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Wedding Venue with Outside Space (and good food)

Hello all,
My finance and I have started the crazy journey of trying to find a place in TO to get married in the summer of 2009 or 2010.
I was wondering if any of you can recommend places you've been to that may work for us.

We are looking for:
A space to get married at and have the reception
Preferably some 'outdoor' space for pictures and the reception
We are not decided on if it will be cocktails or a sit down dinner
A place that has a good caterer or will let you bring your own (I am gluten free and want my wedding to be so a caterer needs to be able to handle this)
Accessible
A place that will let you bring in your own wine?
Most family lives 2 hours N/E of TO so places outside the city are ok.
Caterer recommendations are great too!

I don't want a big hall that mass produces weddings/events. Preferably a place that only has 1 or 2 functions at a time.

We don't have a massive budget so we are looking for an affordable place but will find the money for a place we love.

Places I have started calling:
Casa Loma
Botanical Gardens
Black Creek Pioneer Village.

I am just starting to call places so any recommendations or info on the above named places would be great!

Thanks all!
-Michelle

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  1. Vaughn Estates...gorgeous place!!

    1 Reply
    1. re: canadianbeaver

      2nd this! it is lovely, food is stunning.
      will be able to tell you more after my wedding there in july

      http://www.estatesofsunnybrook.com/we...

      and congrats!

    2. The Manor House at the Bob Rumball Centre might fit your bill.

      1 Reply
      1. re: merlot143

        I forgot to mention that I want to look into the Manor House...I don't know if it will fit 100 people though!

      2. Cullen Gardens in Whitby -- we were married there last summer.

        You can bring in your own alcohol.

        Last I knew, you were limited to three preferred caterers -- of the three, I would recommend Pelican Catering (new owner/chef in the last three years -- is pretty good and very accommodating).

        You can be married outside on the grounds -- lots of places to take pics.

        Contact the City of Whitby -- they own it now.

        1. There's the Heintzman House in Thornill -- you bring in your own caterer and bar. Beautiful setting.
          http://www.heintzmanhouse.ca/rental.htm

          3 Replies
            1. re: bacchus_is_watching

              Might be a bit far for the family, but we did the Gladstone Hotel (the ballroom) a few years back for around 100 people and took our pictures (free) outside Osgoode Hall. We had Green Mango cater it (www.greenmango.ca) who were very reasonable, but now that the Gladstone has a kitchen, I'm not sure what they may insist on food wise. All I know is their brunch is very good.

              www.gladstonehotel.com

              1. re: currycue

                I e-mailed them yesterday and are waiting to hear back...but I have a feeling they may be a bit over our budget!

          1. I've been to a really nice wedding/reception at La Maquette. There's a sculpture garden/courtyard area attached to the restaurant, and it's also across from a giant church (can't remember the name) with a pretty garden.

            La Maquette is at King & Jarvis.

            1. Beautiful grounds at the Estates of Sunnybrook (which is the Vaughan Estates mentioned above). They provide a full service for wedding planning but I think you're able to bring your own suppliers on some aspects. I don't think you can bring your own wine though. Can definitely handle 100 people, plenty of parking.
              http://www.estatesofsunnybrook.com/we...

              1 Reply
              1. re: JamieK

                yes, exactly.

                the great thing is that many venues charge for your place setting, or table cloths, etc, but they do not. if you're willing to go off-seasson or a non-peak day, that will drop your price, no matter where you choose.

              2. If you don't mind going to Caledon, there is a venue there that is absolutely gorgeous. It is the Royal Ambassador. Check their website, it is stunning.

                1. I've been to a couple of weddings at the Royal Ashburn Golf Club in Ashburn (north of Whitby) and they have very competent food and beautiful grounds.

                  http://www.royalashburngolfclub.com/w...

                  1. This one's very affordable -
                    http://www.praguerestaurant.com/recep...

                    Prague Restaurant is surrounded by beautiful park land, has an outdoor terrace, located in Scarborough.
                    http://www.praguerestaurant.com/index...

                    1 Reply
                    1. Consider Hart House at U of T. They do ok on the food but teh setting is gorgeous and they have private outdoor courtyards. There's even a chapel there and a larger one next door at Know College.

                        1. I had my wedding at la Maquette (Church & King) - organization was easy as it's a restaurant with a patio, adjacent to the Toronto Sculpture Garden - where you can take pictures (includes a waterfall). And we also decamped to the rose gardens of St James Cathedral which is directly opposite. Just had to bring in my own rent-a-rev (who was amazing).
                          They specialize in events like this - for 100 people you'd have to use the upstairs room (downstairs only holds 50) - but the patio is downstairs.

