By Carla Warrilow Posted December 29, 2011, 12:00 PM EST
TORONTO As we look ahead to the coming year, these are some of the most important new event and meeting venues slated to open, bringing options for everything from cocktail parties and conferences, to business dinners and corporate meetings. Here's a preview of the hotels, restaurants, bars, lounges, and other spaces the event industry will be talking about in 2012.
1. The finishing touches are being added to the Trump International Hotel and Tower, set to open January 31. The spire is now in place, and the 900-foot LED light installation that runs up the entire length of the building is near completion. The hotel and residence will include a 5,448-square-foot ballroom, 4,540-square-foot salon, and a pre-function area.
2. The second Canadian outpost of the Honk Kong luxury hotel brand Shangri-La is scheduled to open in August 2012. The hotel and residence will have function rooms on the third floor that open to a landscaped terrace, as well as a business centre and a screening room for 50. The space will include two Momofuku restaurants and a bar in a neighbouring glass cube.
3. The Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residence will open in its new location this summer. The two towers will include a glass-walled ballroom for up to 600 guests, a sixth-floor ballroom for up to 300, meeting rooms, and pre-function space. Chef Daniel Boulud will open a restaurant and bar inside.
4. Arcadian Court closes in January for a complete overhaul. Originally opened in 1929, the Oliver and Bonacini event space will be brought back to its Art Deco roots. Changes include improvements to the acoustics, repurposed chandeliers, new wall treatments, and an expanded and modernized mezzanine that will run completely around the upper level. The space will reopen in April.
5. Part of the extensive renovations to Arcadian Court, Oliver & Bonacini will open an entirely new event venue at the end of April called the Arcadian Loft. The 6,773-square-foot space will neighbour Arcadian Court but will have a separate entrance and a completely different, urban style. The space can be divided into five rooms and will come with screens, projectors, and dimmers. Floor-to-ceiling windows overlook Nathan Phillips Square.
6. After the success of Hotel Le Germaine across Canada, Groupe Germain has been hard at work to introduce ALT, a stylish brand of hotels at a lower price-point. ALT Hotel Toronto Pearson will open near the airport in May 2012 and will offer 10,000 square feet of event space, with 10 meeting rooms and one break-out room to accommodate anywhere from 10 to 80 guests.
7. Creemore Springs Brewery has recently acquired an historic building in the downtown core at 75 Victoria St. The space, which has yet to be named, will act as a test brew site and offer three event areas when it opens in March. The main floor will feature a 2,400-square-foot space filled with beer memorabilia. An adjacent 700-square-foot shop can be added on for larger events. In the lower level, there will be a bar and open kitchen where guests can organize cooking classes or try beer and food pairings. Educational beer tastings can be arranged for any group.
8. Bloor Hot Docs Cinema entered its second phase of renovation in November. Home to the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, the building will be modernized while maintaining architectural details that mark the cinema’s 100-year-old history. Changes include new seating, a larger screen, state-of-the-art projection and sound equipment, and an updated façade. The theatre is expected to open this winter, with the exact date and further details to be announced in mid-January.
9. Chef Claudio Aprile will expand Origin with a new location in Liberty Village. Origin Liberty, scheduled to open in April, will accommodate up to 150 guests inside and have a 100-seat patio. Although contracts have yet to be signed, StroudFoot, the same company that designed the original Origin, will likely design the space. Décor will be inspired by the historic building, which used to be an ammunition factory run entirely by women during World War II.
10. Ultra Supper Club will close in January to make way for a new concept nightclub. The Charles Khabouth property will be rebranded, renamed, and completely redesigned. Both the 4,500-square-foot interior and the 3,000-square-foot patio will be renovated. The club is expected to reopen in February.