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Something Old, Something New: Structure Houses Multiple Meeting Spaces

By on January 21, 2013


Recently, St. James Cathedral Centre opened its doors to guests in order to showcase its event capabilities. And capable it is!

While it is certainly not the only show in town touting itself as “Toronto’s newest premier event space”, it is absolutely in a class of its own by any standard. I won’t go into the site details which are available online and in glossy printed material. I am here to tell you that it works superbly.

The modern glass addition juxtaposes tastefully with the gothic revival style architecture. With a spire standing at 200 feet tall, this was once the tallest building in Toronto and is now designated as a Heritage Property by the Ontario Ministry of Culture. Venue coordinator Janet Hogan described the 3-year renovation process as “a labour of love”.
The night I attended, the main catering was set up in Snell Hall with its glass curtainwall wrapping around the east and south sides of the space. Snell Hall can accommodate over 400 people for cocktails or 200 seated, and can also be divided. The deck was heated and tented for a Steamwhistle beer setup. I could easily imagine a bride stepping out into ST James Park for a photo op.

The Balfour Bowen Library was set up with specialty coffees and had an art exhibit for a backdrop. No offense to the artists, but the dessert setup almost rivaled the art on the walls in terms of placement and colour. Shout-out to the preferred caterers and to the folks from Staff Your Event, who were evident but not obvious, serving and clearing seamlessly. This intimate space can accommodate 24 seated or 50 standing.

Upstairs, the Lecture Room, Community Room and Board Room provide ideal space for corporate meetings and retreats, including meals. Each provides access to technology such as AV equipment and WiFi. A green room is available. The décor is elegant, the building materials are high quality, the feeling is airy and the views superb, from the actual church building to the surrounding greenery. In both location and design, St James Cathedral Centre provides a fantastic way to get a group away from the confines of the office without leaving the downtown core. Ideas will surely flow as freely as the as the space does.

See the website for preferred caterers, rental rates and policies.


Marilyn Lazar is a freelance writer with a special interest in travel and events. After graduating from Concordia University in Communication Studies, she continued her education in travel writing at Ryerson University Toronto and through Mediabistro in New York. Marilyn can be reached at Read her articles at


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