Let the esteemed venues chosen for this year's Toronto International Film Festival guide your search for the ideal meeting or event space in downtown Toronto.
Every September, Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) draws stars and cinephiles alike to the city in droves. For 11 days and nights, Toronto vibes with glamorous parties and, most importantly, an incredible variety of film premieres and showings from all around the world. Encompassing avant-garde theatres, elegant ballrooms and trendy patios across the city, TIFF’s choice venues also host diverse gatherings year-round.
TIFF Bell Lightbox
It's impossible to talk about the TIFF without mentioning the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Built in 2010, the Lightbox is more than just the home base for the festival; it's a cultural icon located in the heart of the King Street entertainment district and a unique flexible event venue offering some of the most unique spaces in Toronto to host your next event.
Residing inside a magnificent five-storey loft-style building, this prestigious event space houses five high-tech cinemas, with the largest accommodating up to 522 patrons, ensuring an exceptional movie-watching experience.
Additionally, the venue features a gallery, split into two sections that can be combined, with standing room for up to 300 guests. Adding to its allure, the Lightbox features several elegant rooms and lounges, with some offering stunning views of the downtown skyline.
Why Meeting Planners Love this Venue: The Lightbox can host versatile events, including screenings, galas, cocktail receptions, professional conferences and more. You can select from in-house concessions or preferred caterers for your gathering. Featuring an array of unique and flexible event spaces, this renowned landmark stands ready to elevate your next event to new heights.
Roy Thomson Hall
Roy Thomson Hall is spectacular and utterly unique in design, function and form. It's a beautiful concert hall just down the street from the Lightbox, surrounded by some of the best restaurants in the city. It's also an unparalleled event space that is surprisingly flexible, thanks to ingenious technology and design.
At Roy Thomson Hall, a modern three-level, 2,630-seat auditorium sets the stage for memorable galas and musical performances. Beyond the concert space lie several other key venues, including two spacious lobbies with sound systems, built-in platforms and TV monitors, ideal for trade shows, receptions and various events. There’s also an upscale wine bar and an intimate patio space that provides a beautiful setting for al fresco affairs.
Why Meeting Planners Love this Venue: Roy Thomson Hall houses a selection of versatile multi-use rooms to suit diverse needs. The main floor features four bars, with additional ones on the mezzanine and balcony levels. Whether hosting a grand event or an intimate gathering, Roy Thomson Hall ensures a space perfectly tailored to your needs.
The Princess of Wales Theatre
The Princess of Wales Theatre looks like it’s from the 1930s, but that's not the case. It was built in 1993 by legendary Toronto residents Ed and David Mirvish to host the first Canadian run of Miss Saigon. It's a modern space with a classical feel near the Lightbox and Roy Thomson Hall, and that's a big deal to event professionals considering a host venue.
The theatre boasts 2,000 seats spread across three levels. Attendees can enjoy everything from captivating theatrical productions to engaging lectures in this prestigious venue. Each level has a well-stocked bar and a concessions counter, further enhancing the theatre experience.
Why Meeting Planners Love this Venue: In addition to the theatre itself, a couple of versatile event spaces are available for pre, intermission or post-show gatherings. That includes the Princess Suite, which can accommodate up to 25 guests, the Mirvish Suite for up to 12 guests and the CAA Lounge, available to rent semi-privately or privately for a maximum of 100 or 200 guests, respectively.
Cineplex's Scotiabank Theatre
Scotiabank Theatre Toronto is the traditional movie theatre that we all know, just better. Its modern interior and amenities ensure a great experience here every time, and its downtown Toronto location couldn't be better. While it may not carry the same cachet as some of the other theatres on this list, it might be the best event space in the bunch, flexible enough to host large and intimate gatherings, from movie screenings to hybrid and in-person meetings.
Why Meeting Planners Love this Venue: Attendees can enjoy an immersive event, thanks to the theatre’s state-of-the-art audio-visual technology available in all 14 auditoriums. Treat them to delightful concessions and catered options as they settle into luxurious plush recliners for the main event.
Glenn Gould Studio
Nestled on bustling Front Street, Glenn Gould Studio is a sought-after venue for prominent gatherings, from corporate meetings to music performances.
The renowned concert venue features a 340-seat auditorium and provides premium video production and audio recording services. Its stage comfortably accommodates an entire orchestra, making it a perfect choice for musical performances.
Why Meeting Planners Love this Venue: The studio's lobby is a venue in its own right, offering an ideal space for hosting silent auctions, cocktail parties and other gatherings. There’s also the conference centre, which is perfect for corporate events, with six rooms that can fit anywhere from 10 to 100 people, available for individual or combined rental. To ensure attendees have a well-rounded evening, Glenn Gould Studio provides beverage services while entrusting food services to its preferred caterers.
Royal Alexandra Theatre
Built in 1903, the Royal Alexandra Theatre on King Street is a national treasure and masterpiece of beaux-arts architecture. It is the longest-running legitimate theatre in North America. The guest experience is second to none; a big part of that is the feeling of walking into this classic space.
With its ornate decor and rich historical charm, the main lobby of the Royal Alexandra Theatre exudes timeless elegance. Once inside the 1,224-seat theatre, attendees are welcomed into an exceptional setting, perfect for lectures, theatrical productions and charity benefits, complete with three seating levels. Bars are conveniently available on each theatre level.
Why Meeting Planners Love this Venue: Apart from the theatre space, the Royal Alexandra presents a selection of event spaces. The Royal Alexandra Suite welcomes up to 10 guests for pre-show, post-show or intermission gatherings. Additionally, there are two lounges available—the Yale Simpson Lounge and CAA Lounge. Both lounges can be rented as private or semi-private spaces, accommodating up to 300 guests.
For domestic or international event planners, this venue offers a unique experience that’ll leave attendees and guests feeling as if they've been somewhere special.
Fairmont Royal York Hotel
The acclaimed Fairmont Royal York Hotel on Front Street will host the TIFF Tribute Awards Gala this year. The hotel boasts an impressive array of 36 versatile function rooms, from a beautifully restored 1929 ballroom to meeting and reception spaces, four Hospitality Suites and a VIP Boardroom, allowing it to accommodate up to 1,670 guests.
Why Meeting Planners Love this Venue: Fairmont Royal York is a strong contender for hosting meetings or conventions, with its restored spaces, prime downtown location and award-winning culinary offerings.