wedding venues toronto

The top 10 wedding venues for creative types in Toronto

Looking for a wedding venue in Toronto just as unusual as you are? If banquet halls sound a little too stuffy (how often would you party in one of those, anyway?) Toronto's galleries and performing arts centres offer off-the-beaten-path ceremony or reception options that can infuse personality, charm, and maybe even a little culture into your big day.

Here are my picks for the top wedding venues for creative types in Toronto.

Artscape Wychwood Barns
This decommissioned streetcar-repair facility (heads up, transit nerds) retained the exposed brick walls, ultra-high ceilings, and vast windows that now make it a striking event space. The long, narrow space fits 400 with round tables of 10, or about 600 for a standing reception. Rental fees range from $3,000-$3,500, plus the cost of furniture rentals.

Olga Korper Gallery
The Dundas West gallery periodically does weddings, their calendar of shows permitting - plus, Korper likes to chat with folks face-to-face and see if they're a fit. The huge industrial space (part of a converted mattress factory) can hold about 120 guests for a sit-down dinner or 250 for a cocktail reception, and you can choose your own vendors; rentals are $4500.

Artscape Gibraltar Point
The Toronto Island location lends a slightly more adventurous touch to Gibraltar Point, and its former life as a schoolhouse lends a certain scrappy charm. The Beacon Fireplace room fits up to 250 for receptions, or bring the party outside to their lawn spaces and capitalize on the greenery and lakeside atmosphere.

Edward Day Gallery
There are plenty of selling points to this art complex: A location just off Trinity Bellwoods, a contemporary gallery atmosphere with high ceilings, access to the outdoor courtyard, and the ability to pick your own caterer. The gallery can hold 125 to 150 seated guests, or 300 for a cocktail reception. The indoor gallery space will run you $2,500-$4,500; the outdoor space is $300-$500 extra.

Neubacher Shor
This 3,000 square foot Parkdale gallery, hidden down an alley, retains its industrial charm, thanks to a high wood-beamed ceiling and concrete floors. Receptions of 150 seated guests (250 standing) can be accommodated, with moveable partitions available to mold the space to your liking; though art from current exhibits will stay up on the walls, you can change it for a fee. The space is $2,000-$2,500 depending on day of the week.

Young Centre for the Performing Arts
Though most of the spaces in this Distillery theatre complex, as you might expect, feature seats and stages, their Kevin and Roger Garland Cabaret is an intimate space suited to receptions of 90 guests or fewer. Rates are $650-$850 depending on day of the week. (The grand atrium that greets guests when they walk in can also be rented for $2300-3000, but since it's the gateway to the rest of the centre, they can't always offer exclusive use of the space.)

Twist Gallery
This 5,000 square foot Queen St. West gallery is used to doing double duty as a ceremony and as a reception space; they can get the room set up for both, and while they quickly move the chairs over to the reception tables, guests can marvel at the light streaming in from the semi-circular windows that dominate the space. Though they work with five preferred caterers, the gallery will let you bring in your own. Pricing available on request.

Super Wonder Gallery
Not only will this gallery, which recently moved into new digs on Bloor St., look awesome on your wedding invitations - it's a large, malleable blank space featuring 15-foot ceilings and large south-facing windows. They can fit 170 guests seated or 295 standing, with on-site ceremonies available and catering left up to you. Pricing available on request.

Mariposa Cruises
Did you know you can get married on a boat? If you really want to throw your guests a curveball, there's always Mariposa's wedding cruises. Between their six ships, they can accomodate guest lists of up to 358 guests seated or 575 standing; five-hour cruises offer some unparalleled views of the water and skyline while you enjoy onboard catering. (The captain can't perform the ceremony, though - sorry.) Prices vary by vessel and are available upon request.

Did I miss any? Leave your picks for wedding venues for creative types in Toronto in the comments. Photo courtesy Mariposa Cruises.

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