This beautifully restored building was renovated to blend its history with an innovative modern design. The Hall is dedicated to nurturing and celebrating creativity, and arts-focused cultural events and performances. We’re also a favorite and flexible location for meetings, weddings and community celebrations.
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.
Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Monday to Friday: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Admission is free.
Rental Booking Hours
Monday to Sunday: 8 a.m. – 1 a.m.
Closed for all statutory holidays
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.
Call for Applications
The Assembly Hall Art Gallery is now accepting applications from arts organizations and artists to exhibit in 2020. Please note that we are already fully booked for the 2019 calendar year.
There are usually six to eight shows annually, with most of the exhibitions running for four to six weeks each from September to June.
Please call 416-338-7255 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- 5-10 electronic images of artwork must accompany the application. Images can be sent electronically through email or Dropbox, or on a CD.
- The application will be reviewed by the AH Gallery Committee, who will decide whether an exhibition slot can be offered. Assembly Hall staff will notify all applicants.
- Please note: To ensure fairness and to provide accessibility for all arts groups and individual artists, returning arts groups may apply every two years and individual artists may apply every three years.
- Applications are accepted at any time but will only be reviewed at scheduled Gallery Committee meetings
- Applications may be submitted for exhibition dates up to 18 months in advance
- A variety of factors will be considered by the Gallery Committee when assessing of applications that include but are not limited to:
- Opportunities for artists (shows that are open to multiple participants)
- Community engagement and/or relevance of theme or artists to the local community
- Suitability for the physical limitations of the Assembly Hall gallery space
- Artistic merit, including the applicant’s selection process (juried, curated, etc.)
- The balance of the whole season of gallery shows at the Assembly Hall
- In an ongoing effort to promote youth art opportunities, group shows that feature the work of young artists (ages 29 and under) may apply to present an exhibition on a yearly basis.
- In an effort to increase both the quality of work shown and opportunities for participation by a wide range of artists, open juried shows may apply to present an exhibition on a yearly basis.
- Returning arts groups may apply every two years and individual artists may apply every three years.
- All selection decisions made by the Assembly Hall Gallery Committee are considered final.
Booking and Fees
- If the artist/arts group agrees to the offered exhibition slot, a contract meeting will be arranged with AH staff to determine all details of the booking.
- A City of Toronto permit will be prepared by Assembly Hall staff, based on the decisions from this meeting, requesting payment and signed acceptance of the permit.
- A deposit is due upon receipt of the permit. The balance is due two weeks prior to the installation date.
- The fee for an Assembly Hall Gallery exhibition is $197.75 ($175 + HST) NOTE: All fees are subject to change without notice.
- This fee covers use of the facility for installation, opening, gallery hours and take-down, provided that these activities occur during the standard times, described above.
- Discussion of additional fees will take place after application approval. Additional fees can be charged for a variety of services, including:
- Extra facility time for drop-off/installation, jurying, opening or take-down/pick-up
- Coffee/tea service for opening reception
- Alcohol service (liability insurance, additional staffing)
- Use of extra equipment, including candles, AV equipment, etc.
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 email@example.com.