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2018 Preview: 10 Most Anticipated Toronto Venues for Meetings and Events

The hotels, conference spaces, restaurants, cultural spaces,  slated to open in Toronto for events and entertaining this year.

The Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada
The Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada
Rendering: Courtesy of Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto

Looking for a new venue for your next event? Here are the most anticipated Toronto restaurants, corporate event venues, hotels, conference centers, and party rooms slated to open this 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 much-anticipated Hotel X Toronto, located on the Exhibition Place grounds, has been delayed again to spring 2018. Connected by the skybridge to the Allstream Centre, the 71,000-square-foot hotel, event space, and sports club will offer numerous spaces for meetings and events. It has two ballrooms; the largest, the Victory Ballroom, measures 6,446 square feet. Inside the hotel are two presidential suites, multiple restaurants, a bar, and a three-story rooftop lounge with dedicated elevator access. The hotel’s 30-story main tower (with 404 hotel rooms) also contains an 11,000-square-foot cinema; a 56-seat screening room also is available.

2. After closing its beloved Queen West location, the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada is re-opening in the spring. The 55,000-square-foot space is located in a heritage-designated building formerly known as the Tower Automotive Building. The space will take up five floors, making it five times larger than their former Queen West location. Event space will be available on the first floor.

3. Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants announced plans to open its first Toronto property in 2018. Following a renovation of the former Holiday Inn Bloor-Yorkville, the as-yet-unnamed boutique hotel is slated to open mid-year. The 13-story property will comprise 189 guest rooms, including 18 suites and one Presidential Suite, 2,000 square feet of ground-level meeting space, and a Bloor Street-facing restaurant and bar. InnVest Hotels is a partner for the project.

4. As part of the $25 million Gardiner Expressway underpass revitalization project, the Bentway is transforming underused public space into a gathering place. Consisting of 1.75 kilometers stretching across Strachan Avenue to Spadina Avenue, the span will consist of 55 outdoor areas divided into “rooms” available for events year-round such as farmer's markets, gardens, performance theaters, and exhibition halls. While the public space will be completed in phases, the first section opens January 6 with a skating rink.

5. A new project is coming to the Financial District from food industry powerhouses Max Rimaldi, Jamie Cook, and Grant van Gameren. The vegan Mexican restaurant Rosalinda, slated to open in the spring, will cover 4,500 square feet with seating for 130 people. It will have seating for groups of as many as 10 but will not have separate space for private dining. Full buyouts will be available. With design and interiors from Bent Gable Design, the space plans to be sophisticated and bold with lots of personality.

6. Another concept from Grant van Gameren, this time with co-owners Julio Guajardo, Kate Chomyshyn, and Owen Walker, Quetzal will take on the regional, authentic Mexican cuisine with an emphasis on the diversity of dishes from Oaxaca, Baja, and Yucatan regions. The team has enlisted the design firm Partisans (who worked on Bar Raval) to turn the 1,200-square-foot space in Little Italy into a warm and boisterous space. With seating for 65, there is currently no plans for a private dining space but the owners to expect to offer full buyouts. The opening is scheduled for February.

7. Aiming to be Canada’s largest family indoor entertainment center, the Factory will take over the former Kellogg's factory, an iconic property in London, Ontario. Opening this spring, the venue will fill 170,000 square feet of space with a variety of activities including high ropes, a trampoline park, an arcade, and virtual reality and escape rooms. Also available are eight breakout rooms (with seating for 20 each) and meeting rooms that seat 140 banquet-style or 238 theater-style. Each of the breakout and meeting rooms feature Wi-Fi, integrated audio, whiteboards, projectors, video conferencing, and on-site IT. On-site catering is available.

8. Slated to open in late 2018, Canopy by Hilton will mark the lifestyle brand’s first location in Canada. As a mixed hotel and condominium space (the Rosedale on Bloor will occupy the first 10 stories of the tower), the 188-room hotel will have a separate entrance and lobby and offer amenities including a lounge, meeting facilities, and pool. Studio Munge is assisting with the design on the building and help to incorporate Canadian elements.

9. Holt Renfrew has announced the closure of all of its in-store Holts Café locations and replace them with a new concept, Colette Grand Café, in partnership with Chase Hospitality Group. The first cafés will open at the Bloor Street and Yorkdale Holt Renfrew Toronto locations in mid-2018. They will measure 3,000 square feet and offer seating for 85. Buyouts likely will be available.

10. The brunch restaurant Lady Marmalade, which has been a fixture on Queen East since opening in 2009, announced plans to move to a new location in Toronto’s East Chinatown neighborhood in mid-2018. The 2,100-square-foot space spread across two floors will be redesigned by noted architect Omar Gandhi. He plans to add natural light to the space and incorporate wood and other natural materials. The space will seat 60 guests and offer a semiprivate dining area for 12.

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