Built in 1850, the St. Lawrence Hall is one of our favourite historical buildings in the neighbourhood. It was originally built to serve the crème de la crème of Toronto for social gatherings and special events, and is considered to be the city’s first official cultural centre. Fast forward over 150 years later, and it’s still used for a number of different events all year round.
We weren’t surprised to learn that the building was created for Toronto’s most elite residents, since you can tell just by looking at it that it has a grand and monumental feel. If the cupola at the top of the building doesn’t give it away, the arched entranceways and intricate balcony railing will.
Ready to go inside?
The first floor was designed for commercial space, and the second floor as offices. On the third floor, the Great Hall is just as you would expect: it’s massive. It’s a popular choice for weddings, and the decor and huge chandelier will make you feel like you’ve gone back in time.
Attending just about any type of meeting or event in this room will make you feel exactly as the name states… VIP. The green velvet chairs are a real throwback.
There are a few other event spaces throughout the building, including the East Room. In the years that Canada was receiving thousands of Underground Railroad refugees several important meetings were held in the building to discuss the abolition of slavery.
Next time you’re wandering the neighbourhood, look for the St. Lawrence Hall at King and Jarvis. This is definitely a building you should know about. Also, the entire third floor is available to rent, so if you’re ever in a pinch to host an event in a cool venue, this should be at the top of your list!