One of the top things on our wedding must-have’s is a unique venue that reflects who we are as a couple. We wanted something unique and casual and our search took us to the far depths of the internet to discover all the non-conventional places we could get married at. The great news is if you’re looking for a unique wedding venue in Ontario, you have a ton of options. There are so many cool spaces and often times would only be discovered through word-of-mouth.
We’ve come across hundreds of different wedding venues — from small and intimate to swanky and posh — and I picked out the 10 places that stood out the most. If you’re looking for a unique venue, check these ones out!
1. Kurtz Orchard, Niagara-on-the-Lake
Capacity: 300 guests seated with additional fees to accommodate up to 350 guests
Kurtz Orchards is a venue straight out of your Pinterest dreams. They offer two outdoor options: a romantic, “under a canopy of trees” wedding in their orchard or a tented reception overlooking a vineyard. Their venue fee is on the higher end but includes all rentals (tent, tables, chairs, dinnerware, etc.), tent and draping, lighting, and staffing.
2. Oast House Brewery, Niagara-on-the-Lake
Capacity: 80 guests seated
The Hayloft is Oast House Brewery’s newest event space, a rustic loft area that’s perfect for a small and intimate affair. Keep your guests entertained during cocktail hour with a brewery tour and send them home with Oast House swag for wedding favours that your friends and family can actually use. Bonus points in not having to worry about running out of booze.
3. CJ Equestrian Centre, Guelph-Eramosa
Capacity: 200+ seated
CJ’s is half equestrian centre and half event space. The separate wedding grounds is perfect for a tented reception (a barn reception will be available in the future) and you can choose among a spring fed pond, stone wall, or open green space for the ceremony. The reasonable venue fee includes access to an industrial kitchen, fire pit setup, staffing, and country chic decor, like wine barrels and straw bales. Oh, not to mention your choice between a horse carriage or tractor to take you into the ceremony. Save extra dough by bringing your own caterer and alcohol.
(Photo by Erika Hammer)
4. Toronto Island, Toronto
There are a few wedding venues on the islands: The Rectory Café, Algonquin Island Association Clubhouse, The Shaw House, Ward’s Island Association Club, or Artscape Gibraltar Point, each with their own unique benefits and selling points. The beauty of all of them is the ability to have an outdoor wedding in downtown Toronto that’s not on a concrete patio. Being on an island comes with its own logistical complications but the staff will really help you make it as flawless as possible and there are plenty of preferred vendors with experience executing an island wedding.
5. Baranga’s on the Beach, Hamilton
Capacity: 130 guests seated
Baranga’s is slightly on the cheesy side but that’s what makes this place so endearing. It’s suppose to simulate a destination wedding with Lake Ontario standing in for the warm waters of the Caribbean so if budget constraints prevent you from whisking you and your guests off to Jamaica, this is a more wallet-friendly alternative. Ceremonies are held on the beach and receptions can be held in the dining room or outside on their patio.
6. Drake Devonshire Inn, Wellington
Capacity: Up to 50 guests seated
If Drake Devonshire Inn could accommodate our guest count, I’d book this venue in a heartbeat. The Drake blends casual-cool and hipster rustic into their three reception rooms located in picturesque Prince Edward Country, giving you and your guests the perfect excuse for a weekend getaway in cottage country. Accommodations are also available onsite so everyone can focus on partying their hearts out before crawling into bed next door.
7. The Red Barn, Guelph
Capacity: 60 guests seated for the barn; 200 guests seated for site reception
The Red Barn in Guelph is a new venue that gives you free reign on everything — you can bring your own caterer and alcohol doesn’t need to be purchased under an SOP. It’s a bare bones venue so best for bride and grooms who are comfortable with DIY and full planning, but the tradeoff is a wedding that you can completely make your own.
(Photo by Mango Studios)
8. Balzac’s, Toronto
Capacity: 3 locations; up to 60 guests seated
Balzac’s has three locations — Distillery District, Liberty Village, and Ryerson University — that can accommodate private events for up to 60 guests seated. The interior is furnished with market antiques and has patio access for outdoor space. It’s the ideal location for a small wedding or mingling for a cocktail reception.
(Photo by Ben Kane Photography)
9. Breathe Easy Cottage, Grey County
Breathe Easy is best described as wedding camp. It’s a private cottage retreat on 140 acres with sleeping quarters for up to 30 people indoors and ample camping opportunities for guests who don’t mind roughing it in tents. They’re able to host receptions indoor at the cottage or outside on the grounds or 3-tier deck.
10. WVRST, Toronto
Capacity: 140 guests seated
What do you get when you combine a beer hall with artisan sausages? A fabulous little place called WVRST. The long tables and benches are designed for communal dining and the casual environment can help set the tone for a laid back wedding day.
What are your favourite unique wedding venues?