Amazing Holiday Event Venues & Catering Spots in Toronto’s Riverside

Whether you’re hosting a neighbourhood Christmas party, a wedding or ringing in the New Year, Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood offers an array of event spaces for holiday parties of all sizes. From east to west, here in Riverside we have the best!



2 Matilda St, 2nd Fl

The recently-revitalized historic Jam Factory offers 3,000 sq ft of industrial retro rustic space that makes for a memorable holiday party or a fabulous wedding. Need a last minute event space? Just mention this blog and save 50 percent off venue rental fees for events held in December 2017 or January 2018.


668 Queen St East

This is a fun space with tons of board games, chess, cards, lego and colouring books and enough room to accommodate up to 80 guests.The Underground Cafe and Social Club will also provide entertainment for an addition fee.


672 Queen St East

Looking to throw a fun holiday party for your sports team? Like your cocktails served with a side of friendly competition? Smash Ping Pong is great for all ages and also has a great private event space, the Riverside Ballroom, on its second floor.


696 Queen St East

Between the cozy front of house Remy Room overlooking Queen Street East, to the Jagar Room at the back for larger cocktail style parties with a private bartender, Prohibition can cater to all your holiday hosting and private party needs. Want to rent the whole restaurant? Just ask!


700 Queen St East

Ring in the New Year at “The best damn New Years Eve party this brewery has ever thrown” in Riverside at Eastbound Brewing Co. The brewery, beer shop, restaurant and kitchen is a great location for beer lovers’ themed Christmas parties with enough space to accommodate up to 100 guests.


106 Broadview Ave

A ‘charismatic gathering spot since 1891’, The Broadview Hotel has five distinct venue spaces for celebrations of all kinds. Their Executive Chef and culinary team have special menus just for your events too! Their main event space, Lincoln Hall, has over 3,000 square feet and capacity for 240 and is a veritable wonderland. The exposed brickwork and steel beam construction offer a stunning backdrop for winter weddings, and corporate Christmas parties events alike.


729 Queen St East

Looking to throw a holiday party at home? Impress your guests with delicious delectables like Dutch babies, house made pizza, or coconut panna cotta from Sugar Loaf Bakery. Delivery is free within Toronto.


735 Queen St East

If you want to throw a huge party this Christmas, complete with a large stage for live music and full technical support, look no further than the Opera House. This full service venue can accommodate up to 900 guests seven days a week and is also great for fundraisers, large reunions and more.


765 Queen St East

The Ralph Thornton Community Centre offers several event spaces available for rent at affordable prices including a multi-purpose room, large auditorium, community kitchen, meeting rooms (and even a computer lab!).


782 Queen St East

There’s standing room for up to 100 guests in The Peasant Table’s main dining room but if your looking for a private party, check out the 2nd Fl private dining room space, perfect for more intimate holiday gatherings. Parties can choose between customizable menu packages or off-site catering options.


1-31 Saulter St

For holiday parties with an open concept feel, warm ambiance, great accoustics, and enough room for up to 60 guests, check out Riverside’s newest tap room and brew house. Private parties can bring their own wine.


810 Queen St East

Good things come in small packages, including private parties at Tabule’s Queen Street East location. While parties are limited to 40 guests at dinnertime, the catering menu packs big flavour with award-winning middle eastern fare.


4 Boulton Ave

Boxcar Social on Boulton Ave has become a popular spot in Riverside for private parties with enough room to accommodate up to 60 guests. On the catering menu you’ll find the likes of charcuterie boards, mixed olives and crostinis, plus a huge selection of whiskies, beers and wines.


Karen Lloyd is a writer, photographer and website designer in Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood. This blog is part of the series giving you the inside scoop on  Riverside, Toronto. Read other blogs in the series: Riverside PatiosPlaces to Stay in RiversideBrunch Spots, and Kid-Friendly Riverside.

Riverside Toronto Blog Named in ‘Top 50 Toronto Blogs’!

