By Carla Warrilow Posted November 9, 2011, 10:01 AM EST
TORONTO With the holiday season coming up, these new and recently renovated bars, restaurants, private rooms, raw spaces, and more—even a contemporary art gallery—in and around Toronto can accommodate groups small and large for corporate holiday parties of every type.
1. Toronto entrepreneurs Charles Khabouth and Hanif Harji opened the Storys Building in October after a test-run with the Grey Goose Soho House lounge during the Toronto International Film Festival. The 170-year-old building currently offers three levels of event space, each with a capacity of about 200 guests. The third and fourth floors are reserved for events, and the second floor (which will become a cocktail lounge in February) comes with a built-in bar. The first floor will open as a restaurant called the Tavern in May. The space is food-focused with two kitchens and offers a lengthy events menu.
2. The 18,000-square-foot Earth Bloor West, which added a new event space on the lower level in October, has numerous options for a holiday party. The venue can accommodate anywhere from 12 to 735 guests in its many private rooms. The lower level lounge and event space comes with a built-in bar and stage and can hold as many as 300.
3. Waddington’s auction house relocated to King East in October and offers its office as an event venue after work hours. The 4,000-square-foot venue can accommodate 200 guests seated or 425 for a reception. The raw space has polished concrete floors, exposed pipes, and two walls of floor-to-ceiling windows. Art from the auction house vault hangs on the walls, if requested.
4. Crown Bar and Lounge opened on King West this past summer. The 9,000-square-foot lounge is lined with V.I.P. booths and has a capacity of 325. Blue and pink lights reflect off the metallic tables and silver banquettes. An on-site event manager can assist with booking DJs, caterers, and valet parking.
5. Croatian beer hall Hrvati Bar opened this September. The cozy 800-square-foot spot is available for buyout and can accommodate as many as 42 guests. Tall stools line the space and a harvest table for 20 stretches down the middle. Hrvati currently offers 45 beers and new international brews are always being added to the list. Consulting chef Rodney Bowers created shareable platter options for private events.
6. Restaurant and bar L’Ouvrier opened in the Dundas West strip in September and is available for buyout. The 1,500-square-foot open space has white walls and concrete floors, lending it a minimalist vibe. Industrial, found object art hangs on the walls. The space can hold 125 standing or 55 seated. The kitchen can accommodate various menu format requests.
7. Navillus Gallery opened in October and is available to host private events up until the week before Christmas. The 2,500-square-foot space can accommodate 100 people on its two floors. Contemporary art from New York, London, and Paris will act as the backdrop.
8. Rinx entertainment complex added a $1.2 million, 15,000-square-foot Event Centre in September. The private facility hosts one event at a time and includes two custom games, six 10-pin bowling lanes, a small bar, the Fireside Lounge, and the Event Hall banquet room. The new space can accommodate groups of as many as 250.
9. The 5,000-square-foot Screen Lounge opened in late September and offers a holiday prix fix menu. The restaurant and lounge is filled with four large screens, including a projector, on the heated rooftop patio, which will be domed as winter approaches. The space can accommodate as many as 250 guests and currently offers 10 percent off bookings made before November 11.
10. The versatile Airship37 began taking bookings in August. With two event spaces, the 1,200-square-foot Gooderham Lounge and the 2,500-square-foot Hangar, Airship 37 can accommodate as many as 400 guests. As a bonus, guests can peruse the Distillery District Christmas Market before or after an event in December.