Enjoy the ULTIMATE GUIDE to your perfect wedding at Toronto Botanical Garden. Includes awesome tips, cost information and photos taken at TBG and Edward Gardens.
According to Toronto Botanical Garden, a wedding costs between $1,300 and $3,000 for the rental of the Garden Hall or the Floral Hall. Please see more details on the cost below. On top of the base cost, you can expect several mandatory fees that increase the total amount by about 35%. A 50% deposit is required to book the hall. Please find more details below.
Because TBG is a volunteer driven charity and the city of Toronto owns the establishment, this one of the most affordable wedding venues in the GTA. Here is some information on renting spaces. The fees cover only the space or rental and do not include the food and beverages, DJ, wedding planner, photographer, decor, etc. The cost is the same whether you have only a wedding ceremony or a ceremony and reception.
The Floral Hall is a is a 3,400 sq. ft. room that can accommodate up to 200 guests for sit down meals. The Floral Hall boasts 20 ft ceilings, and large skylights let in lots of natural lighting. The base rental rate for this room is $3100 on a Saturday or $2,600 on a Friday or Sunday, on a long weekend Sunday the rate is $3,100.
The Floral Hall has its own garden, the Floral Courtyard. Your guests can sneak out during the reception to enjoy a drink in the private courtyard surrounded by walls, etched glass, espalier trees and a water curtain. The Floral Courtyard can also be used as a cocktail area and for ceremonies and can accommodate up to 145 guests when set up as a theatre.
In addition to the rental rate there are mandatory fees:
- 15% landmark fee on food only, before taxes
- $40/hour for the Venue Supervisor fee (booking time from 10am to 2am for the wedding ceremony and reception)
- $60 SOCAN fee
- $27 Re:sound fee
For more information on the SOCAN fees, please visit the SOCAN licensing page
The approximate cost including the additional mandatory charges for the the Floral Hall will be $4,300. This includes the tables, chairs, podium, projector screen and basic A/V equipment. The rental fee gives you access to the garden grounds for free (a wedding photography permit costs $275). Please note that if you want to photograph in Edwards Gardens you need to purchase a permit from the City of Toronto by calling 416-392-8188.
Important Information about renting the spaces. You’ll be able to access the venue from 10 a.m. on your wedding day. Your wedding reception should end by 1 a.m. because the staff has to tear down tables, the decorations and to clean up the space by 2 will a.m.
Garden Hall can accommodate up to 80 guests for a reception with a dance floor and the Garden Hall patio can seat up to 120 guests theatre style for ceremonies or be used for cocktail receptions (max. 100 people). This space features beautiful light fixtures and a patio surrounded by a water channel and a waterfall. The base rental rate of this room is $1,300 on a Saturday or $1,200 on a Friday or Sunday.
Should you have any question about any wedding packages or a banquet hall, please contact Sales or the wedding planner at (416) 397-1340
To say that the botanic garden offers beautiful backdrops for your special day and engagement portraits would be a massive understatement. I personally prefer the following settings.
- Perennial Borders Garden features a multitude of flowers and plants that bloom at different times of the year and create beautiful backdrops for your wedding photos
- Garden Hall Courtyard is not only a perfect outdoor wedding venue, but also a beautiful location for your wedding day or engagement pictures
- If you have time to go to Edward Gardens, I suggest the two bridges. The arched bridge provides a splendid green background of evergreen trees. It is a good spot to capture the bride and groom portraits as the top of the bridge is above sidewalk level thus eliminating distractions and passersby.
- The second bridge downstream is also a great option with the rocks giving a slightly rugged look to the images. Often gophers, squirrels, chipmunks and loonies roam in the background adding elements of interest and emotion to your photos. Below is an engagement image taken by the bridge. On the opposite side there are rhododendrons that bloom in May – June depending on the weather and that offer a multicolour backdrop, perfect for small wedding party shots or newlyweds pictures.
- For the adventurous couples, I highly recommend descending under the bridge where the waterfall creates the perfect backdrop for your romantic wedding photos. Please have a pair of running shoes if you want to take that shot.
Please note that because of its location in proximity of Wilket Creek and the pond, often the grass and soil are wet, especially in spring, so you need to be careful with your wedding gown. To play safe and avoid ruining your beautiful dress, you might also want to consider a pre wedding photo shoot.
TBG has 17 award winning themed gardens. First, the Entry Garden Walked designed by a Duch designer is located next to the parking lot. The second garden named “Containers in the Garden. If the weather collaborates, a perfect spot for your ceremony is the Westview Terrace located next to the Garden Hall. The Westview Terrace features a waterfall and a curved water channel that has a cooling effect appreciated in the summer by the groom and groomsmen wearing dark suits. The natural limestone bridge crossing the water channel is a great spot for a romantic pictures.
Garden Hall Courtyard is a natural amphitheatre located by the Garden Hall and can host your ceremony along with the Westview Terrace.
Floral Hall Courtyard (above) is a very popular setting for wedding ceremonies. Please note that this is an enclosed space that can be used even during your cocktail hour or reception in the Floral Hall.
Nature’s Garden blends two habitats from areas around Toronto. The western part, on the Wilket Creek Ravine includes trees, shrubs and perennials from the Carolinian Forest. On the other side, the eastern part of the Nature Garden created a habitat found in the St. Lawrence forest and the Canadian Shield.
Kitchen Garden revolves around a yearly theme such as: Japanese (2006), Caribbean (2007), India (2008), Ukraine (2009), Italian (2010), Irish (2011), Chinese (2012), World Crop Learning Gardens Program (2013), Inspired by Niji Jabbour’s book Groundbreaking Food Gardens (2014), Pollinator Playground (2015), Edible/Drinkable Garden(2016). With is picturesque backdrop, The Kitchen Garden is also a great location for bride and groom portraits.
