Toronto is truly one of the most diverse and exciting cities in the world. The fifth largest metropolitan area in all of North America and the most populous city in Canada, Toronto is without a doubt a world-class travel destination. There are few places in North America that offer the history that Toronto does and few hotels in the world that provide a better opportunity to enjoy the class and sophistication of yesteryear then some of the Toronto hotels.
Dispersed among the streets of downtown are some Toronto hotels that have been here since long before the fire of 1907 that almost destroyed the city. Furthermore, some of these facilities have existed since her conception back in the mid 1840’s. One such hotel is the Fairmont Royal York. This grand hotel sits on the site of one of the very first hotels in all of Canada. While the current structure opened in 1929, it is the third hotel to occupy this site and is evidence of the rebirth of the city after its devastating fire. The original hotel was named the Ontario Terrace and opened in 1843.
This facility, located at 100 Front Street West, offers over 1,600 rooms and was the largest hotel in the entire commonwealth at the time it opened. Being historical does not imply that a facility is old and tired, on the contrary this hotel offers old world styling with modern day accommodations and conveniences. The rooms and central gathering areas are furnished with large comfortable furnishings and decorated to reflect the elegance of yesteryear while still providing the comfort that the modern day traveler has come to demand.
While many hotels claim that they are ‘fit for a king’, the Fairmont Royal York truly is fit for a Queen. In fact, this historic building has been the Queen of England’s home away from home on more than one occasion. The queen and her entourage typically reserve an entire floor of the hotel, with the Queen staying in the Royal suite itself.
Nestled near the financial district, the Le Méridien King Edward Hotel (37 King Street East), or King Eddy as it is colloquially identified, has offered world-class accommodations since 1903. This facility has been subject to renovations and its original grandeur has been restored. The King Eddy has been the center of a bit of history itself, it is here that John Lennon, and Yoko Ono stayed prior to their famous “Bed-in for Peace” episode in 1969. Moreover, the entire Beatles band stayed in the very same suite in 1964 when 3,000 fans bombarded the hotel. It is also here that in 1964 there was a picketing by the “moralists”, who were outraged that Liz Taylor and Richard Burton were sharing a suite while they were not married to each other.
While the King Eddy is not nearly as grand in scale as the Fairmont Royal York, it does offer equally as elegant accommodations. The current management purchased the hotel in 2010 and is committed to traditional hospitality while still offering sleek modern sensibility. While there are only 298 rooms, each room offers old world turn of the century charm. The new management has refurbished the rooms and provided the ultimate in style and comfort.
On an even smaller scale than the King Eddy is the Isabella Hotel and Suites. This facility, which houses only 39 rooms (31 standard rooms and 8 suites), is actually housed in two historically significant buildings in the St James section of town. The first structure is a renovated mansion and the second structure is a tower. The property, which opened in 1891, resembles a fairy tale castle on the outside with its stone exterior and an ultramodern structure on the interior, with lots of glass, marble and chrome. Those that prefer something a little more private than the typical hotel will find this facility to be ideal.
While the downtown area of Toronto is certainly one of its most exciting and interesting areas it is by far not all that this great city has to offer. Actually, Toronto is broken into several small districts and one of the most elegant and selective of these sections is the area referred to as Yorkville. This area slightly north of downtown is considered one of the most fashionable districts of Toronto. It is in this district that the Windsor Arms Hotel can be located. (At 18 Saint Thomas Street, to be exact.) The Windsor Arms is considered by many to be the most opulent and elegant facility in all of Toronto and has in fact been rated by Conde Nast Travel Magazine as “the #1 hotel in the entire city”. Built in 1927, this boutique hotel offers a full service spa, a highly regarded steak house, and a quaint tearoom known for its exceptional tapas menu.
When it comes to opulence and sophistication this great city certainly has plenty to offer. The above-mentioned Toronto hotels are just a few of the many world-class facilities that offer luxury and convenience and a chance to step back in time. When visiting Toronto you certainly wont run out of temporary housing options, but why settle for the standard hotel when you can be taken back to a grand time of opulence and sophistication.