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Christmas Party Venue for 450?

d
detritus Jun 10, 2008 01:53 PM

Any interesting ideas on a venue in/near Toronto that meets most/all of the following criteria?

- $100 - 115 a person for a sit-down dinner for around 450 people (including some wine, but with a cash bar)
- relatively transit-accessible
- unique venue (i.e. not a hotel ballroom)
- relatively good food (either in-house or not)
- some parking available (though not for all 450 guests!)

Thanks!
-Josh

  1. p
    pirade Jul 23, 2008 08:50 AM

    It might sound old fashioned but I find the Old Mill to be great value (I've had a couple of events there). It can hold your number, there is parking and it's right on the subway line. The food is quite good, the staff very helpful and it really is a lovely venue. I would definitely consider them.

    1. s
      slants Jul 23, 2008 08:45 AM

      try koohaus w kindred spirits catering?

      1. lyndak Jun 11, 2008 07:03 AM

        Check out Ontario Science Centre. It is accessible by transit but people would need to take a bus. Parking is also available. good luck!

        1 Reply
        1. re: lyndak
          b
          Bigtigger Jun 11, 2008 08:01 AM

          I know you said "not a hotel ballroom" but you might want to check out the Vanity Fair Ballroom at the King Edward Hotel - it is anything but a stereotyped low-ceilinged anonymous blah setting - has skylights, a gorgeous chandelier - and the staff could not be more helpful. You could get a good meal within your budget. Just a thought. Using a hotel, we've found, obviates so many problems in dealing with other contracters one has to bring in to some venues (or use from their approved list, which isn't always mine !)

        2. sylvrgirl Jun 10, 2008 04:52 PM

          I'd recommend "The Carlu", located at College Park.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sylvrgirl
            Googs Jul 23, 2008 08:48 AM

            Agreed. The Carlu fits all of your requirements. The Concert Hall is more than ample for your Party. I have to say, though, that I really love the Round Room as it's somewhat more intimate, yet still has a celebratory feel. You don't get much more unique than a fully restored art deco beauty.
            http://www.thecarlu.com/

          2. JamieK Jun 10, 2008 04:23 PM

            Definitely unique, plus transit-accessible, relatively good food, some parking, not sure about the cost --- 360 Restaurant at the CN Tower ---
            http://www.cntower.ca/portal/SmartDef...

            the thing is the can do sit-down for only up to 400 but maybe some arrangements can be made with their lounge or other spaces.

            -----
            360 Restaurant
            301 Front St W, Toronto, ON M5V2T6, CA

            1. Splendid Wine Snob Jun 10, 2008 01:58 PM

              Sunnybrook Estaes?

              2 Replies
              1. re: Splendid Wine Snob
                t
                torontofoodiegirl Jun 10, 2008 03:57 PM

                Sunnybrook Estates is much too small (I think the max is 120).

                Try the Fermenting Cellar at the Distillery District. I'm think it can hold that number, and you can choose from a number of good caterers. It's a bit off the subway line, but not too far. It's definitely a "unique venue". The major drawback is that, as I understand it, it's just a big empty room that needs to be decorated, lit, etc. (but I think they'd be able to help you with that).

                Some other options that would accommodate your number would be the Arcadian Court, the Carlu, and (as mentioned above) Liberty Grand.

                Would you consider a wandering/food station concept, or does it absolutely need to be a sit down dinner? If the former is a possibility, your options would open up as you wouldn't need as much space.

                1. re: torontofoodiegirl
                  p
                  peppermint pate Jun 11, 2008 06:52 AM

                  The space in the Distillery is stunning BUT the drawback you note is major indeed. At least as of a few years ago, when we considered the space for our wedding (much smaller than 450), we found that we were going to spend a small fortune between the rental fee (something to factor in for a few of the spaces mentioned here) and every stitch of decoration which would need to be brought in - you are literally starting with a bare room. If the $100-$115/pp is meant to be all-in, you'll be down to a McDonald's food budget by the time you finish with even some minimal decor.

                  If you can find a restaurant that will accommodate, you'll be far better off as tables, cutlery, servers, etc., will typically be included and you won't typically pay a venue fee either. Though perhaps with a crowd as large as yours, you can negotiate a bit re: pricing.

                  In addition to the options mentioned here, you might also look into Palais Royale, Casa Loma and Stop 33.

              2. z
                Zengarden Jun 10, 2008 01:56 PM

                Liberty Grand at the Exhibition Stadium Grounds?

                1 Reply
                1. re: Zengarden
                  g
                  gwenchick Jun 11, 2008 06:06 AM

                  Liberty Grand is OK but venue is NOT transit friendly, especially in winter...you will need to provide taxi chits

                  Arcadian Court is a great place, very beautiful when its all decorated and you cant beat its downtown location unless you go to a hotel There is a separate bar area also

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