                          1. Currie Hall at the National Ballet School is a gorgeous, recently reno'd venue (gorgoeus wood, nice light, etc. - originally was a Quaker meeting hall). They have an outdoor courtyard which is quite lovely -- the only downside (at least for me) is that the buildings overlooking it are student residences, but if you're getting married in the summer this shouldn't be an issue. They have a list of preferred caterers -- don't remember who, but I think it included some of the standard options (eg. Daniel et Daniel).

                            1. I attended a wedding north of Bowmanville this past summer, it was at Willowpond B&B. Here is the website: http://www.willowpondbedandbreakfast.ca/
                              It was catered by CHANTERELLE BISTRO http://www.bistrochanterelle.com/
                              The bride and groom supplied their own wine. It's probably exactly what you are after.

                              1. Thanks for all these venue ideas! I've already starting contacting some of them for info!

                                Due to all of our family living in the Quinte (Belleville) area we are starting to wonder if we should hold the event there.

                                Has anyone been to a wedding/had an event catered there that might be worth checking out?

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: bacchus_is_watching

                                  Hi, I came across this board while also looking for an outdoor wedding location in Toronto and was shocked when I saw that you are also looking at the Belleville area. I grew up in the County and am going back and forth between having the wedding there or in TO. Did you come up with any good ideas for the Belleville area?

                                  1. re: lt2003

                                    There are a few places in Quinte that I am considering. I know people getting married at Occasions By the Bay in Belleville and they have been quite happy so far. I am also considering a place near sandbanks and the Corbyville Inn. Havn't been able to get down to any of them yet - but the prices are much better than those in Toronto. While we are big 'foodies' the rest of the family is not so we have decided there is no use spending a lot of money on food that no one else will eat. (They will be happy with a boring traditional meal with big portions) and we will put that money somewhere else. Have you found any good spots?

                                    1. re: bacchus_is_watching

                                      Thanks. I've checked out Occasions By the Bay but I think all their Saturdays were gone...so I'm still looking ...Isaiah Tubbs looks nice. A lot of places are filling up for this summer so it's getting hard. I don't know whether to hold off for next year or not!

                                      1. re: lt2003

                                        We looked at Isiah Tubbs too but decided if we are doing it in bellevile area for the wedding to be close to people we shouldn't make them drive into the county. We are holding off till next year so we can take a look at the places in the early summer so we will be able to see what the venue will really look like. We plan on holding the ceremony outdoors so this is very important. Keep me posted if you have any good finds!

                                2. The best kept secret in Toronto for a wedding venue is Cedar Ridge Creative Centre on
                                  Confederation Drive in Scarborough. It is the perfect venue for what you are looking for.
                                  You bring in your own caterers, wine etc. Though kitchen is limited. so need a good caterer and capacity is only 80. But such a lovely place, grounds are beautiful, lovely historical house with wrap around porch, place for musicians dancing, ceremony can be indoors or out. (ours was outside with archways and chairs includded in rental) You can add all sorts of personal touches to compliment your theme.
                                  We had our marriage ceremony, pictures and cocktail reception there and all the guests, many from out of town, where happy not be driviing to and fro and waiting for hours for it all to enfold. There's a long lane way with a curved entrance, I wish I did a horse and carriage thing as there is a historical carriage house attached to the property. It backs on to a ravine so lots of trees, very quiet and tranquil, private. As long as you stick to the 80 capacity it worth cutting your list down for a quality, decently priced venue that won't break the bank and is more about the actual marriage than the big party. It's a special place. Check it out. All our guest said it was the best wedding they had ever attended, it was classy yet unpretenious. (A Good Year Blimp was overhead as we said our vows so maybe it was just a good day to get married)!

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: DanieDines

                                    Wow this place sounds great!
                                    Unfortunately cutting down the numbers wont work. We are at 76 people just counting family. And most of those are my finances and there is no way to cut them out! Both of our family's are quite connected so there is no way to invite one cousin but not the other! Too bad!

                                    1. re: bacchus_is_watching

                                      Graydon Hall Manor is the most beautiful space I have seen.. worth looking at.
                                      Food is amazing, Chef Arpie is wonderful his food is amazing and his portions are big so you can skip on any late night buffet's Lots of parking, outside grounds are perfect for cocktails and a ceremony.
                                      http://www.graydonhall.com/

                                      1. re: patches35

                                        Graydon Hall is a beautiful venue, and Arpi Magyar (the original chef/co-owner of Splendido) creates fabulous food.

