Fall Preview: 10 Most Anticipated New Toronto Event Venues

By Carla Warrilow August 29, 2011, 9:30 AM EDT

Stock at the Trump International Hotel and Tower

Rendering: Courtesy of Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto

These new (and renovated) restaurants, hotels, bars, lounges, and event spaces in Toronto are opening this fall and have indoor, outdoor, private, and semiprivate spaces for small and large groups, for meetings, events, holiday parties, and business entertaining.
1. Trump International Hotel and Tower will be the second-tallest skyscraper in the city when it opens this November. The 65-storey hotel and residence will offer 12,000 square feet of meeting and event space. The 31st-floor restaurant, called Stock, will be headed by chef Todd Clarmo, previously the executive chef at Canoe. Trump Tower hosted its first public event last March, when a Fashion Week runway show took place in the incomplete grand ballroom.

2. Modeled off the New York location and slated to open next month, ping-pong social club SPiN Toronto will offer three rooms in its 12,000-square-foot space: the main area, the social room, and the private room. The 3,000-square-foot social room can hold 125 people for a private event and comes with five ping-pong tables, a private bar, and a DJ booth. The 600-square-foot private room can be booked for groups of as many as 20. SPiN is available for buyout and can accommodate 400 guests. Customized menus, ping-pong lessons, and tournament structures are available for any large group or booking. 

3. In the process of a $34 million renovation, the Toronto Reference Library unveils its main floor and new facade this fall. The atrium on the main floor is available for receptions, and the new glass entrance will allow for unhindered access to the second-floor salon. The 16,800-square-foot salon is available for private events, with space for 595 guests. Renovations continue on the third floor.  

4. Accepting bookings in mid-September, FountainBlu offers 5,500 square feet of meeting and event space for groups of 20 to 600. Attached to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, the modern ballroom features large windows that overlook the exhibition grounds. The space also includes a 1,000-square-foot cocktail reception room and a 300-square-foot terrace.  

5. Currently in its soft opening stage, the Screen Lounge will begin accepting bookings when it officially opens in late September. The aptly named 5,000-square-foot restaurant and lounge features four large screens, including a wall screen in the dining room and a projector on the rooftop patio. The main level can hold 120 guests, and the rooftop—which will be domed in the winter—can accommodate 120. Screen Lounge serves tapas and sushi and will offer catering to private events.  

6. Following the rise of Japanese pubs in Toronto, DonDon Izakaya is scheduled to open in late October. The 4,500-square-foot restaurant will seat 150 guests and has five private dining rooms, the largest of which can hold 20 diners. The open kitchen will serve tapas-style dishes, with a large assortment of Japanese beer and sake to accompany them. A chauffeur service will be provided for overindulgent guests.  

7. Recently acquired by Hot Docs and Blue Ice Film, the iconic Bloor Cinema will open newly renovated this fall, hopefully in time for the Hot Docs’ next scheduled screening in October. The renovations are extensive and will upgrade the cinema equipment, lighting, audience seating, carpets, facade, and lobby. While the cinema will primarily screen documentaries, it will continue to host the many film festivals that took place at Bloor Cinema in the past, such as the Toronto Jewish Film Festival and the After Dark Film Festival.  

8. The Melody Bar at the Gladstone Hotel emerges from its month of renovations this September. The restaurant and bar will update its seating, with the addition of lounges and two harvest tables, as well as new flooring and a revamped menu. Available for buyout, the space can hold 110 standing and features a stage with full AV capabilities.

9. The third Bier Markt location will open in the Shops at Don Mills this November. Although information about the new location is being kept under wraps, the beer menu will be just as lengthy as the Esplanade location, and the decor will take after the King Street locale.  

10. New restaurant and lounge the Playpen is slated to open in the up-and-coming Leslieville neighbourhood this September. The upscale dining area will seat 100 guests, and the more casual lounge will seat 40. The venue will reportedly have a vintage '70s feel, but further details have not been disclosed.

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