This year, King Edward Hotel in Toronto turned 110 years old.
Built in 1903 by Toronto’s wealthiest developer- George Gooderham – King Eddy (the nickname Torontonians use) was the city’s first luxury hotel.
Having only visited for afternoon tea and special events in the past, I was excited to explore and learn more about this iconic hotel as an overnight guest during a business conference.
Here are a few highlights:
Central Downtown Location
The King Edward Hotel is a just a few minutes walking distance from both King Street and Union TTC subways stations.
Located on King Street East, restaurants, stores, and attractions (Hockey Hall of Fame, St. Lawrence Market and Toronto Eaton Centre Shopping Mall to name a few) are near by as well.
It’s central location is perfect for hotel guests or visitors who prefer public transit over driving.
Hotel parking is available and public parking lots are just a couple blocks away for guests with vehicles.
Elegant English Decor
The spacious lobby decorated with plush sofas, sky high ceilings, stunning chandeliers and light fixtures, enormous paintings, and columns and arches create a sense of opulence and grandeur.
Modern Hotel Rooms
The King Edward Hotel was recently taken over by Omni Hotels and Resorts and is currently in the middle of updating all of their hotel rooms.
Rather than posting pictures of my room (not updated yet) I thought I would share some photos of a room that has been fully renovated.
Grey and red are the predominant colours used along with modern light and bathroom fixtures.
The king room we toured was incredibly spacious with a sitting area, TV, king bed, desk and good sized bathroom with a marble stand up shower.
It was open and airy and had a very boutique hotel vibe.
Amenities for Hotel Guests
Wifi is complimentary for Omni Hotel loyalty members along with complimentary shoe shine and morning beverage delivery.
Those travelling with little ones will be delighted to know that Omni Sensation Kids program is available at the King Edward. Backpack filled with activities and crayons? Milk and cookies delivery on the first night? Yes please!
Located on the 18th floor of the hotel, the spectacular Crystal Ballroom was the place to be and be seen.
With its breathtaking views of the city and architectural details on the moulding and walls, it’s not surprising many high-society members and celebrities flocked here for weddings, balls, and other important events.
The Crystal Ballroom has been closed to the public since the 1950s for fire safety reasons (they used to offer tours during Doors Open Toronto) and will be undergoing a massive multimillion dollar restoration.
Here are a few more photos of the ballroom. It has been untouched since being added to the hotel in 1921 and the restoration is expected to be completed by the end of 2014
The King Edward is full of history and has seen its fair share of scandal and gossip. The hotel has hosted many celebrities including John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Margaret Thatcher, Mark Twain, Britney Spears and Martha Stewart. Ask the staff and they will tell you all they know!
Rumour has it that the King Eddy may be haunted too.
It is definitely worth a visit or overnight stay if you’re in the downtown area. And don’t forget about the tea!