hostess quoting a two-hour wait, I found the patio more than half empty (imagine!) and was able to score a prime spot in the shade. This, plus the ample people-watching and scrumptious flights of craft beer, make this my ultimate patio spot all summer long. —Julia Dilworth, Staff Writer