If you want to have a large group photo with all the guests present on your Big Day, the best spot is in front of the main building, Dembroski Centre for Horticulture, next to the parking lot. Below is the image I took minutes after the ceremony. Please note that the light is harsh between 10 am and 3pm, so your photographer needs a powerful strobe to overpower the sun. The image below was captured using a studio light from a high vantage point.
For smaller group photos, please head to the fountain on top of the stairs by the pathway leading to Edward Gardens. The fountain adds to the beauty of the scene. Please note that before 4pm the sun will be above to the right of the groups creating a Rembrandt light that can be tiring to the eyes of the guests. A trick I employ in such difficult conditions is to ask guests to close their eyes and only open them when I count to three. One, two, three, open, click.
As a Toronto wedding photographer, I always try to take advantage of the best light possible. The light is the first step in achieving a great image. The best time to photograph the wedding day and engagement portraits is during the golden hour. The following two tables present the morning and the evening Golden hours. For more precise sunrise and sunsets by day and location, please visit this page.
Table 1: Morning Golden hour in Greater Toronto Area
|Month||Morning Golden Hour|
|January||7:50 – 8:50 a.m.|
|February||7:20 – 8:20 a.m.|
|March||7:30 – 8:30 a.m.|
|April||6:30 – 7:30 a.m.|
|May||5:50 – 6:50 a.m.|
|June||5:35 – 6:35 a.m.|
|July||5:50 – 6:50 a.m.|
|August||6:20 – 7:20 a.m.|
|September||7:00 – 8:00 a.m.|
|October||7:30 – 8:30 a.m.|
|November||7:10 – 8:10 a.m.|
|December||7:40 – 8:40 a.m.|
Table 2: Evening Golden hour in Greater Toronto Area
|Month||Evening Golden Hour|
|January||4:00 – 5:00 p.m.|
|February||4:40 – 5:40 p.m.|
|March||6:20 – 7:20 p.m.|
|April||7:00 – 8:00 p.m.|
|May||7:30 – 8:30 p.m.|
|June||8:00 – 9:00 p.m.|
|July||8:00 – 9:00 p.m.|
|August||7:20 – 8:20 p.m.|
|September||6:20 – 7:20 p.m.|
|October||5:30 – 6:30 p.m.|
|November||4:00 – 5:00 p.m.|
|December||3:40 – 4:40 p.m.|
Parking is free at TBG and donations are welcome. Unfortunately, you cannot reserve parking for your guests and there have been cases where parking was insufficient. That is the case, your best bet is to find street parking on Blaine Dr., Brian Cliff Dr. and Lakefield Dr., located within five minutes walk from the gardens entrance.
If you have out of town guests, you should be aware that the establishment has an agreement with Westin Price Toronto hotel located 6km from the gardens. Ask them for any specials they have on group reservations. Another establishment you might want to contact are Toronto Don Valley Hotels and Suites.
We all know children need to have fun on the wedding day or they can derail a ceremony or reception. Fortunately, the James Boyd Children’s Centre is an indoor area located across from the Floral Hall where children can learn and play. The James Boyd Children’s centre is equipped with teaching materials and plenty of toys to keep kids entertained for the duration of your wedding.
- Book early, at least 12 months in advance! This is one of the most beautiful outdoor wedding venues in Toronto. Hence, the demand is very high, especially during the peak season from May to September. My brides told me that particular summer dates were not available even though my couples inquired about 15 months in advance.
- While the gardens are spectacular, you might want to get Ready at another location as the TBG bridal suites are not that photogenic
- The Floral Hall (the largest wedding venue in the building) can only accommodate up to 200 guests for a dinner reception and a dance floor. If you want to have a Floral Hall wedding, you will have to trim your guest’s list.
- If you’re interested in this venue, you will need to book an appointment for a tour. Due to the high volume of scheduled appointments and meetings, the staff is not able to accommodate drop-ins. As such, please contact Warda at 416-397-4891 Monday to Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to make an appointment.
- LCBO Permit needed! Please note that the two wedding venues, namely the Floral Hall and the Garden Hall are not a licensed venues. That means you are more than welcome to consume alcohol at your wedding, but you will have to apply for your Special Occasion Permit (SOP) from the LCBO.
- Build time buffers in your wedding itinerary. Particularly in the spring and summer, the gardens are crowded with tourists, horticulturists, photographers, joggers; you get the picture. To obtain the best wedding photography possible in this beautiful setting, please allocate more time for your photo shoot.
- Check if your wedding date falls on a busy weekend at the gardens. For a the schedule of the TBG events, please visit the events page of the establishment.
- This is one of the most beautiful outdoor wedding venues in Toronto and Ontario
- It is conveniently located close to Highway 401 and Don Valley Parkway
- It is close to several hotels to accommodate your guests
- This is a very affordable venue owned by the City of Toronto
- There is plenty of free parking
- The Garden Hall and Floral Hall can accommodate up to 200 guests and have plenty of natural light
- You can bring your own alcohol and there is no corking fee
- TBG offers plenty of catering options
- Good citizen of the community and the eco system
- You cannot reserve parking
- The gardens are always crowded in the spring and summer and you might need to wait for me to take your magical wedding picture
- Because of its popularity you need to book your date early
- The bridal suites are not that pretty
Here are a couple of Toronto Botanical Garden weddings presented by Calin, a Toronto wedding photographer.