TORONTO — A decade in the works, and delayed two years by the pandemic, the brand new W Toronto finally got its grand opening yesterday.
The 254-room hotel, including 30 suites, is just steps away from the intersection of Yonge St. and Bloor St., where sleek modern new-build skyscrapers are bringing renewed energy to this midtown mainstay, and where upscale Yorkville makes the perfect backdrop for the style-conscious W brand.
Executives from Marriott and W Hotels, including Paul Cahill, Area Vice President, Canada, Marriott International, were on hand for the hotel’s debut and the dramatic unveiling of the iconic W sign welcoming guests at the front doors.
“From its street art scene and ongoing musical legacy, Toronto is a natural fit for W Hotels,” said Benoit Racle, VP, 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.”
Later Racle told media and industry insiders: “We needed to have the right neighbourhood and the right partners.”
It’s been a long but ultimately fruitful journey to bring the W brand to Canada’s biggest city. When the hotel was first announced in fall 2019, the original plan was for a summer 2020 opening.
Formerly the Marriott Toronto Bloor Yorkville, the address – 90 Bloor St. East – is just about the only thing the W Toronto has in common with its predecessor. The 11-storey property now has all the eye-popping design elements befitting a W Hotel.
The W vibe starts with the glowing, opaque orange elevator that takes guests to the rooftop bar and restaurant, and continues in the sixth floor Welcome Desk and Living Room – the W brand’s signature lobby/lounge – decked out in jewel tones of ruby, amethyst, and topaz, all curved lines and velvet. 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-storey atrium of guest room windows.
Two of W Toronto’s 30 suites are Extreme Wow (Presidential) Suites), with beds flanked by stage-inspired pendant lights and situated in front of a sapphire velvet curtain that can be automatically drawn open or shut.
W Toronto is also home to 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 from the city and hotel scene.
W Toronto has three distinct beverage and food venues, starting with Public School, billed as a ‘rebellious’ ground floor coffee house, kitchen and bar driven by barista culture by day and new school tonics, elixirs and low or no alcohol beverages by night. The Living Room features Toronto Tapas – light, shareable bites representing the city’s diverse neighbourhoods – with a menu that ranges from Barbacoa Tacos (Kensington Market) to Jerk Chicken Skewers (Little Jamaica) to and Fogo Island Cod Cheeks (Little India). There’s also Skylight, the hotel’s rooftop bar and restaurant.
W Toronto caters to corporate travellers and groups / incentives as well as the leisure market, with five event spaces encompassing 4,679 square feet. And W Toronto’s 3,300 square foot FIT gym is the perfect place for guests to focus and recharge.
W Toronto GM Craig Reaume called the new hotel “a hospitality marvel” at yesterday’s grand opening event, with “enviable guest rooms and suites” and public spaces “that will encourage us to mix and mingle again.”
Reaume added that W Toronto “offers a long overdue alternative to the luxury hotel scene. We cannot wait to welcome you inside.”