We recently got a note from the Founder of Feedspot congratulating our Riverside Toronto Blog (this blog!) as it’s been selected by their panelist as one of the Top 50 Toronto Blogs on the web. We got virtual high fives and are proud to be on this list along with NOW Magazine, blogTO, Torontoist, and other greats!

Big thanks to all our blog contributors who help us share the word and spread great local content, resources and ideas. Special thanks this year to Karen Lloyd, local resident, writer, photographer and website designer, for her collaborations on the Riverside Blog Series, with lots more coming in the new year!

THANK YOU + Photos: Light Up Riverside 2017

It was a beautiful evening full of magical moments at our annual tree lighting event Light Up Riverside. It was inspiring to once again see the Mustard Seed Courtyard packed with smiling faces, and lovely meeting and catching up with so many of our neighbours and friends. BIG THANKS to our 2017 Light Up Riverside co-sponsors: BIA members Baird MacGregor  and Gillis & Kennedy RE/MAX who served up hot drinks and warm smiles!

THANK YOU to our hosts at Fontbonne Ministries for welcoming us again to their wonderful space. We lit up the beautiful 16 foot real tree, and decked out the court yard with hundreds of lights and decorations, which will grace Riverside and Mustard Seed until January.

We were happy to have this opportunity to recognize our fabulous Riverside volunteer Giancarlo Pawelec with the Jack Memorial Korman Award for 2017, presented by our BIA Chair Mitch and his young daughter (3rd generation of Riverside BIA!). Giancarlo, who also owns Riverside business PAWELECphoto and HeadshotsTO, was also our photographer for the evening (enjoy his photos below!).

Our always supportive local politicians, Councillor Paula Fletcher, MPP Peter Tabuns and MP Julie Dabrusin, came out to meet & greet.

We had a visit from Santa, and the Toronto Beach Chorale warmed us up with their always beautiful voices. Thanks to The Opera House Grill for donating hot chicken noodle soup. Special thanks to Saulter Street Brewery for making a special effort as the Light Up After Party location!  Last but not least, none of this would have happened without the support of our many volunteers from George Brown School of ESL, as well as our BIA Marketing Committee, BIA office staff, and interns.

Thanks to everyone in the community who came out to take part, and provide donations to Nellie’s.

Enjoy the memories! (p.s. if you see your photo and would like a high res copy, please email us at

Toronto Beach Chorale

Presenting Jack Korman Memorial Award to Giancarlo Pawelec (Left to right: Councillor Fletcher, Giancarlo, Jennifer Lay, Mitch Korman, Mitch’s daughter)

Light Up Co-sponsor, Dylan Luft, of Baird MacGregor Insurance LP

Light Up Co-sponsors, Gillis & Kennedy RE/MAX (Patrick Gillis and Dianna Kennedy at Left)

Left to Right: Councillor Paula Fletch, MPP Peter Tabuns, MP Julie Dabrusin, Riverside BIA Executive Director Jennifer Lay

Community members enjoying the choir and the ligths

Community members enjoying the sounds of Toronto Beach Chorale

Councillor Paula Fletcher

Kids crafting!

Riverside BIA Chair Mitch Korman and his son (3rd generation of Riverside BIA 🙂

Riverside BIA Executive Direction, Jennifer Lay

Thanks to our Volunteers from George Brown School of ESL

Light Up Riverside Co-sponsors from Gillis & Kennedy and Baird MacGregor, with Santa

Riverside BIA ED, Jennifer Lay, with former Riverside BIA ED and life-long Riverside friend and supporter, Anjuli Solanki

Mary Macleod’s is Planning A Big Move in 2018: Note from Sharon Macleod 

After 20 years in Riverside, Mary Macleod’s has expanded considerably, now providing its cookies to cafe and retail locations throughout Canada as well as shipping personalized orders throughout the country and internationally. They have truly outgrown their small shop and facility here in Riverside, and decided to make a big move to a larger facility where they can operate at full capacity and continue to grow.

