Harry Potter party recreates Hogwarts in Toronto
On Tuesday evening, U of T's Hart House was transformed into Hogwarts for one epic night of Harry Potter celebration. A group of George Brown College students in the Special Events Planning program were tasked with executing a fundraiser and Platform 9 3/4 was their way of guaranteeing success in the Triwizard Tournament (an A, in mugglespeak).
By the time I arrived, the queue for Platform 9 3/4 was already out the door. Potterheads were invited to check their cloaks and take the Sorting Hat quiz before entering the Great Hall.
I took the simplified quiz: If you're wise, choose Ravenclaw; if you're cunning, you're Slytherin; if you're brave, take Gryffindor; if you're kind-hearted, you're Hufflepuff. I misheard and nearly chose Slytherin, but realized that couldn't be right for a children's book (I ended up bearing the Gryffindor crest).
There was also a bar with themed cocktails just outside the main event. I chose a Faux Butterbeer ($5), made with butterscotch, apple cider, and ginger ale - deliciously sweet and exactly what I would imagine British children adore at the expense of dentists.
Inside the Great Hall, the students had performed a total Neville Longbottom, bringing the space from acceptable to amazing.
There was a gorgeous long table decorated with Harry Potter memorabilia and flags from each house, with more tables and owl decorations around the perimeter.
At the front of the room was a raffle and silent auction, and a tarot card reader and hypnotist provided added entertainment at the other end.
The hall was absolutely packed with Potterheads, many of them cosplaying as characters. I saw lots of Harrys, a few owls, and of course the Hermiones.
There were some regular Hermiones (inquisitive students), sexy Hermiones (sassy schoolgirls) and one punk Hermione (fish-netted scholar). I chose to cosplay as a pre-fame J.K Rowling (just a poor writer).
The party had an exciting energy as guests sampled the passed appetizers and collaborated on themed scavenger hunts worthy of Potter and co.
With such a fun, immersive environment, it's the kind of exciting party you wish happened as often as J.K. Rowling slays it on Twitter. Until then, I'll get my Potter fix at The Lockhart.
Photos by Jesse Milns.
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