Bird’s eye views of the city’s streetscapes, skyline, lake and neighbourhoods make for stunning event backdrops.
Add year-round panoramic vistas by simply looking skywards to venues that tower floors above street level. Canoe, The One Eighty, and, of course, the CN Tower are among the most iconic and popular addresses in the clouds. Here are five more options:
Where: Stratus Restaurant, 36th floor, TD South Tower, 79 Wellington St. W
View: A penthouse perch with 180° east- and south-facing floor-to-ceiling window views framing the golden glass of neighbouring Royal Bank Plaza tower, the lake, Toronto Islands and airport and CN Tower.
Setting: Handsome classic décor offers a minimalist modern feel. Space and furnishings reconfigure for sit-downs, meetings and receptions. Full AV amenities plus all-inclusive linens, tableware, furniture and décor make for easy one-stop-event shopping. As the dining hub of the adjacent Toronto Athletic Club (TAC), menus are awash in healthy offerings, from morning energy breakfasts to evening canapés and cocktails.
Capacity: Weekend buy-out for up to 200 or 70 seated. Monday to Friday, the space is divisible into sections, each with a private bar: East and West Rooms for 60 standing, or combined for 160; Wine Room with boardroom table, 10 seated; semi-private lounge, 30 reception-style.
Event Bonus: Deliver event wellness with opportunities such as private yoga sessions as precursor to a breakfast meeting or a meet-and-greet power talk with a TAC member heavy-hitter like gold medallist Rosie MacLennan.
Rooftop Vantage Point
Where: Lavelle, 16th floor, 627 King St. W
View: Enjoy 360° scenery from this new King West rooftop restaurant-lounge and patio with nature’s light show transitioning the skyline backdrop from morning bright to sun down’s rosy gold and nightfall makes the city lights pop and twinkle.
Setting: There’s a view from every space within this sprawling 16,000 sq. ft. oasis. Contemporary in design, soothing neutrals colour the formal dining room and two lounge areas nestled just inside a retractable glass wall. Modern French is on the culinary along with whimsical novelty stations like an ice cream parlour scooping cocktail-infused treats and a barista bar for specialty coffees. Panoramic views are best from the patio complete with one of North America’s longest rooftop pools, a garden, cabanas and private booths.
Capacity: The dining room seats 120 plus a main bar capacity of 50, with the outdoor patio holding an additional 150. Full buy-out for standing receptions is 500.
Event Bonus: Set up team-building challenges around the pool and the expansive natural grass of the garden. There’s also a 15-seat private event space with floor-to-ceiling windows.
Meetups High Above
Where: St. Andrew’s Club & Conference Centre, 16th & 27th floor, Sun Life Financial Centre, 150 King St. W
View: Every room has city outlooks with the Financial District’s power towers commanding a panoramic presence in all directions, and Lake Ontario a shimmering beacon from east, west and south exposure rooms. Check out University Avenue far below on the north-side.
Setting: Get down to business with a vast array of meeting space and amenities offering multi-room conference-style set-ups, boardrooms and theatre-style configurations. Turn any of the rooms into a dining room or lounge for wedding receptions, holiday parties and dinner events. Two on-site kitchens, one per floor, serve up menus tailored to dietary needs and event purpose. A member of the venue’s culinary team took home top prize at this year’s Global Copper Skillet Competition.
Capacity: Rooms range in size from an intimate sit down for six to a reception for 300. Maximum for a seated event is 225 theatre style. There are over 25 different room and lounge combinations plus 13 breakout room options.
Event Bonus: The in-house tech team spins AV magic with a full suite of communication capabilities and equipment including a proprietary webcasting system and high-definition video conferencing. Love ‘em so much they’ll even do your offsite events!
Where: The Spoke Club, 2nd-5th floors, 600 King St. W
View: Ascend upwards to the Spoke Club’s hip loft-like members-only enclave with each floor offering a progression of scenic perspectives over its lively King and Portland neighbourhood embraced by the city skyline.
Setting: Floor by floor, windows bring the outdoors in. Among the most scenic event spaces is the Portland Room’s industrial raw beam-brick open space with bowling alley flooring on level two. There’s also the lovely Cellar Room with dramatic chandeliers and picture windows, and the larger ambience of the Main Dining Room. However, the fifth floor rooftop’s Glass House is the venue’s view-crowning glory, a great work or social lounge offering panoramic vistas, flanked by the North and South Rooftop patios for warm-weather options.
Capacity: Space is very versatile for all sorts of events with room capacities ranging from a 12-seat sit-down to a cocktail reception for 250.
Event Bonus: Spoke Club members are an artsy bunch ranging from filmmakers and writers to actors and artists. Ask the in-house planning team to help hook your event up with a member for speaking engagements, meet-and-greets and more.
Event Action Seating
Where: Renaissance Toronto Downtown, main level and 1st floor, Blue Jays Way
View: The hotel’s location inside the Rogers Centre scores big time with uniquely comfortable vantage points from which to enjoy major league sports and other events happening in the stadium. Views include the bullpens and the city when the roof is open.
Setting: Four premium event suites, known as SkyBoxes, provide private viewing in a hospitality setting. Take in the game, concert or other event from comfy in-room lounge chairs or walk out to a seating area located just outside the SkyBox. The hotel’s Arriba Restaurant is also a popular choice for semi-private bookings with a full stadium view filling an expansive floor-to-ceiling window wall. There’s also La Terraza, a private dining room overlooking the field. You can also watch from a guest suite — there are 70 stadium-view rooms.
Capacity: Each SkyBox accommodates 30 guests per suite with the option of booking two side-by-side. Arriba Restaurant holds over 135 with La Terraza accommodating up to 50.
Event Bonus: Being a hotel, the Renaissance is well versed in event planning and hosting. Combine its many other on-site facilities including 11 meeting and event rooms for getting work done before heading to a game-viewing area.