Food & Drink, Venues

Haute Hotels

The DEQ Terrace Lounge at the Ritz-CarltonThe DEQ Terrace Lounge at the Ritz-Carlton

There are hotels, and then there are hotels! Toronto’s accommodation-meeting-hosting-dining scene has increased dramatically with the opening of several new top-tier hoteliers.

If you’re looking to put a high-end hotel spin on your next event or meeting, check out the following options:


Boasting one of the largest luxury ballrooms in the city, the Ritz-Carlton is a coveted address for galas and weddings. The second-floor ballroom, divisible by four, holds up to 600 guests. Add in the surrounding Grand Foyer to nearly double the guest list. Pre-function space wrapping both the ballroom and additional event rooms on the 4th floor, has floor-to-ceiling window views of Roy Thomson Hall and Metro Hall. Other hosting options include the 3,000 sq. ft. Wellington which, too, can be sectioned off.

Canadiana artwork, elegant furnishings and finishes grace upscale interiors throughout. Private events can also be hosted in the acclaimed Toca with full restaurant buyout for 105 guests. Toca’s front bistro is ideal for semi-private sit-downs of up to 27. There’s also a private dining room for 12 and seating at the chef’s table for 10. For an excellent indoor-outdoor combination for up to 220, look to the DEQ Terrace Lounge with its expansive patio and open-air firepit. Call on teambuilding themes and activity opportunities through the hotel’s unique VolunTeaming program or coordinate a private gathering for up to 80 in the Urban Sanctuary Spa.

Templar Hotel

Modern dining in the Monk Kitchen at the Templar HotelModern dining in the Monk Kitchen at the Templar Hotel

With its shimmering glass and aluminum exterior, and custom-furnished ultra-contemporary interior, the Templar Hotel is definitely one of the city’s coolest luxury inns. The eight-story, 27-room Entertainment District boutique hotel oozes edginess with unique art installations, spare, sleek styling and bespoke furnishings throughout.

Host cocktails for up to 95 guests in the lobby-level Monk Lounge before descending the stairs to the 38-seat Monk Kitchen where custom menus are all that’s offered. Whether social or business, up to 12 VIPs are guaranteed to enjoy the Onsen Spa Specialty Suite with its open entertainment area, a treatment room, two water bath features and outdoor plunge pool. Bi-level loft suites with walk-out terraces on the 7th and 8th floor also make for exclusive hosting rooms for up to 50 people.

Four Seasons

A grand ballroom at the Four Seasons Hotel TorontoA grand ballroom at the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto

Since re-opening last fall, the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto is once again Yorkville’s posh go-to for accommodations and events, just a block away from its old long-time Avenue Road location. Soaring 55 stories high, the luxury chain’s new hotel-condo complex is a blueprint for pampered elegance and event hosting with its attention to details and inspired contemporary interior designed by local guru Yabu Pushelberg,

Event action is conveniently contained on floors three and six, with five private, sectionable meeting venues ranging in capacity from 20 to 100 people. Each floor also has a grand ballroom that can be divided for simultaneous hosting, with adjoining reception foyers. Designed with a modern take on Old-World elegance, the Aria ballroom on the 3rd floor sparkles with a gorgeous drop crystal installation fronting floor-to-ceiling windows (Capacity: 565 reception-style). On six, the Vinci with its views from two full window-walls, seats 250. Gather for cocktails in the lobby-level dbar or group dine in Café Boulud which floats just above it.

Shangri-La Hotel

Put the presentation in Shangri-La's luxe screening roomPut the presentation in Shangri-La’s luxe screening room

As well as being the city’s newest hotel, the Shangri-La is also the most exotic-looking with its Asian-influenced design and Chinese artworks. Bright and airy, the hotel has a Zen-like openness and flow to its layout with loads of windows filled with cityscape views. Banquet and conference rooms are located on the third floor with eight rooms connected by two central corridors.

The event rooms, named after prominent Toronto destinations, include a 42-seat screening room with oversized chairs, and Museum, a two-storey glassed-in venue set with 13 Italian crystal chandeliers (Capacity: 150 reception-style). Sparkling crystal fixtures are also the hallmark of Queen’s Park, the main ballroom, which opens to an outdoor garden terrace overlooking University Ave. (Capacity: 360) Additional group space is available in the hotel’s Bosk Restaurant, which offers a private dining room for up to 30, and Momofuku, superstar American chef David Chang’s celebrated noodle bar which has Toronto foodie’s clamouring for a seat.

Thompson Toronto

Scarpetta's outdoor pavillion at the Thompson TorontoScarpetta’s outdoor pavillion at the Thompson Toronto

The panoramic skyline view and stunning infinity pool make an exceptional scene-making backdrop for gatherings at Thompson Toronto’s rooftop bar and lounge. Uber popular with celebrities and hipsters, the exclusive space accommodates up to 230 guests inside and out. Billing itself as a luxury lifestyle brand, the hotel is ultra-sleek in design with clean lines, handcrafted glass lighting fixtures, dark hardwood and pops of colour.

Meeting and event space includes a 25-person boardroom, and two larger reception spaces: The Wellington Room for up to 200 people, and the lovely third-floor outdoor Terrace overlooking Victoria Memorial Square that accommodates up to 100 guests. Scarpetta, one of three onsite restaurants, offers group dining options including an elegant outdoor pavilion seating area. A 42-seat screening room is ideal for VIP presentations, corporate training, and product launches.

Trump Hotel

The Trump Hotel's grand ballroom is the height of opulenceThe Trump Hotel’s grand ballroom is the height of opulence

Opulence is black and white, or rather, “champagne and caviar,” at the Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto, the ultra-luxe lodging with the spired peak piercing the sky 65-storeys high. Elaborate crown moulding, filigree metalworks, rich fabrics and breathtaking black crystal chandeliers fill the classic colour palette. A private dining loft for 40 in Stock Restaurant Bar & Lounge on the 31st level, and Suits Lobby Lounge make for excellent power-broking settings.

An elaborately designed staircase connects event space located on the 9th and 10th floors. The two main areas, the Grand Salon and Grand Ballroom holding 230 and 300 guests respectively, offer plenty of natural light and ornate accents. Each can be sectioned off for smaller events. For gatherings with a health and wellness theme (or simply as a post-meeting reward), consider the soothing setting of the two-level Quartz Crystal Spa. Areas of the spa can be fully reserved with the potential for full buy-out.

Hotel Le Germain Maple Leaf Square

Host in the Play Lounge at Hotel Le Germain Maple Leaf SquareHost in the Play Lounge at Hotel Le Germain Maple Leaf Square

No need to be a sports fan to enjoy the amenities of Hotel Le Germain Maple Leaf Square, which is adjacent to the Air Canada Centre. While names of its four function rooms are rooted in sports analogy, their design is all chic sophistication. Located all on one floor of the hotel, the rooms offer an abundance of natural light (and sunshade roll downs) with configurable seating making presentations and team-building a breeze.

The Hall of Fame is the largest of the meeting rooms with a cocktail-reception capacity for up to 75 that expands to 125 by opening up into the adjacent Neutral Zone. Smaller rooms range in size, fitting from 10 to 20 people. The hotel’s stylish suites and apartments are also make hip settings for meetings and social functions, seating up to six around a boardroom table or entertaining up to 20 with an intimate soiree. Private events for up to 80 can also be booked into the lobby level Play Lounge.