Best known for its iconic skyline, Toronto’s trendy urban atmosphere and rich history make it one of the world’s most underrated elopement and wedding locations. When you elope in Toronto, you’ll find it’s much more than a bustling cityscape or modern metropolitan center. Nestled along the shores of Lake Ontario, between the soaring skyscrapers and vibrant city sounds, lies grand historic buildings, lush green parks, decadent restaurants, boutique stores, intimate ceremony venues, cozy hotels, art galleries, bars, live music, and more! Not to mention, Toronto is North America’s 4th most sustainable city!
I’m an elopement photographer based in Ontario who values organic and sustainable celebrations. I love exploring Toronto with couples and capturing their reactions to all the hidden beauty that lies within the city’s skyline. If you’re considering a Toronto elopement or have already started the planning process, keep reading this ultimate Toronto guide to uncover all my best wedding planning tips and tricks!
THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO ELOPE IN TORONTO
Elope In Toronto During Late Summer | Early Fall
August can be hot, with an average temperature of 21C (70F). While August’s warm weather is perfect for swimming, the mornings and evenings are best spent in town or exploring nature. I recommend sticking to indoor activities during the day’s peak and planning elopement ceremonies for Sunrise or Sunset.
September brings milder temperatures, with an average of 18C (64F). During the day’s peak, it’s still warm enough for a quick swim or some time spent on the water. Daytime temperatures are more comfortable, leaving you and your partner more time to explore all of Toronto’s natural and urban beauty.
In October, the Autumn leaves in High Park and other surrounding nature areas begin to transition into brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows. The average temperature in Toronto during October is about 12C (54F). It’s the perfect time of year for colorful, intimate elopements celebrated in the crisp autumn breeze!
WHY YOU SHOULD ELOPE IN TORONTO
01. There’s Something For Everyone In Toronto
From the 19th-century architecture of the Distillery District to the urban allure of Brookfield’s Place, Yorkville, and Nathan Phillips Square, there’s something for everyone in Toronto. Whether you and your partner want to celebrate with a city hall elopement, host an intimate wedding at a luxurious hotel, or say ‘I Do’ on a sandy beach in Scarborough Bluffs, you’ll have a culturally rich and exciting wedding experience.
Speaking of something for everyone, if you and your partner are big foodies, you’ll fall in love with Toronto’s culinary scene. From vegan restaurants to pubs, fine dining experiences, and casual modern eateries, you’ll find just about every cuisine you’re looking for when you elope in Toronto!
02. Toronto Values Sustainability
For couples who live and seek out a green lifestyle, Toronto is one of the most sustainable cities in North America, with a climate action strategy in place and readily available eco-friendly resources. Ecotourism is on the rise in Toronto. Transportation options such as bike rentals or zero-emission vehicles are plentiful. Toronto is also an extremely walkable city, with sidewalks and green spaces thoroughly scattered throughout the city that are well maintained. Many restaurants only serve locally sourced, seasonal food items, along with hotels that maintain gardens and green roofs, collect rainwater for irrigation, and prioritize energy efficiency. There are also a variety of sustainable wedding venues and vendors in Toronto! If a sustainable elopement or intimate wedding is something you are interested in, I’ve got a list of preferred sustainable vendors and venues I share with clients before you elope in Toronto!
03. Toronto is LGBTQ+ Friendly!
Every June, one of the world’s largest pride parades takes place in Toronto. The city celebrates Pride Month all June long and even hosts an entire festival weekend full of rallies, music, food, and drinks! If you’re looking to get married in Toronto in June, incorporating Toronto Pride festivities into your elopement is a fun and unique way to celebrate your love in the city!
Pride in Toronto does just stop after June! If you’re planning a late Summer or Fall elopement, The Village is a great place to celebrate! The Village is a historic LGBTQIA2S+ community that fosters diversity and inclusivity. The neighborhood has been a gathering place for LGBTQIA2S+ individuals and allies for decades. Year-round, visitors can explore The Villiage and experience the community’s energetic nightlife or lively daytime entertainment. From vibrant nightclubs to friendly dive bars, drag library brunches, drag shows, karaoke, live music, art exhibits, and more — The Village has it all!
THE BEST CEREMONY LOCATIONS IN TORONTO
Before you plan to elope in Toronto, you and your partner should discuss what you love and envision for your big day! You can choose to embrace the excitement of the big city or enjoy the serenity of nature. Here are some of my favorite ceremony locations in Toronto!
01. High Park
High Park is located in the heart of Toronto and comprises 399 acres of pristine nature and recreational facilities. Designated as a relaxation hub by locals, High Park is a flourishing nature oasis amidst the urban energy of Toronto.