They won’t have the same type of shop/street presence in their new spot and are gearing toward their growing market of shipping orders. Their last day open at their Riverside shop will be February 14th – please stop by at 639 Queen Street East for a sweet farewell!

Sharon Macleod sent us this message to share with the neighbourhood:

Dear Neighbours and fellow BIA members,

After 20 years on Queen Street East in Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood, we’re moving in early 2018. I invite you to drop by and help us celebrate our last Christmas in Riverside.

We will definitely miss the vibrant neighbourhood. As an early settler in Riverside, we have watched the area grow and flourish. When Mary moved to Riverside, the bakery was open to retail customers only a couple days a week during non-Christmas and then 5 days a week from October to December. It was mainly her loyal customers from the Yonge and Eglinton area who would make the trek. We are now open 7 days a week throughout the year with lots of neighbourhood customers, so quite a change.

Our reason for moving – we’ve found a larger space in West Toronto that will help us keep up with the ongoing demand for our shortbread cookies. Of course, we will continue to make our shortbread Mary’s way – by hand, in small batches, using premium ingredients.

Though we won’t have a traditional retail store, you can still purchase shortbread cookies online or by phone and pick up orders at our new space Monday-Thursday from 10am-4pm.   And of course, we’ll continue to deliver anywhere around the globe. We’ll also have open houses around major holidays so you can shop for seasonal gifts, enjoy cookies and the heavenly smell of buttery shortbread.

Sign up for our mailing list at and stay tuned for more information.


Sharon Macleod

Mary Macleod’s Shortbread
639 Queen Street East | Toronto, ON | M4M 1G4

416-461-4576 (office) | 416-576-6381 (cell) | 416-981-7599 (fax)

WHAT’S ON for Shop the Neighbourhood, Nov 25th in Toronto’s Riverside

On November 25th, Riverside establishments will be opening their doors and inviting everyone for meet and greets and special happenings to help ring in the holidays. A number of fun and festive events will take place throughout the day along Queen Street east from the DVP to Empire Ave, culminating in Light Up Riverside tree lighting and cheer event (5-7pm, 791 Queen E).

Here are some of the special happenings in store – keep checking back – we’re adding more daily to this live blog as we count down the days! (p.s. don’t forget to start snapping & sharing your pics for Riverside’s Window Wonderland Contest)

MARY MACLEOD’S – 639 Queen St E – Enjoy seasonal beverages and a free cookie from 10am-5pm

BAREFOOT BEAUTY – 643 Queen St E – 10am-6pm – Enjoy 25% off retail items and a $15 gift card for every $75 spent on manicure and pedicure services!

CRY IF I WANT TO – 696 Queen St E (2nd Fl, Suite C) – From 12pm-4pm, will be hosting a studio open featuring their new line of custom wall paper, plus, sales on: ALL in stock Tempaper Designs peel and stick wall paper (all rolls will be 25% off the already discounted price) & Fabrics from past design projects – all at deep discounts.

EASTBOUND BREWING CO – 700 Queen St East – From 12pm-6pm, come by for an amazing programme including:

  • Free brewery tours every hour from 1pm onward
  • Sampling counter for Eastbound beers with a guided tasting – free with any beer to go!
  • Holiday cookie giveaways
  • New holiday gift bundles from our brewery and kitchen for sale
  • Kid’s snowflake making to help decorate our window!!
  • p.s. Learn more about their upcoming Nov 30th Christmas Dinner with Sam & Dave

LONE & CO – 717 Queen St E – From 12pm-6pm, is offering 25% off Kevin Murphy and R&CO Holiday Gift packages.

DIMENSIONS – 732 Queen St E – Mention ‘Light Up Riverside’ and get 10% off custom framing!

OPERA HOUSE GRILL – 735 Queen St E – from 12pm-6pm, purchase any entree and receive a free mini-soup! (Plus come out to Light Up Riverside from 5-7pm and get a comp taste of Chris’ famous chicken noodle – great for kids of all ages!)

