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Unique restaurant/unlimited budget/300+ guests

viaiko May 2, 2007 12:11 PM

Dear fellow chowhounders,

I am involved in a big conference (around fall) which will host people from around the world. I am in charge of finding a unique venue for a dinner/lunch event (catering about 200+ people) and have unlimited budget. Any suggestions?

Ideally i want the venue to be very different and have the Wow factor.

Location: Toronto, ideally near the convention center.

Any suggestions would be great! Thanks!

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    phoenikia RE: viaiko May 2, 2007 01:25 PM

    I would check out the Carlu- you would have a choice of 4 different high end caterers, including Daniel et Daniel. The space is an art deco masterpiece that was recently renovated. It is located at College Park, so it would be less than a 10 minute drive from the Convention Centre, and probably a 20-25 minute walk.


    The Carlu's staff was extremely helpful when I looked into booking an event there last spring.

    1. diesta RE: viaiko May 2, 2007 02:47 PM

      for dinner, you *may* be able to fit 200 people into the windsor arms restuarant (its a gorgeously renovated boutique hotel).

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        pearlD RE: viaiko May 2, 2007 03:00 PM

        In 1999 we had my son's wedding service and dinner at The Great Hall (Queen Street West)...It is a funky and very cool place...they have a number of Caterers they suggest and we used The Gypsy Co-op and must say it was extremely well handled, something for everyone (including Vegan choices). We had dinner for 150 with lots of room to spare for more tables so you might call them and see what's still being offered and the capacity of the room.

        5 Replies
        1. re: pearlD
          Zengarden RE: pearlD May 3, 2007 02:40 PM

          In case you want to use Gypsy Co-op, it has closed.

          1. re: pearlD
            jessi20 RE: pearlD May 3, 2007 02:41 PM

            Canoe would be a good choice if price is no option. The view is amazing.

            1. re: jessi20
              childofthestorm RE: jessi20 May 3, 2007 02:58 PM

              For out-of-towners with unlimited money, you can't beat the CN Tower for the wow factor. The food is actually quite good and the wine list is exceptional.

              1. re: childofthestorm
                superizzy RE: childofthestorm May 22, 2007 10:07 AM

                While the view and the wow factor are high, the food is crummy at the CN Tower

              2. re: jessi20
                diesta RE: jessi20 May 3, 2007 03:03 PM

                max capacity at Canoe is 140 for food, I would not imagine 360 at the CN tower would be too much different than that.

                I'm not sure what the capacity is at North44

                Staying in the downtown core (nr Convention Centre) is probably going to not give you the food wow factor at the size you are looking to accomodate. That being said, within a 10$ cab ride for people (which wouldn't be bad if split by 4 people per cab), or renting a couple of busses, consider the boiler house in the Distillery District, size wise you should be okay, the food is decent and the location is great. If you made resos for 6pm for example and told people to head out there earlier to look at the galleries, studios etc then they could have a great time. Again your limiting factors are not exactly complimentary with each other...proximity, wow, size and quality of food; which one(s) are you most willing to comprimise on?

            2. Googs RE: viaiko May 3, 2007 02:59 PM

              I would agree with Phoenikia about The Carlu being a great venue for a large dinner. The only thing I would add is, take a look at Presidential Gourmet for a caterer.

              The Great Hall is a nice place, but not accessible friendly. As far as I know, stairs are the only way in. If you have guests with special needs, it may not be suitable.

              1. pancake RE: viaiko May 3, 2007 03:33 PM

                The Old Mill restaurant in Etobicoke.
                Its a gorgeous building. The setting is nice, near the humber river, and parking is convenient.

                1 Reply
                1. re: pancake
                  Conductorchris RE: pancake May 22, 2007 12:30 AM

                  And the food at the Old Mill is fantastic.

                  I am getting married there in August.

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                  MaryZ RE: viaiko May 22, 2007 01:03 PM

                  I have NEVER had good food at the Old Mill--would not recommend it. The Carlu is gorgeous. I think it is your best option. St Lawrence Hall is also lovely as far as settings go, but I don't know anything about the catering there.

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                    tochipotle RE: viaiko May 22, 2007 01:08 PM

                    I would suggest Steam Whistle - right behind the convention centre. It is absolutely gorgeous as a venue (post and beam, huge windows with a view of the CN tower), and is a short walk. You can bring in any other wine or liquor you like, but you must serve Steam Whistle beer. Daniel et Daniel also cater here.
                    Your guests can also tour the brewery...
                    Carlu is gorgeous as well.

                    1. m
                      MaryZ RE: viaiko May 22, 2007 01:12 PM

                      The Distillery District could also probably accomodate that # of people and you would probably have a choice of high end caterers. See the links below.

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