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Jun 11, 2008 03:43 AM

UK Calling - Restaurant in Toronto for 85-90 people

I'm in the UK but am looking to have my wedding in Toronto. I'm looking for a central location for 85-90 people but not too pricey. Ideally if we can add a bar package to it (as opposed to consumption), that would be great! Appreciate any and all recommendations!

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  1. University of Toronto - Hart House (online so you can check for catering)
    Enoch Turner Schoolhouse
    Todmorden Mills
    Fantasy Farm

    These are all event venues that have hosted weddings, etc. I would have thrown in Sunnybrook Estates too but it is not that convenient unless there is someone driving.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Zengarden

      Oh, please not Fantasy Farm!

      I recently did similar research, so I may be able to help, but I have some questions...

      -- Do you have a day of the week in mind? Sunday will open up your options considerably, as many restaurants are closed to the public but will open for a special event.
      -- You mentioned a central location. By "central" do you mean in Toronto as opposed to the 'burbs, or right in central Toronto (like on the subway line). Also, is there any neighbourhood you're particularly interested in?
      -- Any particular aesthetic/vibe you're going for?
      -- Time of year (eg. if summer, are you interested in a patio?)
      -- When you say "not too pricey" what do you mean?
      -- Do you plan to have dancing? (with some restaurants this isn't an option)

      Off the bat, I agree with Zengarden that Sunnybrook Estates is a good option, though a bit off the beaten path --it's not that far though, so I wouldn't rule it out entirely unless you really need to be right on the subway line. They book very far ahead, so if you are interested I'd get in touch with them ASAP.

      When I was looking at wedding venues, one of my favourite options was Archeo at the Distillery District; unfortunately, it ended up being unavailable on the date we were looking at. It's about the right size for your party and is fairly reasonable. Although the Distillery District isn't super-central (it's a bit east of downtown) it's not too far, and it's a really lovely/unique area, especially if you'll have a lot of out of town guests.

      1. re: torontofoodiegirl

        within the downtown core is best - sunnybrook and the distillery are ok for distance.
        we are looking next July and would like a patio but not an outdoor wedding
        I do want to have a DJ and dancing (no live band).
        I actually contacted Fantasy Farm but they will not give me any pricing information! insisted i have someone in TO plan my wedding for me. I've been an event planner for many years now, but they wouldn't let me work with them unless I had someone in TO they could deal with. the man was quite rude on the phone.
        as for budget - i don't want to spend more then $75pp including bar, which is why I'd be looking at a space with my own license.

        1. re: lemonsprout

          torontofoodiegirl is right. Fantasy Farms is a joke. We had a staff party there a couple of years ago - and even back then it was a disaster. The food was horrible. Everything about the place is circa 1967.

          1. re: millygirl

            Hi there...I am new to this site and I'm doing some research regarding Fantasy Farm (I have booked them as my wedding venue for next year and I have heard some terrible things this far). Can u tell me about your experience with them ....mostly interested in food as we are unable to have a taste test and now i am second guessing my choice of venue. Food is very important to us as we are European and I cannot imagine having bad food on my wedding. Any comments would be appreciated.

          2. re: lemonsprout

            A a heads up, it's illegal in Ontario to charge for a bar if you have your own license (there are a few exceptions e.g. for charity events) but I don't think marriage is one of them.
            It is legal under the premises license - but of course, then they will charge accordingly.

            1. re: lemonsprout

              What awful customer service at Fantasy Farm!!

              There aren't a tonne of places that will let you get your own liquor licence, though they do exist.

              At your price point, the Field House at the Berkeley Church might be a good option. It's a new venue right beside the original Berkeley Chucrch (formerly a church and now an event venue, which I think might be too big for your group); it's got a really funky outdoor area, including a giant treehouse that your guests can wander through. When we were looking for a reception location, we checked the Field House out and thought it was a great space. However, our two big concerns about the place were the food (couldn't find any reviews, either positive or negative, of it anywhere) and the fairly shabby/scuzzy washrooms (don't know if you could live with that, but I just couldn't). However, you can bring your own alcohol in and it is definitely a more affordable option than any of the other places we saw.


              Sunnybrook Estates will be too expensive for your budget, as will Archeo (though if you increase your budget a bit, I would still highly recommend Archeo).

              Enoch Turner may also be an option, though I never priced it out fully (adding up catering, alcohol, rental of tables, chairs, plates, glasses etc); also, no patio :(

              If you're not set on a patio, you might also want to look into the Gladstone. The Ballroom there is a great space and I think would be about the perfect size for your group. You can't bring in your own alcohol but, if I remember correctly, their drinks were a fair bit less expensive than elsewhere.

              Good luck!

              1. re: torontofoodiegirl

                Hi. I had my wedding at the Gladstone - and loved it! Food was well prepared (nothing really exotic, but all perfectly done). We had 80 people, and the room was brilliant. It is more an "informal" type of place (being a refurbished 1800's hotel) , and had a lovely relaxed atmosphere - but there is no outdoor space

                1. re: torontofoodiegirl

                  we are getting married at enoch turner in about 2 wks and I have to say it does add up...linens, staff, etc.....
                  I don't know about getting it for $75pp... I wish! But we did opt for a sit down dinner and beef tenderloin. If you look at cost effective choices - buffet and chicken, etc... and limit your alcohol choices to beer, and expensive liquors... it might be possible.
                  It might be worth an email - I do recall Enoch has one caterer on their preferred list that had a 75$ flat rate for meal including cake & staff... that was a pretty good deal... I think.
                  Enoch doesn't have an outdoor venue, per se... but people can spill outside during the reception (and before the dinner...) good luck!!! Once you nail down the venue, it definitely gets easier.

          3. George Brown House? Historic formal Victorian mansion a block from the new Frank Gehry-designed Art Gallery of Ontario. When they hold weddings, they generally take over the whole house. No catering but suggest Daniel et Daniel.



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