The Canadian Government has chosen Toronto as the location of the G20 Summit on Saturday, June 26th and Sunday, June 27th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Never before have two summits been held on the same weekend and that said, this will present unique challenges to those planning an event for that weekend.

Making preparations to ensure that your wedding or event will not be affected is a must-do. This is especially true for those weddings and events happening in the downtown core of Toronto. Below is some updated information on the summit and the areas affected so that you can make arrangements long before your event date.


The vehicle and pedestrian traffic around the Metro Toronto Convention Centre will be controlled as it’s considered a Security Zone. Fencing will be erected around the area and the public should be able to move freely in that area until the evening of Friday, June 25 after which anyone who lives and works in this area will have a Registration Card for quick and easy access through security checkpoints. Those who do not have a Registration Card/live/work in that area but require access to this area will have to present a piece of photo ID that clearly shows the specific purpose as to why they need access and their exact destination.


Roadways within the area – bordered by King Street, Yonge Street, Queens Quay and Spadina Avenue – will have closures or restrictions. Anyone living, working or having a specific reason for being in this area won’t be denied access but it will take some time to get through…in other words, be sure to pack a lot of patience!

During the weekend of the Summit, the police obviously anticipate major traffic disruption in all areas especially the 400-series highways, the Gardiner Expressway, the QEW and Lakeshore Boulevard and there may be some restrictions placed on Highway 427 and the Gardiner Expressway to accommodate motorcades and the York, Bay and Yonge Street exits on the eastbound Gardiner Expressway will be closed on Sunday June 27th.

G20-TIP: Allot for extra time for travel to and from your event (if in the downtown core allot for an extra hour of travel time at minimum and for those outside the downtown core allot for an extra 40 minutes of travel time). Also, map out alternative routes to all your destinations as a back-up plan! This includes allotting extra time for vendor deliveries and services.


Thinking of taking public transit instead? Or having guests arriving by Via Rail?

The TTC will operate regular service during the G20 Summit. There are no planned restrictions to the subway and only a few surface routes will be affected that weekend. The 6 Bay ,72A Pape will be on diversion and the 97B Yonge and 503 streetcar routes will be on diversion as well. The 509 and 510 streetcars will not be stopping at Queens Quay station.

Union Station will be open but from the evening of Friday, June 25 to Sunday, June 27th exits to Front Street will not be available. Travelers will have to use the east or west side exits at Union Station and the Blue Route between Union Station and the Air Canada Centre will be open as well. During this weekend, since no vehicle traffic will be permitted on Front Street, west of Bay Street , a temporary “Kiss and Ride” and “Taxi Stand” will be located on Front Street EAST of Bay Street.

Via Rail will operate its regular train schedule for the period of Saturday, June 2t to Sunday, June 27 however they advise that those planning to travel to or from Toronto during this period should expect delays.

G20 -TIP: Register for TTC E-Alerts on to be kept in the loop of any further changes. Keep an eye on and for updates as well. If it is possible for guests to reach your event by TTC, send a note to them explaining the transportation challenges and encourage this means of travel with specific subway directions coming from the East, West and North.


From Friday, June 25 to Sunday, June 27, parking in the downtown area – especially the area surrounded by Queen Street, Yonge Street, Lakeshore Boulevard and Spadina Avenue – will be a massive pain in the neck. There will be extremely limited to no parking available on the majority of the streets in the area. Also, there will be no parking on streets that have been closed to accommodate parades or protests.

Those already inconvenient No Parking, No Standing and No Stopping signs on the streets of Toronto will be strictly enforced as well, resulting in vehicles being tagged and/or towed.

G20-TIP: inform those vendors making deliveries for your event of the parking restrictions in your area! Have a discussion with your venue as to alternative means of parking/unloading. Perhaps they can arrange for a staff member to act as a valet or stand by each vendor's vehicle while they unload in the event that parking enforcement arrives and the vehicle must be moved). Be sure to inform guests of the inaccessibility to parking and encourage them to take public transit!


The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees freedom of thought, belief, opinion, expression and peaceful assembly.

In other words, expect protests during the weekend of the Summit.

Be aware that North Queen’s Park has been assigned as the Designated “Speech Area” which will be equipped with audio-visual equipment which will televise any activity at the Park to the delegates at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Hopefully people will take advantage of this area and express themselves in a peaceful way rather than popping up in the most inconvenient of locations. What does that mean for you? Expect traffic delays or interference in and around Queen’s Park.


The Integrated Security Unit for the G20 Summit will attempt to avoid impact on the day-to-day operations of the ferry and those living or working on the Toronto Islands. But be aware that from the morning of Friday, June 25th until Monday, June 28th, the Onigara Ferry (the ferry that runs specifically to Ward Island) will not be in operation and so anyone travelling on this Ferry will be joining the public on the passenger ferries.

