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2016 Preview: 10 Most Anticipated Toronto Venues for Meetings and Events

The conference spaces, eateries, drinking spots, and more slated to open in Toronto for events and entertaining next year.

By Nancy Carr January 4, 2016, 7:00 AM EST

Hotel X

Rendering: Courtesy of Hotel X

Looking for a new venue to host your next event? Here are the most anticipated Toronto restaurants, corporate event venues, hotels, conference centers, and party rooms to open next year. These new and renovated Toronto venues will accommodate groups large or small for private and corporate events, conferences, meetings, weddings, business dinners, teambuilding activities, cocktail parties, and& more.

1. The new-build 404-room Hotel X in Exhibition grounds on the city’s lakefront will make a big splash in the sports, business, and entertainment worlds when it opens this spring. The property will feature a 30-story main tower, a four-story sports club, and the Barracks Beer Garden. Meeting and event space will be in the main tower and will include two ballrooms, 11 meeting rooms, a 294-seat cinema, a 66-seat screening room, and outdoor event space for as many as 2,000 guests.

2. The iconic waterfront music venue Sound Academy will close in January for a complete remodel, including structural work, and reopen later in the year. The new 45,000-square-foot venue will be a state-of-the-art live concert venue, a corporate event space, and nightclub. It will also feature two floors with V.I.P. access, views of the city skyline, and seamless access to Cabana PoolBar. Designed by Studio Munge, the venue will feature a black and gold color scheme, high-gloss surfaces, animal prints, and subversive graphics. It will also boast advanced lighting and sound technology.

3. Located in a new home in the base of a new 330-unit condo tower in Leslieville, Crow’s Theatre will be available for performances, weddings, events, classes, and meetings. The Main Theatre seats 215 people or holds 330 people for receptions, and the theatrical seating can be removed to create an open, flexible space. The Studio, with picture window overlooking Carlaw Avenue, accommodates 90 people, and the lobby bar is available for receptions or as exhibit space.

4. Shuttered by Liberty Entertainment Group in September, the 20-year-old Velvet Underground dance club reopens in February under the management of Embrace Entertainment Group. The reincarnated Queen Street West venue will have a bigger stage and a roomier dance floor and host live music—from indie to punk and hip-hop to electronica. It will also have a room for private events.

5. Oliver & Bonacini, the restaurant, catering, and event company, will add two locations to its stable of eateries this spring, bringing the total to 10. Partnering with Saks Fifth Avenue, O&B will open an 11,000-square-foot restaurant and bar at the department store’s downtown Eaton Centre location in the spring, which will include private dining options and an event space. A smaller 5,500-square-foot restaurant, Beaumont Kitchen, is slated open in the Saks store at Sherway Gardens in late February. The culinary program for both locations will be lead by executive chef Anthony Walsh, and the decor will be sleek, stylish, and whimsical. The name of the Eaton Centre restaurant will be announced later.

6. A 125-year-old Romanesque Revival red brick beauty in a landmark east Toronto building will be restored to its former glory as the Broadview Hotel. As a boutique hotel, the five-story building from Streetcar Developments will be topped with a boxy glass addition and will feature a ground-floor restaurant and café, a rooftop bar with views of the city skyline, and event space. It’s slated to open before the end of the year.

7. Scheduled for a fall opening, Liberty Entertainment Group’s Blue Bloods Steakhouse in Casa Loma will be family friendly and affordable. The restaurant will take over two oak-paneled rooms in the century-old, 98-room pseudo-European tourist attraction. It will feature a 140-seat restaurant serving aged-in-house steaks and organic vegetables grown on site and a 120-seat patio overlooking the city, suited for summertime barbecues. Blue Bloods will be available for private and semiprivate bookings.

8. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver began his foray into North America in 2015 with a restaurant in Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre and will open his second Jamie’s Italian in neighboring Mississauga this year. The 6,500-square-foot space will be located in the Square One Shopping Centre’s “luxury wing” expansion and will follow the blueprint of his other global restaurants, offering simple, Italian-inspired dishes with a twist, including pizza and pasta made daily on site, an antipasti station, and cured meats.

9. Artisanal brewer Batch will take over the historic property on Victoria Street by the end of February that used to house Beer Academy. Owned by beer giant Molson Coors Canada, the building has been renovated and will include a restaurant featuring a farm-to-table menu. The restaurant will seat 140, and the private event space will hold 90 people for receptions or seat 60.

10. Craft beer lovers will find a new outlet in Halo Brewery, a brewery, shop, and tasting room slated to open in the funky Junction neighborhood in the spring. It’s slated to have about 20 seats and will feature a rotating variety of beers on tap and to go. Some of the early brews will include a Belgian Tripel with wildflower honey and chamomile and an elderberry and elderflower malt cider. All recipes will be posted online for home brewers to test out for themselves.

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