BY ELLA MYERS
Just 10 minutes outside of Sudbury’s downtown there sits an elegant Tudor revival hall, built in 1931.
Brystons on the Park is an institution. With a prime location next to the neighbourhood park, the dark brick, stucco and timber facade overlooks that famous Sudbury landmark, the Superstack. It’s current owners describe it as, “quiet and quaint,” a perfect escape from the rush of the city, but close enough for convenience.
Originally known as the Copper Cliff Community Memorial Hall, it was run by INCO for employees and their families living in the area. Today, you can still find hall visitors strolling the park and enjoying the grounds. The facility is still in regular use thanks to the efforts of successive owners since INCO gave the property to a local hospital for staff training in 1989. Since 1991, it has become a social hall and a popular destination for business meetings and conferences.
Mel and Norm Eady bought Bryston’s on the Park in 1998.
“I’m a chef by trade and when the building came up for sale, it fell into our laps, and we didn’t know what we’d do, but we ran with it,” said Mel. The couple ran with it, and chose to preserve the original aesthetic of the building during renovations.
“The bones of the building were beautiful,” said Mel. They kept the hardwood floors, wooden railings, B.C. fir beams, and many of the lighting fixtures date from the hall’s early days. The building won a heritage award in the 1980s, and the Eadys wanted to ensure that distinction remained. Most of their renovations were functional rather than aesthetic, they added a new kitchen, an elevator to improve accessibility and their popular Brookside Bar.
Visitors can choose from four different rooms to host their event, or use several to accommodate an assortment of functions. The total capacity of the building sits at 600, with individual room capacities ranging from 56 to 180. Conference packages offer businesses dining options from which they can choose a combination of a buffet or continental breakfast and coffee breaks. All of the tools necessary for a business meeting are available, including audio visual equipment, screens, flip charts and supplies like notepads and pens. For a typical business meeting, around $30 per person covers all of the food and equipment needs for the day. Meals and equipment can also be ordered a la cart in a combination that suits the meeting.
Mel’s experience as a chef hasn’t gone to waste, and the food at Bryston’s – served by a team of well trained and bow-tied, unobtrusive servers - is a distinguishing feature.
“We kept the previous name for anybody who was familiar with the site, and tried to keep the same type of high quality service and high quality food,” said Mel. “We cook everything on site, everything is homemade, even the bread, desserts and pastries are in house.”
The menu, which can cater to unique dietary needs, will be familiar to anyone who has had a meal catered at Science North or Dynamic Earth, where Brystons on the Park is the exclusive caterer.
Visitors may come for a business meeting, but they’ll leave with memories of walking through the heavily treed property, dining under vaulted ceilings, and connecting in an environment that offers an escape from the city bustle.
Reprinted from the February 2016 edition of Northern Ontario Business.