G20-TIP: To get more information about how the G20 will affect your big day including proposed security, safety plans, road restrictions and more, visit these nifty little sites:




Copyright Et Lofte Events

© Melissa Nowakowski May 2010

The wedding cake is viewed by many couples as a staple in the wedding reception. Whether it's one tier or five, it's rare to not see a wedding cake or something equally symbolic (cupcakes anyone?) at a wedding. For some, the cutting of the cake is a relished tradition. For others, it's a moment that they feel simply delays the launch of the "party".

When deciding whether or not to incorporate the tradition of the cutting of the cake (or to have a wedding cake at all for that matter), first understand the history and symbolism associated with it.

So what started it all? During the Roman Empire, the wedding cake was actually a loaf of barley from which the Groom would take a bite, then break the rest over the Bride's head. Yup, you heard that right! This apparently symbolized the breaking of the Bride's virginity. Once the bread was broken over the Bride's head, the guests would collect any crumbs that had fallen to the ground. This was due to the belief that the crumbs that fell from the Bride's head ensured fertility. Thankfully this tradition and the symbolism of breaking bread over the Bride's noggin didn't last beyond the Roman Empire.

From the 17th century and moving into the 19th century, the "Bridal Pie" was common. This was often a mince or mutton pie with a glass ring buried within the filling. Tradition states that the woman who found the glass ring within the pie would be the next to wed. Eventually, the Bridal Pie gave way to "Bridal Cakes" which were single-tiered and white (to symbolize purity). Also, white icing required the most refined of sugars and therefore the "whiter" the cake, the higher in stature the Bride's family was.

It is believed that the multi-tiered cake as we know it today drived from English royalty. The first top "tiers" were dummy cakes made of sugar as the density of real cake tiers would merely sink into the bottom cake. Eventually these dummy tiers graduated to real cake held up by pillars. Then, as cake bakers became wise to methods of holding cake tiers up sans pillars, the tiered cake as we know it today emerged.

So what about the act of "Cutting the Cake"? This symbolizes the first task that the Bride and Groom will do together as husband and wife. The Bride and Groom take hold of the knife and slice and plate the cake together. Then the Bride and Groom would feed each other the slice of cake, symbolizing their committment to love and provide for each other.

So now that you know the history and symbolism behind the Wedding it right for you? If you're game for the symbolism but want to spare yourself the cost of a multi-tiered cake, the popularity of cupcakes or just want something a little different, consider these fun alternatives:


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Why should little kids get all the fun? These hollow shells of chocolate, shaped, decorated and filled with candies are "smashed" with a mallet by the Bride and Groom. The candies can double as a wedding favour by providing the guests with cute little bags with which to help themselves to the candy!


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Why not draw on tradition at its best and cut a slice of pie baked with love by Grandma or your favourite Aunt or heck, even the Bride and Groom? Pies are also a tasty alternative for guests to enjoy with the late night table.


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Who doesn't love chocolate, vanilla or butterscotch pudding? Fill champagne flutes or martini glasses with flavoured pudding and stack them into tiers. The Bride and Groom toast each other with a flute then serve each other a spoonful of pudding. Any pudding fans in the crowd can then help themselves to a glass of pudding for a sweet treat.


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Missing that sweet tooth or totally health conscious? Consider tiered fruit arrangements from which the Bride and Groom feed each other a piece of fruit. And, of course, guests are welcome to feed off the arrangement afterwards!

If you like the symbolism but hate making it a momentous occasion within your reception, consider these fun yet subtle gestures in its stead:


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This is most often conducted by the Best Man at receptions anyhow, so why not use it to its fullest meaning? The Bride and Groom help each other "pop" open a bottle of champagne, fill each other's flute then toast each other and sip their champagne.


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If spaghetti happens to be the first dinner course (although this would work for any course), why not kick off dinner with a romantic gesture? Place one end of a single string of pasta in each of your mouths and nibble on it until you're joined in a kiss. Super cute and a brilliant photo op, this gesture can also take guests back to their youth when they first saw the movie.


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No, we don't mean the tradition of breaking bread over the Bride's noggin! If the venue or caterer allows, the Bride and Groom can bake a favourite type of bread together prior to the wedding and have it served to the guests tables in lieu of the venue's usual bread baskets. Include a small note on the basket of homemade bread letting the guests know that the Bride and Groom baked it together with love. While it isn't necessarily the first task as husband and wife, it still symbolizes the couple working together now and forever.

As you have seen through the eyes of history, the "Cutting of the Cake" is simply tradition, not an absolute rule. That said, if the cutting of the cake isn't for you, never feel that you're committing a sin for not including it in your wedding plans.After all, personalizing your wedding is just that -- personalizing it so that it is a reflection of the two of you as a couple. Therefore feel free to play with traditions or omit them completely to make your wedding...well, "you".