                                        You might also want to consider the Liberty Grand, out at Exhibition Place. It's a gorgeous space, with lovely courtyards.

                                        As for bringing in your own wine, it's not likely that many venues would allow this, unless it's kosher wine you're bringing in. A good portion of a banquet hall's profits comes from liquor sales.

                                        1. re: patches35

                                          graydon hall is pretty pricey, tho.

                                        2. re: bacchus_is_watching

                                          Have you checked the Boulevard Club, Argonaut Rowing Club..both on Lakeshore, frugal and allow you to bring in your own caterer.

                                          There's also the Miller Lash House and Bluffers Restaurant in the East End.

                                      2. Hi there!

                                        I'm not sure if you will respond to this msg but I'm planning my wedding for Sept 2012 and am looking for the same type of venue. I was wondering what venue you decided on. I'm looking at Royal Ambassador and the Manor this weekend. I also looked at Hockley Valley but the price seems a little high.

                                        Hope to hear back!!

                                        7 Replies
                                        1. re: MonSheri

                                          since you are willing to be outside of Toronto, I recommend the Ancaster Old Mill

                                          -----
                                          Old Mill
                                          21 Old Mill Road, Toronto, ON M8X 1G5, CA

                                          1. re: ingloriouseater

                                            Ancaster Old Mill looks beautiful, but I believe that is in Hamilton. I was looking for a location surrounding Caledon, Orangeville, Kettelby. I feel like I have sourced almost every venue but can not find the right one.

                                            Thanks for your response!!

                                            -----
                                            Old Mill
                                            21 Old Mill Road, Toronto, ON M8X 1G5, CA

                                            1. re: MonSheri

                                              a little bit outside of hamilton, but it is beautiful. my son was married there (outdoors) had an outdoor reception and a sit down dinner. the waterfall is great for pictures. the food was excellent (my son is a chef as is his wife-so they were very picky about the food).

                                              they got it pretty cheap as they were married on september 11th (nobody wants that date-and it was a sunday).

                                          2. re: MonSheri

                                            I've attended weddings in Toronto at the McMichael Gallery just outside the city. Patio cocktails, viewing time in the gallery of the group of sevens works and a beautiful dinner inside the building.

                                            I also attended another wedding at the Old Mill Inn and Spa inside the city. I got stuck in traffic and missed the wedding but there is a chapel, spa and the reception rooms are stunning. Food was awesome here as well.

                                            -----
                                            Old Mill
                                            21 Old Mill Road, Toronto, ON M8X 1G5, CA

                                            1. re: sweetnsassy2

                                              Hi all,

                                              So I've changed my criteria for what I am looking for in a wedding venue and desperately need some help. I do not want my venue to be in Toronto. I've narrowed down my maybe search to 3 venues and I still don't think I have the right one.

                                              Has anyone been to a wedding at Copper Creek with under a 150 guests? The building is beautiful but I am unsure about the food.

                                              Number 2 is Hockley Valley, I'm sure the food will be better then great, but the resort has 3 weddings happening on the day I want and every Sat after that.

                                              Number 3 is The Manor bypeterandpauls the menu sounds great and the price is right but the building itself is very old.

                                              From here I'm at a lose. My reception is for a total of a 100 guests..I'm also thinking resaurants but where in the Caledo, Orangeville, Brampton area?1

                                              Please help

                                              1. re: MonSheri

                                                I've been to a wedding at Copper Creek but it was about 400 guests. I can't remember how the food was, good I'm sure. I generally find banquet halls a dime a dozen and the food good but nothing ever stands out as memorable.

                                                I vaguely remember looking into the Glenerin Inn. I think they might be in Mississagua. Might be okay for you. Check it out. You sure you really want a banquet hall venue?

                                                1. re: amz155

                                                  I actually really don't want a banquet hall venue at all. What I liked about Copper Creek was the patio over looking the golf course and trees. The view from inside is very nice. If I choose a venue like Hockley for example with no windows I may as well drive to Woodbridge and find a hall for half the price.

                                                  Any ideas?

                                          3. Geneva Park close to Orillia/ Casino Rama.
                                            They only allow three weddings a year (Mother's day/ Father's day/ and labour day weekend).
                                            Absolutely amazing venue right on the water. We had the best bbq food one could imagine for a wedding.
                                            Great staff, excellent areas for reception, dinner, dance etc. It's a nice rustic place!
                                            It's a hidden gem that not many people know about.