Experience Downtown Toronto from a Four-Star Hotel in a Skyscraper
Dating back to the early 1900s, the Beaux Arts–style skyscraper on the corner of Yonge and King Streets in Toronto’s financial district served as an office for a Canadian bank. That same building is now home to One King West Hotel & Residence, and its exterior got quite the upgrade when a spiraling, modern 51-story tower was built adjacent to it. The sleek hybrid structure, known as “The Sliver,” has the narrowest height-to-width ratio in the world and is Canada’s tallest residential building. The four-star hotel inside is infused with modern comforts but respects its early 20th-century elegance—you can still visit the bank’s original vault and many of its former rooms.
One King West Hotel & Residence’s lavish accommodations include superior suites, which are situated high up in the bank building and overlook downtown Toronto and the lake. Each of the rooms features high ceilings, picture windows that open, and equipped kitchenettes.
Downstairs, Executive Chef Joe Grado prepares prix fixe and à la carte creations at Bistro on King, the hotel’s signature international restaurant. You can also head to Henri’s Bar in the hotel lobby for lighter fare and a lengthy list of fine wines, beer, and cocktails.
Toronto, Ontario: Scenic Trails, Boutique Shopping, and the Hockey Hall of Fame
Toronto is known as a wonderful walking city, with a sprawling network of eclectic neighborhoods and miles of waterside parkland. Set on the shores of Lake Ontario, the city’s scenic hiking and walking trails wind along the harbor front. From there, a northerly stroll takes you to the Fashion District, where warehouses and old factories that sat empty for years now house upscale restaurants, galleries, and cutting-edge boutiques. A bit farther north lies Kensington Market, a bohemian village rife with vintage shops and organic-food markets.
Toronto may be home to Canada’s best collection of museums. Hockey is a national pastime, so it makes sense that the Hockey Hall of Fame is here. Its interactive Pepsi Shut Out exhibit challenges goaltender wannabes to stop a slap shot against a virtual Wayne Gretzky. The Hall of Fame’s centerpiece is the hallowed Esso Great Hall, home to the Stanley Cup and portraits of all its inductees. Science buffs can stop at the Ontario Science Centre, where you can watch an IMAX film, delve into space at the planetarium, or touch a plasma ball at the Science Arcade.
The nearby Art Gallery of Ontario exhibits an astounding collection of work from Canadian artists and European masters in a Frank Gehry–designed building that centers on a circular floating staircase. Toronto is also known as a city of gardens, and you’ll find one of its best, the Toronto Music Garden, stretched out along the waterfront. Designed in part by cellist Yo-Yo Ma, the Music Garden translates the music of Bach through beautiful landscaped installations, including a winding river and giant grass steps.