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Wedding venues in the Downtown Toronto area?

morrigan Nov 9, 2006 04:43 PM

I want to host a small (approx. 50 people) wedding in late April 2007 and I'm having a tough time finding a venue that will seat a smallish group privately and serve reliably good food. I would consider a hotel, but the food is the most important part of the event for me, followed by ambiance, and most hotels just don't cut it, especially for small numbers. Can anyone suggest a nice place for my wedding? Italian or Continental is less likely to offend parents' old-fashioned tastebuds...and I love chic and monochrome...but as stated, the food comes first. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  1. c
    ciaociao1 Nov 15, 2006 04:41 PM

    I concur with the St. Lawrence Hall being a great venue. I suspect it will be too large for your wedding. One suggestion is to use the restaurant below it- Biagio's. It's a great upscale Italian restaurant. It's not modern in the sense that you like though. They likely can host both your ceremony and dinner.
    I know some people do not like this restaurant but I have done functions as well as had personal dinners there which have been excellent. Of course it's beyond me why someone goes to an Italian restaurant and orders steak?

    Good luck

    1. j
      jackackattack Nov 15, 2006 04:12 PM

      My husband and I went to a wedding that was held at Casa Loma. Absolutely stunning venue and the food was amazing...filet mignon ..done to perfection...dessert was worth the extra calories too....enjoy your special day!!

      1. c
        CChan126 Nov 14, 2006 01:27 AM

        I had my wedding reception at Canoe. We had 130 people, but I think you can get one of their private rooms for smaller functions. You can also have your ceremony there. Food was definitely my priority, which is why I chose Canoe.

        1. Tara9000 Nov 13, 2006 07:53 PM

          We just had our wedding at The Richmond (Bathurst/Richmond) on the 30th. It's a modern, loft-type space that fits MAX around 70-80 people for a seated dinner. You do have to bring in a caterer though.

          Very nice space! Check out the website: http://www.therichmond.ca

          1. r
            rbc Nov 13, 2006 05:09 AM

            went to a bar mitzvah at Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar (?) a couple years ago, and the venue held about 60 or so.

            1. dinin and dishin Nov 10, 2006 10:15 PM

              Many years ago, too many to mention, I went to a beautiful wedding at St. Lawrence Hall. It is a gorgeous old building north of St. Lawrence Market, with huge windows and high ceilings.

              1. TorontoJo Nov 10, 2006 05:29 PM

                I don't know if the restaurant at Osgoode Hall is available for rent, but it's a lovely space with stained glass windows and vaulted ceilings. And you can't beat the location (Queen and University). You might want to give them a call.

                2 Replies
                1. re: TorontoJo
                  morrigan Nov 10, 2006 11:09 PM

                  Would you believe I'm a lawyer? So the restaurant at Osgoode Hall might be a little....ummm...close to work...;). But you are right, it is a beautiful hall...

                  1. re: morrigan
                    TorontoJo Nov 11, 2006 02:28 PM

                    LOL! Well, it was a thought... :)

                2. y
                  yoyodyne Nov 10, 2006 02:25 PM

                  a couple of places come to mind:

                  the gallery grill at hart house (u of t)

                  http://www.harthouse.utoronto.ca/hh/page.php?id=FOD03 i went to a wedding there and the food/ambiance was exceptional.

                  another place you might try is a place called the rosehill. classy venue with a range of catering options.

                  http://www.rosehillevents.ca/

                  1. dinin and dishin Nov 10, 2006 02:19 PM

                    lol, the white dress might give it away.

                    1. morrigan Nov 10, 2006 01:20 PM

                      I *love* the Sandra Ainsley Gallery - I had a work function there a year ago... Would you believe that they don't do weddings? Point blank, they won't host weddings. I think they must fear drunken dancing and it's effect on their glass art pieces... But that was one of the first places I looked into, so I totoally agree. It's elegant, beautiful and very different. Now...if I can just convince them that it's a birthday...;).

                      1. dinin and dishin Nov 10, 2006 12:41 PM

                        The estates of Sunnybrook are gorgeous, but a little north of "downtown." My girlfriend did her wedding and reception at the Coach House and it was very elegant. If I recall correctly, the service and the food were very good.

                        http://www.estatesofsunnybrook.com/access.html

                        Further to Shana's mention of the Distillery District, a friend of mine in the event business has put on events at the Sandra Ainsley Gallery. She has gorgeous glass pieces that make an amazing background to the event. She also usually gets small pieces from the gallery for gifts for the guests to keep with the theme.

