At the first look, Sunnyside Pavilion evokes an Italian villa by the coast of Mediterranean.
Its relaxing vibe invites an Italian or Greek theme wedding and a toga style wedding dress. In the heat of the summer, this is the place to be: peaceful shaded courtyard, soft curved stairs, ornate fountain, quaint brick pavement, and cool lake air.
But there is more to Sunnyside. It is built like a medieval castle: its towers are separated by long walkways, its protective columns and cast iron railings breathe a different theme altogether…
Built in 1922 by the same architect who designed the Exhibition Place, this chameleon building was the place of the first Miss Toronto beauty pageant. Wedding-symbolic white arches will welcome you at the entrance and guide you inside. The T-shaped open-air upstairs, with its white satin draped ceiling, simply oozes romance. Its wooden buttress style ceiling inspires a variety of original decoration ideas, such as string lights and chinese lanterns. And the lake washes gently at your feet.
Facilities. The venue is available between June and August. Both the courtyard and the upstairs will be at your disposal, adding variety to the day’s events. The courtyard has capacity to seat up to 180 guests, and upstairs up to 160. The boardwalk cafe will remain open to the public (and washrooms are shared with the public), but you will have a separate entrance to the venue. The set-up is endlessly customizable, because the venue rents furniture, linens and tableware for each event (the preferred supplier is Affair Rentals), based on the preferences of the hosts. For special ceremonies, open candles are allowed in the venue.
Suitability. Other than its great versatility, the venue’s location is a stone’s throw from the Harbourfront with its picturesque views. Keep in mind, though, that because the venue is open to the elements, you have to watch out for things like the hurricane season (generally, September) or mosquito season. Most days, though, these are manageable: waterproof transparent plastic covers most of the openings in the upstairs space if required. Also, if that is important to you, note that the upstairs space is not wheelchair-accessible. Finally, the venue does not offer a bridal suite (secure storage location is available at the office).
Costs. The venue costs $2,500 for the reception, with an additional $950 for the ceremony. Venue decoration (specifically, ceiling draping) is optional but available at an additional $1,700-$2,400. Catering is provided by the venue itself, with packages ranging from $115 to $150, (including standard beverage package), plus tax and 15% gratuity and flexibility to incorporate ethnic meals into the menu. Equipment rentals are chargeable in addition to the catering package.
If you like this venue, take a look at some similar venues we reviewed:
- For another great lakeview location, consider Harding Waterfront Estate (up to 200 guests for an outdoor reception in a tent; catering will be supplied by the venue and no landmark fee applies).
- Still searching? We reviewed lots more waterfront wedding venues for you to check out!
- For lake views that cannot be beat, consider Toronto Harbourfront’s boats! Cpt Matthew Flinders can host 150 – 575 guests and can supply catering or working with the caterer of your choice. Albeit a bit more pricey, this guarantees a unique experience.
We’d love to know what you think!
Did you have your wedding at Sunnyside? Have you been to a wedding there? Share your experiences with others in the comments below! What worked about the venue? What didn’t work? What was the layout like? What was the food like?
If your wedding is still being planned, have you considered the Sunnyside as your wedding venue? If you booked it, what did you like about it? If you didn’t, why not?