10tation Q&A: Discovering The Symes

A restored 1930's masterpiece of a venue ready for your booking, learn more about The Symes (Toronto) with 10tation and Viviana Kohon.

The Symes building is situated on 5.5 acres at 150 Symes Road in the vibrant Junction District, making it readily accessible by car and transit. Each room is equipped with a fully licensed bar, staff and kitchen areas, private lounges, and both accessible entrances and restrooms. The multipurpose venue offers more than 9,700 square feet of combined space in the form of two breathtaking rooms. The Symes team consists of partners Viviana Kohon, Namita Tandon-Walsh and Caitie Yue.

The Symes has been labelled as memorable, timeless and one-of-a-kind. In your own words, why does this label apply to the venue?

Once you see the place, you can't help but fall in love with its original art decor and design. Having been built in the 1930s, you won't find anything like it in Toronto.

Which of the building’s elements were selectively preserved during its transformation into an event space?

We have an antique scale that we are restoring to display in the entrance to our office. Also, cranes that were hanging in the Scarlett Room (on the 2nd floor) will be turned into a sculpture that will sit along the side of the building. Both rooms will have complete exposed brick walls that are to be kept original. We've also kept the graffiti in the lower level kitchen that reads "No Firearms Beyond This Point" - we hope our caterers and chefs will get a kick out of it!

Were there any that couldn’t be kept in tact that you wish could have remained?

We have the old lamps that we are still trying to decide what to do with. Unfortunately, the original wood brick floors were not in condition to keep using.

There are two major rooms available in The Symes, the Scarlett Room and the Grand Symes. What sets these rooms apart and what are a favourite feature of each?

Both rooms were named after the streets that surround the venue (Symes Road and Glenn Scarlett Road). Grand Symes has 3 enlarged skylights that make all the difference while giving the room an extra romantic touch in the evening. The Grand Symes also offers capacity for a 400 person sit-down dinner and there are very few ballrooms in the city that can accommodate that number of guests.

The Scarlett Room has round windows emblematic of the building that give the room such a special character plus a terrace (to be open in summer 2018) with a capacity for 250 people.

What kind of events do you believe will be hosted at The Symes most often?

While we are opening in the fall, we already have quite a few weddings, B’nei Mitzvahs and corporate events booked for fall/winter of 2017 and throughout 2018!

As far as client feedback goes, what are some aesthetics or features you find are pointed out most as favourites among those booking?

Our clients definitely love the large windows that allow for natural light, as well as the original building preservation. The raw warehouse look with the high of art deco architecture captures attention easily.

Can you name an already favourite memory from time spent at The Symes?

I remember the first time we saw the building, flooded and all covered in graffiti, but our team could still envision what it could be. It was a magical love at first sight.

What would be the ongoing mission of those working behind the scenes of these events?

Customer service and satisfaction is our guiding principle and main goal. We want our events to be flawless while helping to create wonderful memories for the hosts and guests of the events.

Do you have any advice for those wanting to get into venue rental and event planning?

Think things through, be patient and work hard. Everything takes time and hard work. Clients appreciate when you take care of them and put them first.