Weddings sparked the trend to barn venues. Set amidst pastoral fields and countryside, these farmyard staples radiate romantic, rustic whimsy. They also make great settings for corporate events looking to team build and meet in an earth-grounding setting.
TSEvents went event barnstorming. Here are just a few of the many barn options out there within a 2.5-hour drive from Toronto:
A Canadian Original
Location: Cambium Farms, Caledon, ON
Barn Setting: Our country was just six-years old when this circa-1873 post-and-beam barn with elegant soaring rafters was erected. Set on 50-acres in the Caledon Hills, it’s about 45-minutes from Toronto. Red on the outside, natural on the inside, the light filtering through the original barn boards produces a stunning luminous effect. The space includes a bar-lounge, DJ booth, and A-V. A Carriage House sits adjacent The Barn. With a landscaped patio and in-house bar, this smaller venue is ideal for cocktail receptions or intimate gatherings. The main level of a heritage farmhouse is also available to wedding parties for pre-ceremony preparation.
Farmyard Perks: Make use of the lawns, courtyard and fields surrounding the barn, from photographs to games. Valet parking is complimentary.
Capacity: The Barn, 250 guests; The Carriage House, 100 guests
Serenity And Silos
Location: Belcroft Estates, Barrie, ON
Barn Setting: At least two private events can take place simultaneously on this sprawling century-old farmstead turned event centre. The Barns, with a pair of majestic silos rising up over the red-roofs of the adjoined buildings, offer two-levels, house a dance floor-reception-bar area and main dining space. In-house washrooms, radiant heating, sound system, and catering area complete the amenities, Walkouts and balconies overlook a pretty courtyard for dancing under the stars. Tucked elsewhere on the estate’s beautiful grounds is a grand multi-window marquee tent with chandeliers and stone-laid floor. The tent has on-site facilities and cobble-stone patio with a fire pit – perfect for pre- and post-event mingling.
Farmyard Perks: The grounds are gorgeous with a covered bridge and a lighthouse for wedding and team pics. Each event venue offers beautifully decorated ante-rooms.
Capacity: The Barns, 185 guests; The Marquee, 300 guests
Location: Fields on West Lake, Bloomfield, ON
Barn Setting: In the heart of Prince Edward County, Osterhout Henry Hall is one of the country’s most photographed barns with its deep red exterior and green roof. Inside, 40-ft. ceilings tower above a beautiful wood post-and-beam aesthetic with a built-in bar and raised stage area. Accommodation is also available in the two-bedroom restored Carriage House or the Fields Farm House Inn, which offers five suites. The inn is also capable of hosting small meetings in three handsomely appointed rooms or an intimate sit-down in the dining room.
Farmyard Perks: Environmentally friendly, the property is green powered and offers a carbon offset program. Teambuild or host a ceremony lakeside or by a water fountain pond, hit one of several walking trails that wind across the property or the nearby Sandbanks Provincial Park.
Capacity: Osterhout Henry Hall, 165 guests; Fields Farm House Inn, 30 for meetings/receptions and 15 sit-down dining
On The Farm
Location: Glen Drummond Farm, Dundas, ON
Barn Setting: Just 15 minutes from Hamilton, an hour from Toronto, overlooking the Niagara Escarpment, Glen Drummond has two event-ready barns that are part of the 120-acre family-owned Dyment’s Farm. Wagon-wheel chandeliers drop down from the tall, sky-lighted roof of one barn, a fabulous blank canvas space punctuated by solid timber beams and rafters. A larger barn, with stonework-and-beam backdrop, is ideal for bigger gatherings and receptions. Both spaces embrace a bonfire courtyard. Stage events, such as corporate picnics and fresh-air meetings, around outdoor pavilions and expansive fields.
Farmyard Perks: A one-stop-shopping farmyard-event wonder for settings, activities and amenities: Wagon rides, pumpkin patch, turn-key reception packages and dedicated in-house events team. On-site catering service features local farm-to-table ingredients plus decadent pie bars and butter tart towers.
Capacity: Wagon Wheel barn, 150; Stone Barn, 200
Location: Hillside Farm, Huntsville, ON
Barn Setting: There’s something innately natural about this lovingly restored historical barn with its original stone foundation and grey-weathered boards. A salt-glazed tile silo sits jauntily to the side. A gently sloped gravel path, gorgeous lit by night lanterns, leads up to the barn’s entrance. Drape it for added grandeur. Farm-house lights, with strings of mood-enhancing Edison bulbs, beam down from the rafters. Enjoy fresh-air cocktails by a picturesque pond and arbour. Lawn space accommodates a small tent.
Farmyard Perks: The farm is just down the road from Deerhurst Resort, providing convenient amenities for brides and planners to fill in the event agenda with accommodation, additional meeting room/reception options and activities.
Capacity: The barn, 150
A Yesteryear Theme
Location: Country Heritage Park, Milton, ON
Barn Setting: This 80-acre theme park pays tribute to Canada’s farm, food and rural lifestyle heritage with historic buildings, exhibits and events. In addition to conference facilities in the park’s main office plus a cute church on the grounds, there’s the Gambrel Barn, a hand-hewn white-pine timber building with distinctive gambrel-style (two-sided) roof. Equipped for four-season use, an upper-level loft overlooks the main dining and reception area. Patio and grass areas surround the exterior. Elsewhere on the property is the Conestoga Room, with outdoor covered patio and pine post-and-beam interior beautifully decorated with antiques from the park’s collection. Meetings enjoy town-hall authenticity in the Puslinch Room, a circa-1800s County Town Hall, with wood beam ceiling, wide plank flooring and white-wash interior.
Farmyard Perks: A well-stocked inventory of tables and chairs is included, with optional décor rentals available such as wagon wheels and split rail fencing. Make use of covered picnic pavilions for outdoor gatherings.
Capacity: Gambrel Barn, up to 500 guests; Conestoga Room, 60; Niagara Conference Room, 150; Puslinch Room, 70
Location: Hernder Estate Wines, St. Catharines, ON
Barn Setting: A covered bridge over water marks the entrance to this Niagara-region winery. Just beyond, sits a majestic multi-level 1867 Victorian barn surrounded by manicured lawns and gorgeous stone-walled patios overlooking the vineyards. A former shelter for cattle, the grand post-and-beam barn now houses the winery’s event venue and tasting room. Two banquet rooms, the Victoria Room and the Alexis Room, each with a beautiful fireplace, accommodate events. There are also two outdoor ceremony sites. All-inclusive packages available.
Farmyard Perks: Wine! Not only is the Hernder family third-generation viticulturists, but the estate’s vino tastes VQA great. Pour on-site local into event glasses and include a guided tasting-and-vineyard-wine on the event agenda.
Capacity: Alexis Room, 140 guests; Victoria Room, 300 guests; Patios, 150; Total venue capacity, 500