High Park offers a variety of activities, such as hiking trails, a stunning lakefront, a dog park, a zoo, picnic areas, recreational centers, and sightseeing! The park is known for its beautiful Skaura trees, which flower Cherry Blossoms in late Spring.
High Park has limited free parking, but public transit via bus, subway, or streetcar are convenient and frequent the area. There is no admission fee to enter High Park. Photographers are required to obtain a permit, but as your elopement photographer, I’ll have that part covered!
02. Scarborough Bluffs
Made up of 11 unique parks, Scarborough Bluffs stretches 15 km along Lake Ontario. Bluffer’s Park and Scarboro Crescent Park are the most popular parks. Bluffer’s Park is great for a Summer Sunrise beach elopement, followed by a day spent swimming in Lake Ontario. Scarboro Crescent Park is perfect for a Sunset vow ceremony, followed by wedding portraits near the beach’s dazzling white cliffs. Bluffer’s Park and Scarbaro Cresent Park are great for picnics and barbeques, but if you visit on a weekend or a nice day in the Summer, know both parks can get very crowded. If you plan to elope in Toronto at one of Scarborough Bluffs’ many parks, plan your ceremony for weekday or non-peak visitor season; this will ensure your ceremony is as private as possible!
03. Ward Island
Located off the coast of Toronto is Ward Island, a charming Lake Ontario beach community. Accessible by a short ferry ride, Ward Island is a great place to elope or celebrate an intimate wedding with close family and friends. Not only will you get to see an epic view of the Toronto skyline from the ferry, but once you arrive, there’s plenty of nature to explore, including a white sandy beach.
A Sunset elopement on Ward Island Beach is the perfect place for a Summer ceremony off the coast of Toronto. Since the ferry ride is just 15-20 minutes, you and your partner can spend a quiet evening saying “I Do” on Ward Island before returning to Toronto for a lively city celebration.
04. Distillery District
The Distillery District in downtown Toronto is an art lover’s dream! With over 40 boutiques and one-of-a-kind businesses, couples can stroll along 19th-century cobblestone streets and explore historic buildings filled with whiskey distilleries, restaurants, bars, art galleries, and stores!
An urban elopement or intimate wedding in the Distillery District is the perfect way to celebrate you and your partner’s love if you enjoy art, historical buildings, and the bustling sounds of the city! If you’re planning an intimate elopement, I recommend celebrating with a drink at a bar, brewery, pub, or distillery with close family and friends. It’s a great way to experience the best the Distillery District offers!
04. Rouge National Urban Park
Open year-round, Rogue National Urban Park borders the city of Toronto and is one of the largest urban parks in North America! Apart from beautiful Sunsets and plentiful wildlife, you and your partner can enjoy sightseeing, camping, and hiking. The Rouge is also home to Rouge Marsh and Rouge River, open to visitors for canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and swimming. The entire park is also dong-friendly!
Rouge Beach Park is an excellent elopement ceremony location at Sunrise or Sunset. If you plan a Sunrise ceremony at Rogue National Urban Park, you and your partner can follow the celebration up with a breakfast picnic on the beach, then spend the rest of the day exploring the 79 km park! Large and small events in the park require a permit. As your elopement photographer, I will assist with securing a permit!
05. Evergreen Brickworks
What used to be an abandoned brick factory is now a flourishing community hub. This dog-friendly, sustainable park offers beautiful spaces for activities and events, including elopements and weddings. This large-scale environmental hub is a vibrant ceremony location connecting couples and their guests with nature, culture, and community. Couples can take wedding portraits at The Lookout Path, which offers amazing views of the Toronto skyline, share a celebratory meal at the Picnic Cafe, or throw a sustainable wedding reception on the property. Paid parking on site is limited but available, and public bus transit does stop outside Evergreen Brickworks. This location does require a photography permit, but as your elopement photographer, I will assist with securing that permit!
06. OBJX Studio
The OBJX Studio is a shared, creative community space offering a variety of carefully curated communal spaces for entrepreneurs and events. This artful and eclectic industrial warehouse, filled with vintage furniture and funky antiques, can be privately booked for weddings and elopements! It’s one of the most trendy ceremony and reception spaces for couples in western Toronto, just outside The Junction.
07. Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)
AGO is one of North America’s most notable art galleries, with over 90,000 art pieces. The gallery has eight beautiful event spaces, ranging in size based on guest accommodation. AGO also has an in-house culinary team that can cater your event. The team will create a custom menu with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. The museum’s interior architecture is also an incredible work of art, housing collections of works from European paintings to contemporary sculptures. Everyone is welcome at AGO, and the gallery is committed to diversity, inclusion, equity & accessibility.
