Locations we like
|Halls and Clubs||Hart House, University of Toronto
The Great Hall and Courtyard are great, but the Music Room is lovely. You can book the debates room for a wedding as well as the Gallery Grill. The historical non-denominational Chapel is pretty for smaller weddings (up to 35).Multifaith Centre, UofT, College and Spadina. Various size rooms (ask Mary for details and booking)Rosewater RoomBerkeley Field House, ChurchSt. Lawrence Hall
Ontario Heritage Centre (Adelaide)
|Parks and Gardens and Beaches||To reserve Toronto Park locations for ceremonies, call the Permit office: 416-392-8188, or see EVENTS
Note: Toronto limits large formal weddings to a few large event locations such as Edwards Gardens, and they will not issue a permit for most small parks, as they cannot manage issues around park damages due to weddings. High Park is no longer available as a venue due to abuse. Here is a discussion on parks and outdoor spaces.
However, small parks, beach-fronts, even ravines may be used discreetly for small private elopements the size of a small picnic (4-12 people). Read our post about small weddings and City Parks on ElopeToronto.
Here are some downtown ideas:
Allan Gardens (avoid weekends)
St James Park + gazebo
Dufferin Grove or Trinity Bellwoods, informal, small weddings
Brickworks, various sizes, also food
Toronto Music Garden (max 20 people, no roof)
|Hotels and inns||Any Hotel will host a wedding, big or small. Some smaller boutique hotels do not have large rooms or public spaces, however.
The Gladstone and Royal York will hold family-size weddings as well as bigger events. We’ve used the Drake Tiki Bar, and rooms and suites at the Park Hyatt, Gladstone & Four Seasons (and even the Trump) for intimate weddings: the palatial Hyatt suite will hold a large family wedding in the living room and has an enormous wet bar, the Four Seasons will rent you a large suite with kitchen and private chef. The King Edward has rooms suitable for private elopements and small family weddings. You can also book the terrace with chairs for 40-50. Also the Old Mill has smaller rooms to use (avoid the dark chapel). Boutique hotels are fun, such as the Templar, Le Germain.
|To book one of Toronto’s Historic Museums contact:
Marna Ward, 416-338-0030 email@example.comMany historic sites have outdoor gardens for good weather, and indoor facilities as well. We like:Todmorden Mills (I’m the volunteer historic gardener at the Mills, and have married several couples here, ask me) Most weddings are in the Mill Gallery.Gibson HouseMacKenzie House
Spadina House – usually on the steps
Campbell House (next to Osgoode) will host a small wedding with a dinner in the original kitchen in the lower level. Fun.
Consider other interesting city locations, like the Brick Works, The St. Lawrence Market Gallery, or Riverdale Farm (you USED to be able to rent the meeting house – go visit and ask!)
We have married people splendiferously at the ROM, the AGO and the Royal Conservatory of Music, but also in contemporary museums, like the Gardiner Museum or galleries at 401 Richmond. You can ask almost any art gallery for rental procedures for events when they are dark. Some do not advertise weddings, but just enquire whether they will host a private event, such as lots of little galleries around Roncesvalles or Queen. A number of Distillery District galleries will host weddings, such as the BlueDotGallery or Arta. We’ve also used storefronts, closed for the evening, theatres, storefront galleries, even the VIP room at the Paramount Theatre Cineplex, and the Art Deco Fox Cinema in the beaches.
Yes, you can rent the conservatory at Casa Loma for an elopement. It’s the same fee for 4 people as for 150. You can probably do the same at the Library at the Grange, and other historic spots, if you don’t want to use your own living room.
We recently held some lovely smaller weddings at the Library at the Grange (AGO) and also in FRANK, the restaurant at the AGO.
|Small and Medium sized Restaurants as venues||You can ask for the entire space (‘private function’), or a private room (Search room listing HERE). Look for “Private Room” or “Meetings” or “Events” instead of “weddings”.
Or ask for a half-hour slot in a semi-empty restaurant ‘between service’; e.g., 11am for lunch, or 4:00 for dinner, and then stay and eat. We did a small wedding at FRANK at the AGO before dinner. Also the Grange Library with Afternoon tea.
Be sure to emphasize you are having a simple function, a civil ceremony, no fuss; no chair wrapping, no confetti or other cleanup problems, and a restaurant may be happy to serve the champagne and accommodate you. For example: Poor John’s Cafe, Parkdale (we did their first wedding!) Wurst, Cadillac Lounge, 7 numbers, Il Fornello, Globe Bistro.
Many restaurants regularly host small to medium events, and such as La Maquette on King, Balzac’s or Cluny (Distillery), Terroni, Le Select (great back garden), we just did the Peter Pan Bistro (great).
We also hold weddings at performance spaces and clubs, such as the Richmond the Design Exchange, even TIFF.
Highly recommend the Gallery Grill at Hart House for smaller (30-50?) weddings. The food couldn’t be better, and the space is great.
|Market Kitchen Mezzanine at St. Lawrence Market
Consider a library meeting room, or rent a smaller non-religious meeting room at your local church. Some are quite pretty, nice wood and stained glass, and often cheap.
St Stephen in the Fields, by Kensington Market @ 103 Bellevue Ave., Toronto, Ontario 416-921-6350 (nice for a medium wedding & reception in the same hall – lovely restored interior. Still has ecclesiastical decor).
St George the Martyr Anglican Church, behind OCAD & AGO, offers the Garden and/or the Sanctuary for small to medium non- denominational weddings or receptions. This is also the home of the Music Gallery, and a concert venue.
Also – consider the Young Center in the Distillery – as the mom of an acting family, I think this would be wonderful space. Pix HERE.
|Unusual sites||We do NOT recommend or accept Flashmob weddings. Taking over public spaces for a wedding is inconsiderate. And we need sufficient calm for the actual wedding ceremony. Even the ‘wedding’ on the float on the Pride Parade was a re-enactment, as we held the real wedding at the Windsor Arms the night before.
Though, once you’ve held the legal wedding, you can have fun with pictures. I was once were asked to ‘marry’ a couple while skydiving north of Toronto, but weather intervened. Wind is also a problem with Hot Air balloons, so we had to postpone a Fall ‘aloftment’ in Newmarket. Mary HAS flown a small plane, tho’! We have used the Skypod at the CN Tower and the rink at Nathan Phillips Square, and two librarians booked me (a third librarian) into the secret stacks at a library.
I finally held a wedding on a (rented) streetcar! Note that you can be MARRIED on a boat, in a plane, on the Mariposa tour boat or in a canoe, but you still have to sign the documents on land. You can read about ‘boats, planes, trains and aeroplanes’ – HERE.