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Unusual and anti-Valentine’s Day ideas

Whether it makes your heart flutter or you’re a champion of the “made up holiday” mindset, there’s no denying it — Valentine’s Day is almost here.

While some have planned their romantic day weeks in advance, many others are preparing for the panicked rush to the florist at the last minute or scouring the internet for the perfect evening.

A nice dinner is always on the table (so to speak) but if you’re looking for something a little out of the norm, here’s a list of just a few the more unusual options available around the city.

Casablanca with the TSO: Of all the gin joins in all towns in all the world – why not take your love to Roy Thomson Hall. The Toronto Symphony Orchestra is screening arguably one of the most romantic films ever made, the cinematic classic Casablanca. As Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman struggle over their reunited love, the TSO will perform Max Steiner’s iconic score.  Here’s looking at you kid.

The Valentine’s Big Band Dance: Pull your date close as you sway on the dance floor to the classic sounds of the big band area at the iconic Palais Royale.  Get In The Mood as Glenn Chipkar and the 18-piece Swing Shift Big Band performs hits from Bobby Darrin, Peggy Lee and Glen Miller. A VIP dinner is also available earlier in the evening.

First Comes Love at the Toronto Zoo: There’s the birds and the bees but what about all the other animals? The Toronto Zoo’s ‘First Comes Love’ event offers a chance to learn more about reproduction and parenthood in the animal kingdom. The evening includes a romance-inspired dinner, a special animal encounter, an interactive group presentation and a tour of the reproductive labs.

Be Mein Valentine’s Burlesque: What’s Valentine’s Day without a little debauchery?  Toronto’s longest-running burlesque troupe will take to the stage at The Gladstone Hotel for Be Mein Valentine’s. It’s a cabaret show with a twist of the forbidden.

But if you’re single or hate Valentine’s Day, don’t worry — there’s stuff for you too.

Anti-Valentine’s Day dinner: If you’re newly single or jaded about romance, Bar Wellington is opening up its doors to you. With a dress code of sweat pants, bunny slippers and your ex’s t-shirt, a table for one comes with a box of Kleenex as you indulge in comfort food while you watch Bridget Jones’ Diary and The Notebook.

Anti-Valentine’s Day Anti-Party: Teens tired of the Valentine’s Day whoopla can unite at two Toronto Public Library locations and create an anti-romance book cover, test their knowledge of former celebrity couples and write the worst break-up letter ever. Listen to anti-love songs, enjoy some snacks and bond over being sarcastic. Black clothing is encouraged.

What are you doing for the big day? Let us know in the comments.