Tucked away in the heart of Toronto’s financial district, the Ontario Heritage Centre (www.heritagetrust.on.ca) is a gateway into another era. As you stroll along Adelaide street, this four-storey building catches your eye with its striking Beaux-Arts exterior, complete with arched windows, garlands and decorative columns. Step inside, and you’re instantly transported into early 20th century sophistication. Lofty ceilings and large windows overlook exquisite interiors with marble, wood and rich detailing.
This Edwardian gem was built around 1908 by one of the city’s most celebrated architects for the Canadian Birkbeck Investments and Savings Company. The Ontario Heritage Trust purchased the building in 1985, carefully restoring its historical features. Today, this National Historic Site provides one of the city’s most unique settings for saying “I do.”
Walking You Through It
The Ontario Heritage Centre features two beautiful wedding spaces. Elegant and spacious, the Gallery is ideal for ceremonies with up to 120 guests, cocktail receptions for 140 and sit-down dinners of up to 80. A grand staircase leads to the mezzanine above, which offers an impressive view of this former banking hall.
On the second floor, the brightly lit Birkbeck Room is a great fit for ceremonies and cocktail receptions of up to 80 guests. Small adjacent rooms — the Oval and Simcoe — can also be booked for pre-wedding prep.
Rates range from $1,100 to $2,100 depending on the room, time of week and length of the event. Catering services are provided by your choice of approved caterers, who offer innovative cuisine and accommodate a range of special menus. You can bring your own alcohol by obtaining a special occasion permit — there’s no corkage fee.
The Ontario Heritage Centre is a great pick for couples who want to simplify their wedding planning. Rich with detail, this venue lets you keep your décor to a minimum – many couples opt for simple candles or string lights, letting the distinctive space speak for itself.
The venue also offers responsive, personal service that, for many couples, reduces the need for an external wedding planner. On your big day, a dedicated team of onsite staff and caterers will work behind the scenes to make sure you get hitched (without a hitch!).
Something Old, Something New
From the brass letter box in the lobby to the manually operated elevator — one of the last operating elevators of its kind in Toronto — the Ontario Heritage Centre is brimming with historical character. The venue draws history buffs, vintage enthusiasts and couples who want to connect with the city’s past.
But while the building is over a century old, it’s always seeing new wedding trends and traditions. The order of the day: informal weddings with a unique fusion of vintage and modern elements. Many clients choose cocktail receptions over sit-down dinners, and couples that do host a dinner often sit among their guests rather than at a head table. Some have separate receptions for family and friends; others live-stream their ceremonies for loved ones far away. With a venue this versatile, it’s easy to add a personal touch to your nuptials.
From “I do” to “Lights, camera, action!”
Walk down the aisle at the Ontario Heritage Centre, and you might just be walking the same halls as your favourite Hollywood stars — like Ben Affleck, Winona Ryder, Russel Crowe and Katie Holmes, to name a few. You may have spotted the building in films such as Cinderella Man and TV series including Rogue. Now, it’s ready to set the scene for your happily ever after.
Details, Details, Details
Average Bride Spends: $15,000
Deposit Required to Book: 50% of the rental fee is required
Months to Book Ahead: 12-24 months
Contacting Ontario Hertage Centre
A Special Events Consultant at Ontario Heritage Centre can be reached by email using the form below 🙂 The Centre is located at 10 Adelaide East in downtown Toronto. You can also visit Ontario Heritage Centre online at www.heritagetrust.on.ca.