TORONTO CITY HALL
I love intimate weddings at Toronto City Hall. There’s just something about stripping away all the ruffles and lace of a wedding day and getting down to the essentials. Weddings really can be simple. I know it may never seem like this. Especially when you come from a big family. But if you want a simple no-fuss wedding day, a Toronto City Hall wedding may be perfect for you.
Your wedding is a special event in your life. Whether you envision a simple family affair with your closest loved ones or a pure elopement. In fact, there are many reasons for getting married at Toronto City Hall. And contrary to popular belief, a small budget isn’t always it.
Perhaps you’re a spontaneous couple who just decided to get married. Maybe you are planning an elaborate wedding abroad. Perhaps you’re just shy and don’t want a lot of eyes on you. Heck, maybe you want your friend to marry you on the wedding day but still need the legal formality sorted. Unlike the US, Canada doesn’t have a service where you can get ordained over the phone. On the contrary, only a registered officiant can legally marry you. So sorting out the legal formality at Toronto City Hall and having a spiritual ceremony with loved ones is still very popular
CIVIC WEDDING CHAMBERS
The Civic Wedding Chamber is on the third floor of the East Tower of Toronto City Hall. The chamber a simple intimate space. It offers large windows overlooking the green rooftop podium. They provide a modern ambiance with fresh flowers. Overall, it’s a lovely setting for a quickie wedding ceremony.
They play some music. You have an aisle to walk down. They also talk about marriage as a loving partnership. And finally, the couple emerges as husband and wife. Even with some of my full-fledged weddings, the couples don’t really feel different after the ceremony. They’re husband and wife, but it hasn’t quite sunk in yet. That comes much later. So if you’re expecting that shock and awe moment, it’ll come eventually. This is more to make it official.
Marriage is a leap in the dark. It’s an act of faith for the future. You are promising to face the world together no matter what may come. You don’t have to go to a temple or a cathedral to understand that. Without a doubt, the officiants here witness this every day. By holding hands and saying “I do,” you’ll find yourself bound together in the eyes of the world. Two become one, and, with luck, both of you are stronger for it.
Toronto City Hall performs wedding ceremonies Monday to Saturday by appointment only. Friends and family are welcome with seating available for up to 15 people. There is also standing room for approximately 15 more. On the day of your wedding ceremony, you provide a valid Marriage License and two witnesses. Also, feel free to bring your own vows or special readings if desired.
After your wedding ceremony, you will also receive the Record of Solemnization of Marriage. Approximately 12 weeks following the ceremony you may apply for a Marriage Certificate from the Office of the Registrar General through seviceontario.ca.
TORONTO CITY HALL PRICING
As of writing this post, the fee to get married at Toronto City Hall was $290.00 plus tax. That includes the marriage officiant and the Civic Wedding Chamber for 30 minutes.
Wedding photography pricing is hourly and based on how much coverage you’re looking for. No deposit is required. So you’d simply pay the whole amount on the day of your wedding. The wedding photos are then edited and digitally delivered to you within 1-2 weeks.
WEDDING PHOTOS AT TORONTO CITY HALL
The Civic Wedding Chambers does allow photos and videos during the wedding ceremony. Afterward, the green roof podium is a great place for family photos while all your guests are still available.
However, on the chance of bad weather, I normally relocate the family portrait session to the indoor gallery.
Then, depending on how much time the couple books for their wedding portraits, we would go on a little tour of the city. Toronto offers plenty of photo opportunities. In fact, there are many within walking distance of Toronto City Hall. Nathan Phillips Square, Osgoode Hall Gardens, Old City Hall, Trinity Square, and Eaton Centre are some of my favorites. The ones listed below are within a 10 min drive. So if you’re interested in something a little different for your wedding photos, they are some really unique options.
If you’re expecting bad weather but still want some beautiful photos, Allan Garden is a great option. It’s an indoor greenhouse. However, this location does require a photo permit. So in the days leading up to your wedding, if you notice the possibility of rain, this is a great option to add-on.
Graffiti Alley is also an amazing location that’s super close to Toronto City Hall. This location is free to use and provides a more unorthodox look for your wedding photos. So if you’re not into the wedding look, this location would be right up your alley… pun intended.
TORONTO RAILWAY MUSEUM
The Toronto Railway Museum is also a really unique location for wedding photos. It’s an outdoor interactive museum in the heart of the city and free to use. You can interact and pose with many of the trains they have on display. And the location offers some great views of the city skyline and CN Tower.
TORONTO MUSIC GARDENS
Toronto Music Gardens does require a photo permit as well but it’s pretty affordable considering what it offers. This location is designed for wedding photos. It offers an iron dome gazebo structure, winding pathways, gardens, and waterfront access.
If you’d prefer a more vintage feel to your wedding photos, check out the Distillery District. This location showcases the older side of Toronto with historic buildings. This distillery features some amazing artwork and photo locations perfect for your wedding portraits. While entrance into this area is free, a photo permit is required for weddings.
ST GEORGE CAMPUS
The University of Toronto St. George Campus is a classically beautiful location for wedding portraits. The buildings on this campus really do offer some castle vibes. A photo permit is required for this location as well but it’s pretty reasonable.
CHECK-LIST FOR YOUR TORONTO CITY HALL
- Bring your Marriage License
- Two Witnesses 18 years or older
- Limit your guest count to 15 seated or 30 total
- Arrive 20 minutes early and expect traffic delays during rush hour
- Don’t forget the wedding rings and vows if you’re including them
- There is no dress code
You may purchase your marriage license at Toronto City Hall or any municipality within the Province of Ontario. However, the price of this depends on where you go. You can download an application form from their website.
Keep in mind, you must apply for a marriage license in person at your local municipal office. A marriage license expires after three months. So, if your plans change and your license expires, it must be repurchased. A valid Marriage Licence is required for the ceremony to take place.
HOW TO BOOK YOUR TORONTO CITY HALL WEDDING
There are so many wonderful locations to photograph wedding portraits around Toronto. For more information about wedding photography at Toronto City Hall, send an inquiry. More information about booking your wedding at Civic Wedding Chamber, contact their office at 416 363 0316 or drop by in person. To book your wedding ceremony at the Civic Wedding Chamber, the full fee is required upfront and is nonrefundable. Some months are busier than others. So book as far in advance as possible to secure your preferred date and time. However, they can accommodate short notice bookings on most weekdays.
100 Queen St W
Toronto, ON M5H2N2
If coming by car, take Gardiner Expressway. Take the Yonge Street exit heading North. You’ll be making a left on Richmond Street East and a right on Bay Street. Toronto City Hall will be on your left side. Entrances to their parking lot can be seen below. The Civic Wedding Chamber is on the third floor of the East Tower.
Monday – Friday 9 am – 8 pm
Saturday and Sunday 9 am – 6 pm