CARIBBEAN SUNSET – 753A Queen St E – from 9am-12pm, enjoy a hearty Charity Brunch at Caribbean Sunset while giving back! This is a ‘pay what you can’, event and ALL proceeds go toward a free Christmas dinner and gifts at the Ralph Thornton Centre for those in need.

SUGAR LOAF BAKERY & CAFE – 729 Queen E – Stop by and pick up your mini gingerbread house on a mug, the perfect gift for coffee or tea lovers!

RIVERDALE TRADING CO – 760 Queen St E – Blow out sale! Enjoy 30% off all records (excluding rarities) all weekend.

CARE GIFT ELVES – 765 Queen St E, 2nd Fl – From 12:30pm to 3:30pm, the Care Gift Elves are inviting kids of all ages from the east end to an arts and crafts event at the Ralph Thornton Centre to help them make and collect holiday decorations for the Red Door Family Shelter.


WAXON WAXBAR – 766 Queen St E – To anyone who mentions Light Up Riverside, WAXON will offer 15% off selected services.

QUEEN GARDEN CENTRE – 771 Queen St E – Christmas stock is now available! Plus enjoy a warm open fire and hot cocoa while you shop!

BMO QUEEN/SAULTER BRANCH – 774 Queen St E – Please drop off your toy donations for Queen Alexander Public School’s Toy Drive. New toys for children ages 4 to 10 welcomed!

SASH & BUSTLE – 779 Queen St E – From 12pm to 6pm, the shop will have a cookie decorating station, warm beverage and lots of great gifts and stocking stuffers for all recent brides and brides-to-be!

HERE & NOW  – 770 Queen St E – Get 20-70% holiday sale on men’s and ladies’ apparel.

BERGSTROM ORIGINALS – 781 Queen St E – Get 20% off all accessories, and free gift wrapping!

ARTS MARKET  – 790 Queen St E – Enjoy extended holiday hours, from 11am to 8pm, to get some holiday shopping checked off your list! They’ll also have cookies for customers! Plus learn more about their Raw Redemption event, coming up Nov 30th!

MUSTARD SEED/FONTBONNE – 791 Queen St E – Don’t miss the Jumbo Winter Sale taking place inside from 4pm-8pm, while taking in the joys of  Light Up Riverside tree lighting from 5-7pm in the outdoor court yard!

CHEZ NOUS WINE BAR – 798 Queen St E – 5pm – 2AM – Enjoy a glass of traditional mulled wine for only $6 – it’s the perfect way for the 19+ crowd to warm up after visiting Light Up Riverside (it’s right across the street!)

COMMON SORT – 800 Queen St E – From 11am to 7pm, come in to enjoy free mulled hot Apple cider

TOKEN – 804 Queen St E – From 11am to 7pm, Token will be doing a free tasting of flavoured Olive oils

TABULE – 810 Queen St E – In celebration of the season Tabule is giving you the chance to ENTER to WIN a $50 Tabule Gift Card for a Holiday Date Night to enjoy with that special someone! Tweet them your favorite menu item for a bonus entry!

FRAMEWRK – When you drop by Light Up Riverside to get your Riverside swag bag, you’ll find a complimentary class card to Framewrk inside!

SAULTER STREET BREWERY – 31 Saulter St- From 6-9PM, come join the Light Up Riverside After Party including $5 pints and live music, welcoming the whole family! Don’t forget to drop off  toy donations to help fill their box for the Red Door Family Shelter (needed by Dec 11th)!

CHI JUNKY – 70 McGee St. – Stop by the Chi Junky Yoga studio between 9am-1pm to purchase our Light Up Riverside class package (4 classes for $60 – $40 savings. Available Nov 25th only from 9am-1pm. Classes run until 5pm) Plus — new to the studio? Try any class on Saturday Nov. 25th for $10! Get addicted to small class sizes, essential oil massages and killer playlists.


Don’t forget, our Window Wonderland Contest starts Nov 25th! Snap & Share your fave decorated windows using #RiversideTO