THE BEST ACCOMODATIONS IN TORONTO
01. Hotel X
Well-known for its lavash resort-style amenities and world-class concierge services, Hotel X is the pinnacle of luxury accomodations in Toronto. You and your partner can splurge on one of the hotel’s beautiful suites, indulge in the hotel’s rooftop dining experience, and relax at the spa! The Hotel X can also double as a wedding venue if you’re planning a celebration to include friends and family.
02. Fairmont Royal York
The Fairmont Royal York has been a landmark of the Toronto skyline since the late 1920s. Its elegant and modern interior makes it a tasteful and classic accommodation choice for couples that value quality. Apart from its lovely suites and guestrooms, the hotel is known for its 18th-floor lounge, health club, pool, and seasonally-inspired restaurants. The Library Bar is an intimate and romantic spot to grab cocktails after celebrating your elopement in Toronto. The Fairmont Royal York can also double as a wedding ceremony location!
03. 1 Hotel Toronto
The 1 Hotel Toronto is a sustainable and luxurious accommodation for couples that value eco-friendly environments and options. Not only is the 1 Hotel sustainable, but pets are also welcome in this tranquil oasis amidst Toronto’s bustling city streets. Its signature dining restaurants offer farm-to-table menus featuring locally sourced and seasonal items. The 1 Hotel prioritizes energy efficiency and promotes a culture of inclusivity and mindfulness. If you stay in one of the hotel’s cozy guest rooms or suites, you’ll support forest restoration efforts across Canada. One of the best parts about the 1 Hotel is its many wedding ceremony and reception spaces for celebrations of all sizes. If you’re planning an intimate wedding or elopement with close friends and family, the Garden Pavillion is the perfect place for you, your partner, and your guests.
01. The Drake
The Drake is a funky, modern boutique hotel with an artistic twist. Its vibrant interior features and genuine hospitality make it the perfect accommodation for couples who love art and interior design or want a unique stay experience in Toronto! The hotel offers a variety of dining experiences, from high tea to sushi! The Drake Hotel is also proud to own one of the best music venues in Toronto, the Drake Underground. If visual art is more up your alley, the Drake is also home to many contemporary art exhibits! The hotel offers a selection of rooms based on stylistic preference. It also has trendy celebration spaces for elopements and weddings!
02. The Broadview
Built in the late 1800s, The Broadview is in the historic east-end neighborhood. With almost 60 boutique guest rooms, five unique wedding and reception spaces, and delicious restaurants with bars, you and your partner can relax and live the true Toronto local experience. The Broadview’s restaurant and bars will surely be the highlight of your stay, providing guests with a modern twist on Toronto’s historical origins. The food at the Broadview is locally sourced and seasonally selected, making its restaurants and bars an excellent and sustainable dining choice.
03. The Gladstone House
The Gladstone House has managed to preserve old Toronto’s original history and iconic architecture while offering modern amenities and artful interior design. Its welcoming, eclectic energy is one of the many reasons why this accommodation is a popular choice among curious creatives and adventurous travelers. Apart from carefully curated guest rooms featuring exposed and historic brick walls, the hotel offers a bistro and bar (open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and cocktails) and a large fitness center for those who like to stay active! The Gladstone can also double as a ceremony space, with four different wedding spaces. If you plan to elope in Toronto privately but want to celebrate after with friends and family, the Gladstone is a stunning place for a reception!
01. Bright, Unique Home In Downtown Toronto
This bright and unique home in downtown Toronto is a quiet and relaxing accommodation if you and your partner are celebrating an intimate elopement with just the two of you. The home features a small fitness area with a sauna and jacuzzi. It also has a romantic outdoor patio decorated with glowy string lights and a bonfire pit. This modern and cozy Airbnb is conveniently located next to amazing restaurants, markets, bakeries, and coffee shops, all within walking distance. It’s also pet-friendly if you plan on including your furry friend in your elopement celebration!
02. Architectural Gem In The Heart Of Toronto
This large and luxurious guest home in the heart of Toronto is one of the best home-away-from-home accommodations in the city, especially if you’re planning on including close friends or family in your elopement day celebrations. The home features three bedrooms, three bathrooms, heated floors, a rooftop cedar hot tub, and many more modern luxuries! If you plan on celebrating your elopement in the Distillery District, this Airbnb is within walking distance!
03. Holiday Getaway Home At Toronto Beach
Located right on Lake Ontario’s Toronto Beach is a magnificent holiday getaway home. The accommodation can sleep up to 8 guests, with four bedrooms, five bathrooms, a private pool, hot tub, and fire pit. If you and you and your partner are planning to elope in Toronto with family and friends, this is a great place to celebrate and relax! This Airbnb is less than a 10-minute car ride from downtown Toronto and is located in a charming lake coastline neighborhood with a vintage, small-town atmosphere!
THE BEST ACTIVITIES IN AND AROUND TORONTO
- Explore nature in High Park (see the Cherry blossoms in Spring or colorful autumn leaves in Fall.
