Nathan Phillips Square is a vibrant, active space in the heart of the city. Every year, over 1.8 million visitors attend a variety of community and special events hosted at the Square and we appreciate the potential contributions of your organization to this ever-growing lineup of exciting activities.
Please note that Nathan Phillips Square permit applications are only open in October for the following year and a minimum of 8-12 weeks is required for event facilitation.
Permits are required to host an event at Nathan Philips Square (NPS). Please note that submission of an application does not guarantee the use of NPS as we are frequently over-subscribed and cannot accommodate all requests. We do not operate on a first come first serve or grandfathered basis.
Please be as detailed as possible in your application submission and outline the proposed use clearly along with the elements/programming that you wish to present so that staff can properly evaluate. The Nathan Phillips Square Event Manual outlines policies for organizations to look at when considering how they propose to use the space and will aid in a complete application submission.
Event organizations must provide three potential date options along with a detailed site map showing the proposed use of the space for review and consideration.
The application for 2024 is now closed.
Once staff have reviewed all applications and date requests, we will contact you and advise on the status of your application. For 2023, we look to advise applicants prior to mid-December. Once you are notified and confirm, the requested date is held and staff will work with you to ensure all required information is provided during the permitting process.
Please note that submission of an application does not guarantee use of Nathan Phillips Square as we are frequently over-subscribed and cannot accommodate all requests. Should all requested date options be unavailable we will contact you and discuss possible alternative dates or locations elsewhere in the city you may wish to consider.
Provided a date option is identified, an Event Support Supervisor will send you a “Letter of Condition” along with a “Checklist” which will begin the permitting process for your event in 2024. Staff will then work with you to ensure compliance with space regulations based on your event design. Once all details are confirmed a permit agreement will be signed by both parties.
Nathan Phillips Square is an event space and event permits are issued for cultural events only.
Permits are not issued for;
Applicants requesting permission to use Nathan Phillips Square to hold an event are required to meet all of the following criteria to have their application considered:
Date requests are subject to review and space availability given the number of requests we receive annually. We cannot guarantee dates for every request.
There are no application, permit or rental fees for use of Nathan Phillips Square however, staff recovery costs, based on the needs of your event design, will apply and standard rates for services.
Commercial photography and film shoots require a film permit through the City of Toronto Film office.
Please note that news outlets, weather reporting, and all other forms of ENG (Electronic News Gathering) do not require a permit to film daily news stories. No media vehicles are permitted on Nathan Phillips Square. However, there is a designated media lot on the Northwest side of the square. Entrance to the media lot is from Chestnut Street and Armory Street.
Under City policies governing use of Nathan Phillips Square, we do not issue permits for demonstrations/rallies/protests/marches/vigils, nor do we allow commercial events, sampling, or marketing activations.
Due to the public nature of Nathan Phillips Square, rallies, demonstrations and/or protests are happenings that do not require a City permit. Under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the right of public assembly is allowed and as Nathan Phillips Square is a public space, it is frequently used for these purposes.
For additional questions, email BookingNPS@toronto.ca.
As a unique heritage building and major transit hub, guidelines have been put in place to ensure the safety of the general public and maintain the stature and historic integrity of the square.
The Event Manual contains an overview of the above steps and guidelines/regulations applicants need to consider when planning an event.
From 2024 to 2029, NPS ongoing preservation and construction projects will continue in a phased approach and will have impacts on the available space that can be used. As a result, proposed site plans will be impacted and staff will work with successful applicants to refine event designs accordingly.
For advice and guidance on planning your special event at Nathan Phillips Square and your responsibilities as an event organizer, please contact Shalini Srivastava at Shalini.Srivastava@toronto.ca.