According to CBC News, the city of Calgary has announced its plans to convert three downtown towers into residential housing and hotel units.
Celebrating the opening of W Toronto
The urban oasis features the first “W Sound Suite” in Canada, alongside three distinct cocktail and culinary venues.
W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of 30 extraordinary hotel brands, has opened W Toronto. Rising 11 storeys above the neighbourhood of Yorkville, the hotel is a celebration of Toronto’s storied art scene, diversity of culture and legacy of non-conformity.
“From its street art scene and ongoing musical legacy, Toronto is a natural fit for W Hotels,” says Benoit Racle, vice president, brand management, W Hotels Worldwide. “Our unassuming, playful interpretation of luxury is poised to make W Toronto a regular stop for those living and working in Toronto as well as the perfect place for an out-of-town guest to revel in the city like a local.”
Designed by Sid Lee Architecture, W Toronto is intended to be a juxtaposition of the city’s biophilia, man-made city grid and brutalist architecture. The contrast begins with the exterior, where the brutalist facade has been transformed through warm, LED lighting that illuminates the night sky, including a glowing, opaque orange lift to take guests to the rooftop bar and restaurant.
On the 6th Floor, the Welcome Desk and Living Room (the W brand’s signature lobby/lounge) is designed in jewel tones of ruby, amethyst, and topaz—with curved lines and velvet furniture reminiscent of Toronto’s late 60s and early 70s counterculture movement. Other highlights of the 5,000 square foot space include a communal “fire” pit, a circular destination bar featuring cascading amber lighting and access to The Yard, an outdoor terrace surrounded by a three-story atrium of guest room windows, creating a voyeuristic tension between public and private.
W Toronto features 254 guest rooms, including 30 suites, two of which are presidential suites. Drawing inspiration from Toronto’s theatre district, guest room beds are flanked by stage-inspired pendant lights and situated in front of a sapphire velvet curtain that can be automatically drawn open or shut. Design touches include curved banquettes, dressing room-style vanity mirrors, “record”-like tables in honour of Toronto’s musical legacy and nods to nature like the abstract floral wallpaper and mushroom-shaped accent lights. As a playful wink to personal artistic interpretation, Double Queen Rooms are adorned with wall art that reads “Not everything has to mean something. Some things just are.” by Canadian writer and musician, Charles de Lint.
W Toronto boasts Canada’s first W Sound Suite, the brand’s signature recording studio experience. Situated off the Living Room, behind a nondescript, one-way, tinted window, W Toronto’s W Sound Suite is outfitted with professional equipment—where accomplished and novice musicians, podcasters and other creatives can draw inspiration.
Toronto is known for its multidisciplinary artistic legacy. W Toronto honours and adds to this cannon with a collection of original work beginning with the W Monument on Bloor Street. Created by Sid Lee, it reflects biophilia and hippie culture through the use of natural crystal rock patterns and a bold palette of psychedelia. The journey continues with three murals by Dutch-born artist Mikael B. At the driveway is “Below The Surface,” a mesmerizing interpretation of undersea volcanic eruptions; “Hidden Gem”— located at Lift Level G—inspired by Salvador Dalí, Jackson Pollock and Peter Saul with an array of colours and geometric shapes; and “Clear Vision,” an abstract experimentation of colour in the meeting and event space.
In the Living Room is “Self-Care” by contemporary American painter Sage Barnes, depicting a woman holding garden shears as her head overgrows with 3-dimensional flowers—a reminder that self-care is continuous work. “Forms of Joyful Engagement” by Kirsten McCrae brings vibrancy and life to the brutalist, monochromatic canvases of two of the hotel’s lower rooftops. Visible only from guest floors above, the two unexpected murals are made of colourful rocks arranged in various shapes and patterns, reflective of Toronto’s diversity. Located in Public School—the ground floor coffee house—“Toronto Gush” is an original mural by Costa Rican-born artist Alan Ganev, inspired by Toronto’s Graffiti Alley.
Leading the creative culinary charge at W Toronto is executive chef Keith Pears, who is well-known to culinary enthusiasts. B.C. Chef of the Year, Gold Medal Plates, Bocuse d’Or National Selection, and appearing on Chopped Canada—Pears brings star quality to W Toronto’s three distinct beverage and food venues, taking guests on a progressive journey from morning to late night.
W Toronto features five event spaces encompassing 4,679 square feet. Industry, at 1,980 square feet, features botanical-inspired wallpaper decorated with elliptical lighting and can be divided into three intimate spaces. Studios 1 and 2, off the Living Room, as well as Strategy 1 and 2, offer more casual working session settings. W Toronto’s 3,300-square-foot FIT gym is the perfect place for guests to focus and recharge.
“W Toronto is a microcosm of the people, culture and history of this incredible city,” says Craig Reaume, general manager, W Toronto. “From the intentional design of each guest room and the authentically diverse menus to the music and vibe of each public space, W Toronto offers a long overdue alternative to the luxury hotel scene. We cannot wait to welcome guests time and again.”