The Old Mill has a cherished motto, 'Vallis Humbria Angliae Pars Anglisa Procul' which means, 'In the Valley of the Humber, a bit of England far from England.' And indeed it is. Over the past century, The Old Mill has earned a reputation as being one of Toronto's more charismatic landmarks. With its beautiful setting, and charming atmosphere, The Old Mill has warmed the hearts of guests far and wide. A culinary and cultural destination where delicious food overlaps with an overwhelmingly authentic and beautiful historic setting nestled in the picturesque Humber Valley parklands along the banks of the Humber River, The Old Mill is an historic country retreat only minutes from downtown. Focusing on old world charm, this exquisitely restored and rebuilt mill has since become a luxurious boutique inn, enviable spa, elegant venue for weddings, banquets, gracious dining and traditional afternoon tea, complete with finger sandwiches, petit fours, scones and clotted cream.
William Gambles Grist Mill ruin circa 1905, the site of which would become The Old Mill
The Old Mill site was originally a hunting and fishing area for Canada's First Nation people before European exploration and subsequent settlement of the area. By 1720, the French had established a small fortified settlement called Magasin Royale near the present site of the hotel, for trading with native bands. Less than 50 years later, the first English settlement in the area, built around King's Mill, became a cutting lumber centre for the first homes built in York, now known as Toronto. As it turns out, the William Gambles Grist Mill, built to the north of King's Mill, would become the site of the present-day Old Mill.
The Old Mill Tea Garden opened in 1914
The original sign still hangs
The Terrace Room
These days, The Old Mill serves an impressive luncheon buffet, as well as à la carte dining and their well known traditional afternoon teas. On the occasion of my parents 54th Anniversary on October 31, we celebrated with a family lunch at The Old Mill — who on earth gets married on Halloween? Seated at a lovely corner table in the bright and sunny Terrace Room overlooking the pretty garden patio, we started our lunch with Bloody Mary's and then wandered into the dark historic interior of the original dining room to explore the buffet.
My celebratory Bloody Mary
The Old Mill Lunch Buffet
With a wide selection of appetizers, salads, hot dishes and desserts, the Old Mill's luncheon buffet has something for everyone, including hot and cold seafood, smoked fish, pasta and carving station featuring a roasted pork loin and handsome prime rib of beef. Being Halloween, the desserts took on a festive flair with spooky chocolate confections, spider web inspired frosting, pumpkin flavoured cheesecake plus a bowls of chocolate mousse, homemade cakes, fresh fruit, cheese and more. Offered during the week from noon to 2:30, guests can continue from the lunch buffet to the Print Lounge at 3:00pm, to savour the Old Mill's Cream Tea, for a decadent culinary marathon.
Chilled New Zealand Mussels with a sweet teriyaki sauce
Grain Salad with Dried Cherries and Cranberries
Chilled Poached Shrimp
Fruit Platter with papaya, berries, melon, grapefruit, grapes and more
Poached Salmon, Chilled Mussels, Sliced Tomatoes and Caesar Salad
Curried Chicken, Flank Steak, Poached Salmon, Smoked Mackerel, Seafood Salad,
Sliced Tomatoes and Caesar Salad
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Halloween details
A selection of Petit Fours
Afternoon Tea is served every day