Toronto is a city of neighbourhoods with an ever-changing landscape of bars, restaurants and event-friendly spaces. Lucky us that there’s always some new must-try place to choose from when it comes to match-making event-hosting venues based on location, space, look and capabilities.
TSEvents spotlights seven new event-worthy venues in the Six that offer loads of must-attend appeal:
The Venue: Bisha Hotel Toronto
The ’Hood: Entertainment District
The Space: The new 44-storey boutique hotel is a wonderland of meet, play, dine and stay options. Panoramic views from the hotel’s official meeting space on the 43rd floor, The Salvador Room, make for a stunning setting. The large area is divisible into three with a capacity for 150. A floor up is Kōst, a Baja Peninsula-inspired beach-house-in-the-city rooftop restaurant, patio and infinity pool that’s available for private and semi-private events. Just-opened is Akira Back, the hotel’s second-floor Japanese resto from its namesake Michelin-star chef. It can accommodate seated events of up to 130 in a spectacular room with black carbon walls and a curvaceous water-colour painted ceiling. Intimate private events can also be arranged in the hotel’s Lobby Lounge or one of the jaw-dropping suites designed by Lenny Kravitz.
Event Perfect Because: INK Entertainment is one of the backing developers so guaranteed the attention to detail, distinctive artwork and stellar interior design is Instagram worthy!
Venue: Pick 6IX
The ’Hood: Financial District
The Space: While this Drake-affiliated restaurant just opened to the public, it’s been event-tested several times by Toronto’s favourite son and his star-studded entourage in the weeks leading up. While billed as an upscale sports bar, the setting is distinctively lounge in look and feel with sink-into booths, teal velvet and gold accents, and a see-and-be-seen circular bar. A champagne wall co-exists with flat screen televisions tuned into live action. The menu is also non-sports bar themed with high-end, healthy dishes – lots of sashimi and sushi! The restaurant seats 178, with an outdoor terrace accommodating up to 100 guests. There are three private dining rooms, two of which can be combined. Drake’s personal lounge with private entrance is available when he’s not in the house.
Event Perfect Because: A sighting of Drake partying with pals is a definite possibility.
Taste Of Italy
The ’Hood: King West
The Space: In a word – magnificent! Soaring white arches frame the room and floor-to-ceiling windows add brightness to the light, airy interior, beautiful with refined splashes of colour, brass and Art-Deco-style finishings. The main level is spacious, with a reception capacity of 220 including a semi-private dining area for 20. A mezzanine-level houses a 65-seat private dining room that includes a gorgeous demonstration kitchen. The two can be divided with the kitchen hosting 30 for tastings and private chef experiences. Authentic Italian fare is on the menu. Full restaurant buy-out is available after 5 p.m. Sundays to Wednesdays.
Event Perfect Because: The in-house café, also available for private dining, opens up options for espresso-fuelled morning meetings served with a delicious selection of freshly baked pastries and other goodies.
More Than Pints
The Venue: Junction Craft Brewing
The ’Hood: The Stockyards
The Space: Several years in the making, and $10-million in renovations later, the brewery’s impressive new home is inside a 1934 Art Deco-style building, a former incinerator and waste transfer facility nicknamed The Destructor. Towering windows bring in plenty of west-facing light that glints off gleaming brew tanks that pepper the floor space. Exposed brick and duct work add to the industrial vibe. Designed not only for brewing good beer, it’s also a full-scale event venue with a 30-tap tasting room, catering kitchen and floor area that can accommodate up to 250 guests. There will be a 120-seat patio in summer. A large loading dock makes for easy move in and an in-house event coordinator can make details happen. Custom bottle branding is available.
Event Perfect Because: Craft beer’s popularity continues to soar so an event held at the brewing source holds lots of tasting and learning appeal.
The Venue: IMAX VR Centre at Scotiabank Theatre Toronto
The ’Hood: Entertainment District
The Space: Cineplex continues to position itself beyond more-than-a place to watch movies with the opening of Canada’s first IMAX VR Centre. Located in the theatre’s lobby, the centre delivers immersive, multi-dimensional, virtual reality experiences, including movie entertainment content and games. The centre is state-of-the-art with advanced VR headsets, motion-tracking technology and surround sound. The Players’ Lounge and 10 futuristic pods are designed for multiple-user play with ample room to move and interact. Game experiences range between seven to 15-minutes with content adaptable to single or multi-user play. Buyout is available for groups of up to 25.
Event Perfect Because: Virtual reality games are a sure-fire hit with the younger event-going crowd who prefer their team-bonding activities and outings to be unique and highly social.
Venue: Mahjong Bar
The Hood: Little Portugal
The Space: From the street, you see a tiny pink tuck shop. But step behind the curtains at the back of the bodega and follow the glowing red light emanating from a keyhole-shaped doorway to discover an ultra-cool 2,000-sq.-ft. bar and restaurant. A little-bit retro diner-like with a whole lot of funky ambience, the space has great design infused with moody lighting. Vintage cabinets back the bar and a jungle-themed mural by local artist Gabriella Lo spans the wall of the raised dining area. The menu features Chinese small plates that can be tailored to different styles of service. Accommodating up to 100, furnishings are adjustable to enhance space flow. There’s even the option of hosting informal screening events. Buyout is available.
Event Perfect Because: The element of intrigue and the big reveal of a secret bar has big potential. The front-of-house bodega is also ideal for displaying branded product and other event goodies.
The Venue: Bangarang Bar
The ’Hood: Little Italy
The Space: There’s a real rec-room vibe going on here with some pretty fun, but obscure games to play. Exposed brick and slatted wood make for a spare but comfy casual setting. Two oversized plant-filled terrariums, one doubles as the DJ booth, are a unique touch. Stoke up competitive action on two cornhole lanes – basically tossing bean-bags into holes. Other vintage billiard games for table-top play include Sjoelen – Dutch shuffleboard. The menu is just snacks to go with the tasty cocktails on tap and impressive list of craft brews. There’s no kitchen, so events are encouraged to cater in or order up delivery from local restaurants. Available for full buy out with a capacity of about 180. A section by the bar can be reserved for semi-private events of up to 30.
Event Perfect Because: On-site “game gurus” provide play demonstrations, game-rule rundowns and tournament facilitation. The bar can also hook your event up with great DJs.