I usually don’t stay in hotels in Toronto as I’m usually visiting with friends and stay with them. However, I stayed at this lovely hotel in downtown Toronto last month for a friend’s wedding. It is conveniently located near Union train station if you arrive by train as I did, or if you fly into Pearson and take the UP Express to Union Station (see previous review).
I had a short walk to the hotel and was able to check in ahead of the three o’clock usual time as there was a room ready. We had an historic double suite for $249/night – I was sharing with a friend who was also attending the wedding. The special rate was booked for the wedding but I’ve also seen this rate on online booking sites such as booking.com and trip advisor. Valet parking is $45 a day but this was waived for the wedding which was helpful as my roommate arrived by car.
Our room was in the historic Dominion Bank Building and had a kitchenette, two double beds, a desk and a comfy chair. There are tea and coffee supplied in the room and room service from 5:30 pm to 6:00 am. Oddly the wardrobe is in the kitchen cupboards and what looks like the wardrobe in the room is actually only large enough for the iron and board. I guess that was one of the challenges of remaking an office building into a hotel. The bathroom had a separate bath and shower. The bride and groom were in the “Silver” condo tower and had a large Panorama one-bedroom suite on the 43rd floor with great views over the city. It was larger than many apartments in Toronto!
The hotel is interesting in itself. There is a large staircase from the lobby down to the old bank vault which you can explore. We did so as the pre-wedding reception took place outside the vault and the wedding took place inside the vault which was built in 1913. There is a built-in bench around the walls of the vault so there was plenty of room for the small party to sit during the ceremony. The room with the safety deposit boxes was used as the coat check. The vault door, weighing in at 40 tonnes, made for an interesting back drop for wedding photos. There are wall panels explaining how the door and lock work. For those needing it, there is a lift to use instead of the stairs. The wedding dinner took place in the old boardroom on the 12th floor. It is a beautifully paneled room with a very ornate ceiling and was just the right size for our small party of about 30.
The next morning, those of us who had stayed overnight gathered in the Teller’s Bar and Lounge in the lobby for breakfast/brunch for $19.95 each – this is the weekend rate. It is $25.95 during the week. Normally I would not have breakfast at a hotel as the prices are usually exorbitant and you can find something just as nice and much cheaper a short walk away. However, the food (self-serve hot and cold buffet) and service (drinks) were very good and it was a nice end to the wedding weekend.
The hotel is a great location if you want to explore Toronto on foot – the Hockey Hall of Fame, the CN Tower, Rogers Stadium, the St. Lawrence Market, City Hall, and the Theatre District, just to name a few, are within a few minutes’ walk of the hotel.
By the way, my friends had nothing but good things to say about the staff at the hotel helping them to organize the wedding and ensuring everything went smoothly on the day/night.