Tag Archives: Ritz-Carlton Toronto

City Scene: South view of the Ritz-Carlton tower

Ritz-Carlton Toronto hotel and condo tower


Rooms at the Ritz: Toronto’s newest five-star hotel, the Ritz-Carlton, opened to guests last month. The hotel boasts 267 luxurious rooms on the bottom 20 floors of the 53-storey skyscraper. The tower’s upper floors, seen above, are private condo suites still under construction. Below is a closer view of the southwest corner condo suite with canary-yellow walls.


Ritz-Carlton Toronto hotel and condo tower


City Scene: Wellington Street’s glass curtain wall

RBC Centre Simcoe Place and Ritz Carlton Toronto


Joined at the hip?: When viewed from certain angles to their north, the RBC Centre (left),  Simcoe Place (center) and Ritz-Carlton Toronto towers (right) appear to form one huge H-shaped mass of glass and steel. When seen from some spots to their south (below), the Ritz-Carlton, Simcoe Place, RBC Centre and the Intercontinental Toronto Centre on Front Street West (foreground) all look fused together, too.


Wellington Street hotel and office towers


Ritz-Carlton Toronto set to rock city’s 5-star hotel scene when guests begin arriving in February

CN Tower reflects on Ritz-Carlton Toronto tower on November 29 2010

Lifestyles of the Ritz and famous: The soaring glass and limestone skyscraper with its distinctively sloped upper floors has already taken its elegant place on the city skyline. Now, with guests scheduled to begin arriving within just a few weeks, the Ritz-Carlton Toronto is set to make a spectacular splash on the city’s five-star hotel scene, too. Standing 53 storeys, the Ritz-Carlton is the first of four new high-end hotel/condo towers that should finally put Toronto on the radar of affluent travellers around the globe during the next two years.  (The others, currently under construction, include the Trump International Toronto, the Four Seasons Toronto Hotel + Residences, and Living Shangri-La Toronto.)

Seems it wasn’t so long ago that members of the International Olympic Committee, when considering Toronto’s ultimately unsuccessful bids to host the 1996 and 2008 Summer Olympics, complained that the city was sorely lacking in upscale accommodations. Moreover, Toronto hotels have rarely appeared on any of the annual lists that top international travel publications compile of the world’s best hotels. In November, for instance, Toronto failed to get a single hotel on the Conde Nast Traveler “Best in the World 2010” list, and didn’t even make it onto the magazine’s “Top 20 Resorts in Canada” ranking. Toronto hotels similarly didn’t make the upper cut for Conde Nast’s “Gold List” of the world’s best hotels and resorts, released in January. And just this week, Toronto Star Travel Editor Jim Byers blogged that only one hotel in all of Canada made it onto the American Automobile Association’s list of five-diamond hotels in North America for 2011 — and it wasn’t in Toronto, of course (it was the Four Seasons at Whistler, B.C.).

But if the attentive staff at the Ritz-Carlton Toronto make an impression, the constant snubbing of Toronto’s hotels should come to an end. The hotel website says the Ritz-Carlton Toronto will open in February, offering “a world-class spa, exceptional dining, impeccable service and 267 luxurious guest rooms and suites.” I couldn’t find room availability for any February dates when I used the hotel website’s online booking form, but I did manage to find rooms starting as low as $455 per night in early March. (I didn’t book, so I’ll just have to settle for viewing the building from the outside.)

Some construction work is still in progress, as crews rush to complete the hotel entrance, lobby and lobby bar. Work continues on many of the ultra-expensive condo suites in the tower’s upper levels while, on the exterior, the hotel’s signage has still not been installed, and work is finishing up on a wide walkway between the Ritz-Carlton and the CBC headquarters to its west.

Two architectural firms collaborated on the project: Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) Associates Architects and Planners of New York and Page + Steeles Architects of Toronto.

Further details about the Ritz-Carlton Toronto building are provided in this fact sheet from the hotel. Below is an artistic rendering of the tower (from the Ritz-Carlton website), along with a series of photos I’ve snapped on recent walks past the building.


Hotel website rendering of the Ritz-Carlton Toronto tower

Ritz-Carlton Toronto tower viewed from Wellington Street on November 29 2010

Ritz-Carlton Toronto viewed from Roy Thomson Hall on January 14 2011

Ritz-Carlton Toronto tower southwest view on November 29 2010

Ritz-Carlton Toronto viewed from Wellington Street December 16 2010

Ritz-Carlton Toronto Wellington Street entrance driveway

Ritz-Carlton Toronto front entrance viewed December 16 2010

Ritz-Carlton lobby awaits furniture installation on December 16 2010

Ritz-Carlton lobby bar under construction December 16 2010

Ritz-Carlton lobby bar under construction December 16 2010

Ritz-Carlton Toronto hotel (lower windows with drapes) and condo residences

Ritz-Carlton Toronto neighbours RBC Centre (middle) and Simcoe Place (right)

Ritz-Carlton Toronto tower west side view on January 14 2011

Ritz-Carlton Toronto tower northwest view on November 29 2010


New year, new construction milestones

2011 is getting off to a foggy, soggy start in Toronto (it’s 10 degrees Celsius and pouring rain as I write), but the wet weather won’t put a damper on the frenetic pace of building activity across the downtown area. When construction gets back to full speed next week once the holiday season has wound down, numerous projects will start, approach or reach significant stages of construction. At least five towers will make a major mark on the city skyline soon. In Yorkville, The Four Seasons Private Residences and Museum House on Bloor, both of which already have a substantial streetscape presence, will be pouring their top floors during the winter. Several blocks south, on Bay Street, the Burano condo tower is quickly climbing high, while the Living Shangri-La Torontoand Trump International Toronto hotel/condo skyscrapers are adding excitement to the Financial District skyline. Market Wharf is doing the same for the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood. In the next few weeks, streetscapes in several different areas will transform as construction climbs above ground level at 77 Charles Westin Yorkville, The L Tower on Yonge Street, Charlie Condos in the Entertainment District, The Modern at Sherbourne and Richmond, and the Clear Spirit tower in the Distillery District. Not too far behind are Aura at College Park on Yonge Street, Cinema Tower on Adelaide Street West, Three Hundred Front Street West, The Residences of Pier 27 on the waterfront, ICE Condos and Infinity3 Condos in the South Financial District, and Couture Condos on Jarvis Street; foundation work and underground levels are progressing fast at all seven sites. In the area bounded by Bloor, Bay, Wellesley and Jarvis Streets, demolition and excavation work should soon get in full swing for five key developments: U Condos, Five Condos, Nicholas Residences, X2 Condos, and the long-awaited One Bloor tower. Digging will get underway in earnest for the Ryerson University Student Learning Centre at Yonge and Gould Streets, and for the Delta Toronto hotel and Bremner Tower office complex in the South Financial District. Meanwhile, construction should soon conclude at the Sherbourne Common park at the waterfront, as well as for the 18 York office tower and seven major residential structures: the Ritz-Carlton Toronto, Crystal Blu Condos, Uptown Residences, James Cooper Mansion, Lumiere Condos, M5V Condos, and the YWCA Elm Centre. I’ll be taking a closer look at each of the above-mentioned projects — and many more hot construction spots — in the weeks ahead.

77 Charles Street

18 York