- Visit Scarborough Bluffs for a swim, walk, or picnic!
- Take a forest walk, go for a swim, or have a picnic on Toronto Island (Ward Island).
- Visit Main Island (Centreville) for carnival rides, food and activities.
- Go dance, catch live music, relax at a bar, or enjoy good food in downtown Toronto!
- Watch a Blue Jays game at Rogers Centre.
- Hang out at a rooftop pool.
- Visit a food festival like Vegandale or Taste of the Danforth!
- Experience Toronto tourism and visit CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium, or a Brewery Tour at Steam Whistle.
- Admire and explore Toronto’s art galleries, like the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Royal Ontario Museum!
TRAVELING TO TORONTO
There are many convenient ways to travel to Toronto for your elopement! Toronto Pearson Airport is Canada’s largest airport and services over 40 airlines, including Air Canada, British Airways, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, and more! From Toronto Pearson Airport, you and your partner can rent a car, utilize rideshare, arrange a hotel shuttle, grab a cab, or take advantage of the UP Express. Toronto is very walkable, with many other transportation options such as e-bikes, buses, and subways. I recommend taking advantage of Toronto’s public transit options or walking, if possible!
HOW TO MAKE YOUR TORONTO ELOPEMENT OFFICIAL
Toronto Elopement & Wedding Permits
Ceremony and photography permits may be required when eloping in city, provincial, and national parks. As your elopement photographer, I’ll assist with arranging any necessary permits you’ll need based on your unique elopement location!
Toronto, Ontario, Marriage Requirements & Regulations
Here are some general requirements and regulations for making your Toronto elopement official!
- A marriage license is required to get married in Ontario.
- A marriage license may only be obtained via online appointment at one of two locations.
- Toronto City Hall
- North York Civic Centre
- An appointment must be booked in advance within 90 days of the ceremony.
- You will need to provide valid, government-issued forms of identification at your appointment. (Passport, Driver’s License, Citizenship Card, etc…)
- The marriage license is only valid in Ontario and can be used anywhere in Ontario.
- Anyone over the age of 16 can get married in Ontario.
- Anyone is welcome to apply for a marriage license and get married in Ontario.
- There are no gender, residency, citizenship, or medical requirements.
- You must arrange a separate appointment for a city hall ceremony.
- If you choose to elope at a city hall, you won’t need to arrange for an officiant to perform the ceremony!
- If you choose to elope elsewhere, your marriage must be performed by an officiant authorized by Ontario who can properly and legally perform the ceremony. You will also need two witnesses present.
- Your signed marriage license will then need to be sent to Ontario to be registered.
- In 10-12 weeks after your ceremony, you can request a marriage certificate online from ServiceOntario.
Before you elope in Toronto, visit here to read about all the specific marriage license requirements!
TORONTO ELOPEMENT ESSENTIALS PACKING LIST
- Passport / ID / Credit Cards / Canadian Dollars
- Elopement Attire
- Garment Bags (Shop here for the BEST eco-friendly garment bags)
- Vow Books
- Base Layers
- Hiking boots
- Long + Short Sleeved Shirts
- Hats + Scarves + Gloves
- Umbrella + Poncho
- Adaptors + Chargers
- First Aid Kit + Medications + Toiletries
- Flashlights + Headlamps
- Hiking Packs
- Reusable Water Bottles
TORONTO ELOPEMENT TIMELINE
11:00 AM – Enjoy brunch at Kōst Restaurant.
1:00 PM – Walk back to your room at the 1 Hotel and get ready for your elopement!
4:00 PM – Take a cab to the Ward Island ferry boat.
5:20 PM – Board the Ward Island ferry boat at Queen’s Bay.
5:40 PM – Arrive at Ward Island and stroll through the forest.
6:45 PM – Say your vows at Ward Island Beach at Sunset.
7:00 PM – Take Sunset portraits, make a champagne toast, and share some cupcakes!
8:00 PM – Take the ferry back to Toronto.
8:30 PM – Grab a cab and head to 416 Snack Bar for cocktails and dinner!
11:00 PM – Celebrate with some fun at Ping Pong Bar – Spin Toronto.
Are You Ready To Elope In Toronto?
If you and your partner love the idea of a Toronto elopement and need help figuring out all the details of your dream ceremony, you can share your love story, vision, and more through my inquiry form! You can also check out where I’m headed this year on my travel page and take a look at my Ontario elopement packages. If you’re interested in learning more about eloping in Canada, read my Canada elopement guide. I’ve also got a free guide available for download on my website that helps couples figure out How To Choose Your Dream Elopement Destination! I’m so excited to uncover, explore, and share the hidden gems of the city with you and your partner when you elope in Toronto!