Assembly Hall is open as of February 1 but is not offering any programs.
The Assembly Hall is dedicated to nurturing and celebrating community, creativity and culture with arts-focused classes, performances and events. The beautifully restored building, which blends history with innovative modern design, is a favourite community-based location for meetings, celebrations and more.

The Assembly Hall has been an important part of the Etobicoke Lakeshore community for over a century. It was built in 1898 as part of the Mimico Lunatic Asylum, designed to serve as a place of recreation and worship for the patients and hospital staff. Patient labour was used to construct the Assembly Hall and various other hospital buildings. The hospital’s first superintendent, Dr. Nelson Henry Beemer, was a strong believer in meaningful work as a form of rehabilitative therapy.

The original purpose for the Assembly Hall was to meet the social and spiritual needs of the hospital. However, because there was no comparable facility in the area, the Assembly Hall soon became the principal gathering place for a multitude of community events, dances and concerts. The Asylum changed names repeatedly over the years, becoming the Mimico Hospital for the Insane in 1911, the Ontario Hospital, New Toronto in 1919 and finally renamed as the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital, but the Assembly Hall maintained its name and central role throughout the entire history of the hospital.

After the closure of the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital in 1979, the Assembly Hall fell into disuse for two decades. The combined efforts of local activists and politicians helped to support the City of Toronto’s restoration of this facility, which reopened on in June 2001. The renovated Assembly Hall has been designed to meet a variety of cultural and community needs. The beautiful 250+ seat Performance Hall is a venue for music, theatre, dance, receptions and special events. The community rooms are used for art classes, meetings, workshops and rehearsals. Gallery spaces for visual arts are located throughout the building. The Assembly Hall is a rental facility for both public and private use.

Office Hours

Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Closed for all statutory holidays

Gallery Hours

Monday to Friday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Closed for all statutory holidays

Public Transit

The Assembly Hall can be reached either by the 501 Long Branch streetcar, which runs along Lake Shore Blvd. W., or by the 44 Kipling South bus, from Kipling Station.

Location

1 Colonel Samuel Smith Park Drive

Parking is available

All art courses and workshops have been suspended until further notice.

The Assembly Hall is dedicated to providing timely, accessible and high quality services to clients. Staff will take all reasonable measures to accommodate accessibility needs. Please contact the Assembly Hall, if you have any special needs requirements.

Please note, the Assembly Hall facilities are excluded from Parks, Forestry and Recreation policies and procedures, including the Welcome Policy.

By the Lake Book Club returns in 2022 with yet another fantastic line-up of Canadian authors. Join talented past and present members of Humber College’s faculty, as they dive into conversation with our authors, guiding lively discussions and moderating audience questions.

This Assembly Hall program is presented in partnership with Humber College Faculty of Media and Creative Arts and the Toronto International Festival of Authors.

About By the Lake Book Club

Since 2009, By the Lake Book Club has featured a diverse group of over 50 Canadian authors, sharing their latest works to readers in West Toronto and beyond. The series is held at and presented by the Assembly Hall, in partnership with Humber College Faculty of Media & Creative Arts and the Toronto International Festival of Authors. With six monthly Tuesday evening events from September to April, By the Lake Book Club differs from other book clubs by having the author present – reading excerpts from their recent novel moderated by a seasoned Humber writing instructor; with audience questions, lively discussion and book signings. Some past authors include: Kim Fu, Lawrence Hill, John Irving, Vincent Lam, Monia Mazigh, Alistair McLeod, Eva Stachniak, Tanya Talaga and Miriam Toews.

In 2020, under COVID-19 restrictions, By The Lake Book Club offered its first virtual event with author Anar Ali and can be viewed online for free.

The Performance Hall and Community Rooms are ideal spaces for events ranging from small meetings and workshops to performances, weddings, film shoots and conferences. For information on the wide array of public events held at the Assembly Hall, please visit Exhibitions & Events.

For information on how to book the Assembly Hall for your event, please call 416-338-7255 or email assembly@toronto.ca.

Floor plans of event spaces

Browse the Assembly Hall Exhibitions & Events Calendar.
Assembly Hall can be rented for a variety of functions.