For decades, middle-class Toronto families made the trip to 641 Queen Street West (an address since changed to 639) to purchase everything from chesterfields and dining room tables, to carpets and stoves. The F.C. Burroughes Furniture Company stocked homes with the latest and greatest in essential household items of the day after building its seven-storey flagship department store on the site in 1907. Little did those shoppers know that the property would one day host some of the city’s trendiest parties once it was reimagined as The Burroughes a dynamic, multi-purpose office, retail and exhibition venue located in the heart of Toronto’s thriving Queen West neighbourhood.
Around 1950, the building was taken over by King Sol, a sporting goods retailer. It remained under that company’s control until 2002, when the company closed its Queen Street location. Only partially occupied in the ensuing years, Queen Street Partners—an investment, development and management firm based in Toronto whose other properties include 501 Queen Street West, 146 Yonge Street and Leslieville Place—decided to breathe new life into the once-thriving retail destination. After investing in an extensive renovation and restoration of the high-potential space, QSP enacted a bold vision to create an environment where everyone from creative entrepreneurs to retail trailblazers and community activists could co-mingle and thrive together as tenants.
The property was repositioned and relaunched as The Burroughes, signalling the start of a new chapter in the storied landmark’s history.
A new beginning for a historic landmark
And what a job they did with that restoration. The Burroughes is one of our favourite venues in the west end for many reasons, but the owners’ commitment to paying tribute to the property’s history and preservation of its original, timeless character rank among the highest. Carefully-crafted wood detailing, restored exposed brick and refurbished elevators make this a truly unique space for everything from brand launches to fashion shows and weddings. It’s no wonder tastemakers have added the property to their list of spaces to spend time and be seen. In addition to retail and office tenants, those discerning patrons include artists who require gallery and showroom space, as well as major brands that love its exhibition potential.
As they note on The Burroughes website, the building has hosted a number of high-profile functions over the years including events by Creative Artists Agency, the Holt Renfrew TIFF party, Philip Sparks fashion shows, exhibitions for Sheridan College’s Illustration and Interior Design schools, LuminaTO, MADE Furniture and MAC Cosmetics.
That’s in addition to television and video shoots for Canadian artists such as Kae Sun and The Trews, along with photo shoots for the Globe and Mail, Azure Magazine, various top fashion designers and modelling agencies.
Seven floors, limitless event planning options
The third floor features the Burroughes Gallery which, as the name suggests, is a wonderful exhibition space for art and fashion shows, intimate cocktail parties, fundraisers and business meetings.
But the premiere event space at The Burroughes is simply known as The Sixth Floor. With sweeping views of the downtown skyline—remember, this is still the tallest building along this section of Queen West—the space also features access to the stunning rooftop terrace. In the summer months there are few outdoor terraces that can rival this one in terms of sheer ‘wow’ factor. In other words, the sixth floor is a highly flexible brick-and-beam setting that can be configured in a multitude of ways to suit the unique vision for virtually any event.
Book the space and you and your guests receive access to the main and east brick room and the private suite. A pro-grade kitchen and service elevator for easy event set-up and clean-up (with access to the rooftop terrace) makes accessibility a cinch and ensures that the back-of-house team stays, well, at the back of the house. They also provide an on-site event coordinator during events, as well as maintenance staff to ensure that parties go off without a hitch.
The great news: if you’re a Kiss the Cook client, The Burroughes does accept outside vendors. They provide additional services such as bar packages, special occasion permitting, security, rentals such as chairs and the general insurance procurement.
The Burroughes brings timeless inspiration to a vivacious neighbourhood
With so many incredible venues to choose from in downtown Toronto—many that we absolutely love and would also recommend—The Burroughes shines that much brighter than some of the city’s other elite event venues. The care and dedication put into preserving the building’s architecture, not to mention the careful curation of both its tenant and event mix, are a testament to Queen Street Partners’ ability and ambition.
This is a gorgeous space perfect for a dynamic couple looking to stage an unforgettable wedding, an organization aiming to put its best brand foot forward or for anyone hoping to stage a truly memorable gathering.
And if you’re really in the mood, you can still buy furniture on the first floor.
Fia Pagnello, Founder and CEO
Contact us now to book your event at The Burroughes!