Welcome to Toronto’s Most Unconventional Wedding Venues Guide
Every year during our wedding photography consultations the same question comes up over and over again – what are Toronto’s most unconventional wedding venues? It is a great question and there is no easy answer because Toronto is blessed with abundance of cool and unique wedding venues. Here is a list that we have compiled over years of photographing over 400 weddings in our neighborhood.
This place used to be a department store build in 1907. Located on Queen Street West and once considered the tallest building in the neighborhood. The building was recently renovated and now is a home to retail space, galleries, exhibitions and social events. What we love about this place is great light, exposed bricks, great textures, vintage elevators and the most amazing view from the rooftop terrace.
The Gladstone Hotel
It’s great place for smaller intimate weddings with urban theme if you like exposed-brick look and wooden floors. The building was built in 1889 and features two floors or restored space that can be used for your event. They offer in-house catering which is very good in our opinion. As an added bonus you can stay at the hotel after your wedding – no transportation cost and saving right there. We would recommend booking the Tower Room for your wedding getting ready and bridal portraits photos – it’s spectacular!
The Market Kitchen – St. Lawrence Market
This is another cool venue in the heart of Toronto located in the landmark St. Lawrence Market. It’s a great space for foodies as there is a great full professional kitchen created by Miele, that can be used to prep your wedding dinner. The venue is not huge but can work for smaller wedding up to 60-70 people.
If you are looking for Art Deco elegance, history, originality and a spectacular view of Lake Ontario you have to check out this cool venue. Built in the 1900s, Palais Royale served as a jazz and dance club hosting many concerts and great musicians from Duke Ellington to Sting and Rolling Stones. The venue was extensively renovated and since 2006 has been serving as a wedding venue. For summer weddings you can take advantage of the patio, where you can perform your wedding ceremony and have your cocktail hour. The service and in-house catering is great – one of our favorite wedding venues to shoot in Toronto.
It’s a classic wedding venue located on historic ground of University of Toronto and St. George campus. Hart House offers great mix of beautiful architecture, stunning photo locations, exceptional service and modern culinary experience. Every time we work here, we are surprised and impressed by the presentation of food and delicious appetizers offered to the wedding guests. The Great Hall can accommodate up to 250 guests for a sit-down dinner. We would also recommend the South Sitting Room as your bridal suite.
The Oakham House
Here is another hidden gem located in the heart of Toronto within Ryerson University grounds. This place is only available for rental from June to August. The Oakham House is an intimate and well-maintained venue originally built in 1848. It was recently renovated and offers great space for smaller weddings. We love the exposed bricks, wooden beams, interesting light and warm and relaxed ambiance.
The Granite Brewery
This is a small family owned and operated brewery. It features warm atmosphere with characteristic look of a traditional pub. The space can accommodate up to 120 guests and you can also have your wedding ceremony in the garden. The food is delicious and you are provided with beer that is brewed on site – it doesn’t get any better for beer aficionados.
Black Creek Pioneer Village
You may remember this place from your school trips. It’s a collection of old pioneer buildings located on beautiful and well maintained grounds just north of Toronto. It’s an immersive experience and can work great as a backdrop for any rustic wedding. There are four different reception venues and ceremony locations here. Our favorite ceremony place would be the Town Hall (green) and we also love the Grand Pavilion as you wedding venue, which offer an outdoor sheltered space for up to 180 guests.
The Berkeley Field House
We like this place because of its beautiful character, tall ceilings, wall-to-wall French doors and airy feeling. There is lots of natural light, small patio and really cool bridal suite made into a tree house. It’s a great space for a hip couple and smaller weddings. This place is also sharing the courtyard with other awesome venue – the Berkley Church. Both venues are run by the same management company.
This is another hidden gem downtown Toronto. We discovered this venue by accident when we were research wedding photography location for one of our clients. It is a heritage building located at the corner of Queen and University just across from Osgoode Hall. It is suitable for smaller weddings up to 80 people with catering service. The only issue might be the parking or lack of it.
Lakefront venues build in 1922 and recently renovated works great for smaller weddings and wedding ceremonies. It’s a great place for summer weddings which offers outdoor vibe, great view of Lake Ontario and some protection from weather elements. There is a small courtyard, access to the beach and landmark architecture all around.
St. Lawrence Hall
If you like grand architecture, historic style and turn of a century buildings look no further. This wedding venue is owned by City of Toronto so rental fees are very reasonable, you can bring your own catering and even stock your own bar. There are two main rooms, series of lounges, which are great for cocktail hour and the main great hall. It reminds us of One King West but a lot more affordable.
The Algonquin Island Association Clubhouse
What if we could tell you that you can have a rustic, backyard wedding with a spectacular skyline of Toronto as a backdrop for your outdoor wedding ceremony to boot. There is only one place that offers this experience and it’s the AIA clubhouse on the Toronto Ward Island. We were lucky to shoot few weddings there recently and we love that you can get the magical and relax vibe of a cottage life without driving for two hours from the city. It’s a little challenging to make any wedding happen here (hint, hint … hire a great wedding planner) but it’s well worth it in our opinion. You can even get ready for the wedding or spend few days relaxing after the wedding thanks to plenty of airbnb options on the island.
The Royal Canadian Yacht Club
If you like the idea of having your wedding on Toronto Island but you are looking for more elegant and sophisticated setting please check out RCYC. The grounds are stunning as is the view from the clubhouse. We love the nautical theme, great service and unforgettable pastries they sever.
The Eglinton Grand
Another Art Deco hidden landmark in Toronto – built in 1936 as theater now renovated and serving as one of the most original and elegant weddings venues in Toronto. It’s a big place that can accommodate up to 450 wedding guest for a sit down dinner. The cocktails are served on the mezzanine floor where guest being treated to a grand reveal of the wedding couple’s first dance, dancing below on the main floor. You also get to feature your names on the theater’s marquee.
The Salon – Toronto Reference Library
For all the book worms out there this must be a dream come true. This very unique and contemporary event space is located on the second floor or the Toronto Reference Library. Our experience at this wedding venue was always very positive. We also liked the fact that we could roam free and shoot anywhere in the library for some unique wedding pictures.
Steam Whistle Brewing
Our last entry on the list but definitely one of the best on the list. For all the beer loving hipsters out there how about a wedding venue located inside a real craft brewery. And because of the location, you have to deal with two facts – the only beer served is Steam Whistle and that you will never run out of it! What we love about this wedding venue, in addition to their tasty lager, are 30-foot floor to ceiling windows, lots of textures, great audio system and an amazing location in the heart of Toronto.
You can also checkout our top list of Toronto best photography locations here.