The George Brown House, A Venue Full of History and Charm
Tucked away on a residential side street in downtown Toronto, you will find an unexpected wedding locale. With its decorative cast iron fence enclosing lovely landscaping, it is a wonder more people don’t choose The George Brown House to say “I Do.” Built between 1874 and 1876 by senator and founder of The Globe newspaper, George Brown, the house was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1976. Despite it being a historical landmark, the house remained in poor condition throughout much of the 70’s and 80’s. In 1987, with the likelihood of demolition looming, the Ontario Heritage Trust stepped in and restored the building. It reopened in 1989 as an event venue, the site of many weddings and other celebrations, a role it continues to play to this day.
Walking up the stairs you reach the Morning/Drawing Room on your left, which was still set up for the wedding that had just taken place moments before, the chairs divided to make an aisle at the end of which was a marble and ebony fireplace (one of two in the room), a lovely setting for the ceremony.
The crystal chandeliers, arched windows and high ceilings providing ample decoration for the intimate event. Right across the hall is the Coulson Room with a lovely walk-up to a small garden. (Note: This garden area is great for guests to snap a few impromptu pictures or get some fresh air, but the space is not equipped to host an outdoor ceremony or reception.) The room also features brilliant lighting fixtures and ebony fireplace. It is also an ideal place for guests to convene while the Morning/Drawing Room is set up for a sit down dinner for your 64 guests (the maximum number allowed). Just in case guests are looking for something else to occupy their time as they wait for dinner, there is a small museum area in the adjacent room. The room originally served as George Brown’s office and continues to be set up as such with his desk and bookshelves. Off to the side of the office is an information area with literature about Brown and his legacy. How often can guests go to a wedding and get a history lesson in the process?
Great Last Minute Option
Because few people are aware of the house and its utility as an event space, brides looking for a last minute location with charm and warmth will find something special in the historical house. According to the staff, people who seek out the house for events tend to be history enthusiasts with a very “down to earth attitude.” There are about 20 weddings hosted there a year as well as several corporate events and meetings.
Like other Ontario Heritage Trust venues, catering must be done by one of the four authorized catering companies. They will work to help coordinate your meal as well as guide you through your options for décor and music. As it is, downtown Toronto there are several pay parking options, although, many of your local guests might find it lovely to just take city transportation and walk through the lovely neighbourhood, particularly if it’s a spring or summer wedding. Also, couples looking to have a DJ, live band and/or dancing need to make sure they get a SOCAN (Society of Composers, Authors, and Music Publishers of Canada) license. That is also something that the catering staff can guide you through. You may also bring in your own bar (must get your own liquor license) and there is no corkage fee.
For couples who perhaps want a last minute wedding but don’t want to miss out on having it at a charming venue, The George Brown House is a great option. With all its history and quaint setting, you will have guests wondering why they hadn’t attended more weddings there!
Details, details, details
• Average Bride Spends: $10,000
• Taxes Gratuities Fine Print that Applies: HST not included
• Deposit Required to Book: 50% deposit is required
• Months to Book Ahead: 8-12 months in advance of date
Contacting George Brown House
A Special Events Consultant at George Brown House can be reached by email directly through the form below 🙂 They are located at 186 Beverley Street in Downtown Toronto. You can also visit George Brown House online at www.heritagetrust.on.ca.
Rate & review George Brown House…