                        http://www.sandraainsleygallery.com/

                        1. d
                          deepcreek Nov 10, 2006 11:49 AM

                          One of the nicest wedding lunches I've been to was at the Gallery Grill at Hart House. Suzanne Baby's kitchen always does fine work, and the setting is unusual and elegant.

                          1. morrigan Nov 10, 2006 02:23 AM

                            All of the above look great, but I just had a thought - I would like to be able to have my ceremony in the same place... That cuts down the appropriate places a lot. Can anyone think of a place that would have great food in a nice environment where a wedding ceremony could be held? I know...shoulda' mentioned that before... Also, does anyone know of a hotel where the food is actually good? Hotels are convenient, but the ambiance is a little...bland...and often so is the food...which is a deal breaker. Thanks again.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: morrigan
                              k
                              Kasia Nov 10, 2006 03:12 AM

                              How about the Great Hall at Queen and Dovercourt, or the Ballroom at the Gladstone Hotel?

                              1. re: morrigan
                                c
                                courgette Nov 10, 2006 05:08 PM

                                The specs for my wedding are about the same as yours: ceremony and dinner at the same event for 60 people.

                                I had my wedding at the Church on Berkeley. Ceremony and champagne reception was upstairs and sit down dinner and dancing downstairs. Even did photos in the courtyard at the back (the Distillery is also not too far away for a great backdrop). The make it or break it deal was the catering -- and mine was done by Yorkshire Pudding and it was a "make it" event. Jill did a fantastic job. Note: It's a funky venue, but not modern.

                                Other venues I shortlisted:
                                * Enoch Turner Schoolhouse. You can have the ceremony in the schoolhouse part and the reception in the ballroom.
                                * McMichael Art Gallery. Beautiful setting, but the logistics did not work out for me. I had lots of out-of-town guests and most were staying downtown -- I would have had to shuttle them to and from the venue, an extra complication I did not want to deal with.
                                * George Brown House on Beverley Street. Another great place, but we wanted a dance and the ceiling was too low downstairs to do any serious bopping.

                                Good luck!

                              2. estufarian Nov 10, 2006 12:00 AM

                                Possibly la Maquette (which is where I went) - we even had the ceremony in their patio, adjacent to the Sculpture garden, although April might be too risky. They specialize in weddings etc, but not sure if your numbers fit their layout.

                                1. s
                                  saucethatcounts Nov 9, 2006 11:18 PM

                                  When I was looking around for my wedding, I fell in love with the idea of Mildred Pierce. It was too small to accomodate us. The rooms are magical and the food is lovely.

                                  www.mildredpierce.com

                                  1. morrigan Nov 9, 2006 06:54 PM

                                    Thank you so much for all of your ideas! I really do appreciate it and I never would have thought of a "nightclub" or an art gallery, but they look really nice. If you or anyone else can think of more venues I should check out I would be hugely grateful...I'm new at this and it's more stressful than I thought...

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: morrigan
                                      f
                                      FlavoursGal Nov 9, 2006 06:57 PM

                                      Trust me - making my party at Shmooze was totally stress-free. Do check them out.

                                    2. f
                                      FlavoursGal Nov 9, 2006 06:14 PM

                                      We held a private party about 2 years ago at Shmooze (a nightclub on Mercer Street)- http://www.shmooze.ca/. This is a beautiful venue - great ambiance, terrific food (catering's done in-house). They supply all of the tables, tablecloths, chair covers, dishes, etc. They also accept cakes and desserts brought in from anywhere you choose.

                                      The manager was an absolute delight to work with - very accommodating, and there was a very low guaranteed minimum charge. Another bonus - a small deposit to book, the balance payable after the party.

                                      1. shana Nov 9, 2006 05:58 PM

                                        we just got married Sept 30th and we did a cocktail party at the Thompson Landry Gallery in the distillery. It was fantastic and striking. You hardly need any decorations as the art is so big and colourful. We had Daniel et Daniel cater and they did food stations - really heavy on cheese and dessert, mini cupcake tower, croquenbouches (sp?) etc etc, we had 55 people and there was so much food left over.

                                        http://www.thompsonlandry.com/

                                        1. t
                                          TwinklyTerrapin Nov 9, 2006 05:14 PM

                                          I don't know if Batifole does private parties, but if they do it sounds like they'd be what you're looking for.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: TwinklyTerrapin
                                            HarryLloyd Nov 10, 2006 12:14 AM

                                            I've been there only about a couple dozen times but I don't think Batifole would be big enough for 50 people.

                                            I would suggest more along the lines of Canoe or Susur.

                                            Chow!
                                            HL.

                                          2. midtowngirl Nov 9, 2006 05:01 PM

                                            Lure does private functions and has various different sized spaces (very romantic too).

                                            www.lurerestaurant.ca

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