Arcadian Event Complex

Customizable Event Venue in Toronto
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Arcadian is a versatile event complex that offers unique and flexible spaces for events of all kinds. From an elegant ballroom, to a modern loft overlooking the city, Arcadian boasts both historic charm and modern sophistication.

The grand Arcadian Court has been restored to its art deco glory featuring modern new amenities, while a flexible contemporary space has also been created in Arcadian Loft. Together, these two spaces form a unique venue which will meet the needs of any event or occasion.

Arcadian Studio, an interactive kitchen studio, is also available for a variety of chef-led culinary experiences ideal for both social and corporate events.

Learn more about Arcadian’s historical transformation.

a glimpse into arcadian’s rich history

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1929

Arcadian Court is a key feature of the last major phase of Simpsons Queen St. store development

Arcadian Court is a key feature of the last major phase of Simpsons Queen St. store development. (Queen St. store first opened in 1894.) Design features include: grand Lalique crystal chandeliers, Byzantine domes, inlay of ornate plaster filigree on arches, and ornate backlit art deco ceiling medallions.

The day after the Court’s opening, Tuesday March 12 , 1929, Simpsons for the very first time in its history held its annual spring fashion show in-store, in the magnificent new space.

The earliest radio broadcasts of Toronto Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Luigi von Kunits.

vintage photo of composer and musicians at arcadian court event venue looking at camera

1929

March 11, Simpsons Arcadian Court restaurant opens

On its opening, with its seating capacity of over 1,000, the Court was reputed to be the largest restaurant to be found in a department store.

a vintage photograph of the arcadian in 1929

1930

A brand new sprung wooden dance floor is installed in the Court


1933

None other than Peter Rabbit himself hosted a series of Easter Tea Parties at the Court

For only $0.35, youngsters could have tea and wonderful snacks, visit with Peter (as well as Simpsons’ clowns Blinkum and Pedro), enjoy magic tricks and games—and take home a big souvenir balloon.


1941

August 8 – The Arcadian Court reopens after its first major renovation

New décor features delicate peach-tinted walls and turquoise blue dome.

vintage photo of several people gathered for book fair event at arcadian court in toronto

1944

Liberace performance at the inauguration of the Robert Simpson Company’s 25-year club, for employees with 25 years’ service with the firm

vintage 1944 photo of employees gathered for Liberace performance at arcadian court

1962

The Arcadian Court is serving over 1 million meals a year

vintage 1962 photograph of arcadian's large event venue holding many dining tables under circular chandeliers

1967

Arcadian Court hosts the first-ever Sotheby’s auction outside Great Britain

Artists represented included Gainsborough, Monet and Grandma Moses.


1968

The Court reopens after its 2nd major renovation lasting 5 months

New décor features large ‘cloudbursts’ chandeliers made of 364 bulbs each, mezzanine railing replaced with smoked glass, ceiling medallions removed and skylights added.

an old menu for the Arcadian from 1968

1969

After its renovation and installation of the most modern kitchens in the country,

the Arcadian Court served more daily meals than the Royal York hotel. The kitchens supplied restaurants and sales outlets in other Simpsons stores as well.

an old photo graph from 1968 of the interior dining room

1983

A full-size replica of Michelangelo’s David was on display in the Arcadian Court

as part of a sales promotion called Italia con Amore.


1988

Arcadian Court reopens after 3rd major renovation.

New décor features large French empire style crystal chandeliers, extravagant layers of crown molding and Roman columns are added along with palm trees and a grand piano.

the old arcadian court venue with large crystal chandeliers and a grand piano in the middle of seating

1989

September 29, 1989, Thomson Gallery, which featured highlights of Ken Thomson’s private collections,

opens on the 9th floor mezzanine level of the Arcadian Court. Approx. 5,000 sq. ft. in size, it occupies about half the space. The Gallery Restaurant is opened in the other half of the space.


1996

Special edition Arcadian Court Barbie released

an old poster advertisement for the Arcadian Court Barbie with the real Barbie doll and a photo of the interior venue

1998

August 22, 1998 — October 4, 1998, The Thomson Gallery hosts travelling exhibit Dresses for Humanity

featuring gowns belonging to the late Princess Diana.


2011

The Bay announces a new partnership with Compass Group Canada and Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants

The Bay announces a new partnership with Compass Group Canada and Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants to transform its restaurants and foodservice offerings including Arcadian Court.


2012

The new Arcadian launches

featuring two distinct and spectacular spaces – Arcadian Court and Arcadian Loft.

What Everyone’s Talking About

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To keep our guests and staff safe, we are temporarily not hosting events. Our events staff are still available at events@oliverbonacini.com or 416-364-1211 to discuss your future bookings. Please visit our corporate website at www.oliverbonacini.com/news for updates as we continue to monitor the global situation. We look forward to reopening and welcoming you soon.


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© 2020 Oliver & Bonacini

  • Temporary Closure
    Please note, due to ongoing global conditions we are temporarily closed.