The Best Event Venues in Toronto
The best event venues in Toronto offer more than just shelter from the rain and an address for the invitation. It seems many Toronto favourites carry with them the character of a past life; a place once serving as a 19th century united church, a former brick quarry, or an old streetcar repair station now housing a sustainable garden. While the best venues, of course, adapt to the atmosphere of each distinct exhibition or event, those that can cart a little lure on their own seem to make for a superb special event. And exposed brick, for some reason, also seems to be key.
Here is the list of the best special event venues in Toronto.
Evergreen Brick Works
Evergreen Brick Works is the ideal special event venue because its cultural and environmental history somehow manages to remain prominent even as it's subject to host some awful corporate hand-shaking event. The former brick quarry has beautiful gardens, stunning heritage buildings, and an eco-friendly design that's brag-worth to all your esteemed guests. The authentic character of the Brick Works could single-handedly put all of Toronto's vanilla banquet halls to shame.
Artscape Wychwood Barns
Like the Brick Works, Artscape Wychwood Barns carries with it its heritage charm from its past life as a TTC streetcar repair barn. As a hub of activity with many not-for-profits and artist studios on the 4.3 acre site, Wychwood is clearly perfect for art shows and exhibitions, as well as food and drink events making use of its greenhouse and sustainable food mantra. Micro-brew tasting, anyone?
The Burroughes Building
Chugging right along with bygone Toronto in mind, The Burroughes Building on Queen West unavoidably nods to the early 1900's era of its creation. And of course, that's a good thing. The third and sixth floors are reserved for special events (products launches, NYE and Halloween parties etc.), and being right in the core of downtown, always seems to be a favourite for PR companies. Awesome windows, classic exposed brick, rooftop patio and Susan Sarandon with a ping-pong paddle; obviously the place to be.
Andrew Richard Designs (2nd Floor)
The second floor loft at Andrew Richard Designs is the perfect blank-canvas event space. Can you really ask for more than white floors, ceilings, walls, and lots of natural light? Well, maybe. But in that case, the loft also has prep and stage areas, as well as a walkout to the rooftop patio for summertime soirées. For these reasons it's a Toronto favourite for product and business launches.
Adjacent to the Distillery District, Airship 37 is a relative newbie on the event scene, just opening this past spring. The 5,000-square-foot space is divided into two spaces with cool, industrial feels and an antique Parisian chandelier because bare walls and exposed brick can only do so much. Still, Airship 37 is mostly a blank canvas--albeit, one with ample room for lots of guests.
MOCCA Courtyard/MOCCA/Edward Day Gallery
The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art oozes sophistication, and events held here seem to carry that same elegant refinement. Nextdoor neighbour Edward Day Gallery boasts 3,500 square feet for up to 200 guests, and the courtyard can be thrown in to add 1,600 square feet, as well as a few more dollars to the final tab. But that sort of talk is unbecoming, of course. The venue is a favourite for weddings and has also hosted SummerWorks and the Contact Photography Festival opening parties.
The Berkeley Church
The Berkeley Church is a favourite for weddings, and with 17-foot stained glass windows, a rustic wine cellar, and a breathtaking grand ballroom, it's not hard to see why. The Queen East Church was originally built in 1871 making it a romantic site in itself, but it also works for art exhibitions, product launches, and concerts. Notably, it recently hosted a reception after the funeral of Jack Layton.
Glass Factory/99 Sudbury
The Glass Factory at 99 Sudbury is an impressive open loft space that seems to transform with a simple colour gel. Exposed brick and hardwood floors--as we are well aware by now--give The Glass Factory the right aesthetic for a downtown special event, and a raised stage, huge capacity, and attached patio space make it conducive to any party. On Sundays it hosts the new 99 MRKT.
Royal Conservatory of Music
The Telus Centre opened at the Royal Conservatory of Music about three years ago and quickly garnered the attention of party planners throughout the city. Glass windows let you look out at the downtown buzz below, and floating ribbons of wood overhead gently lead you to the open bar. Perfect for stereotypical gatherings of the downtown elite.