A Short Stay at One King West

July 4, 2012

Pictures from website
I've finally sufficiently recovered from my exhausting weekend... thanks, no doubt, to the fantastic hospitality at One King West Hotel. In my earlier post, I'd mentioned that my husband whisked us away to the lap of four-star luxury, and after two days here, I'm inspired enough to write about it all.

For those of you who haven't heard about it before, One King West sits on the intersection of Yonge and King West (very close to the subway, to appeal to the lazy!) It's easy to pick the building out among the other buildings in this core downtown location - it's the one that looks like it's stepped right out of a history book.

The building was home to the original Michie & Co Grocers & Wine Traders in the mid-1800's, and The Dominion Bank bought it in 1879. The Dominion Bank (now known as Toronto-Dominion Bank or TD) quickly rose to fame and the building rose with it... literally, to become a 12-story skyscraper in 1914. The bank continued some operations in the vintage building until 1999 (finally, a year that I can recall!) when Stanford Downey Architect bought the property and re-purposed it for residential living.

You can find the entire story, along with some great pictures of the old bank, on the One King West website. Walking in past some very 21st century pizza joints and clothing stores, I loved the feeling of entering another era at One King West. The high ceilings, the slightly dark lighting of what must have been the bank's entryway... it all transports you immediately to what business in Toronto may have looked like a hundred years before.

The rooms are surprisingly well-equipped (kitchenette with microwave, fridge, cutlery, a toaster + kettle; washer, dryer, desk, chair, sofa, chest of drawers, ironing board, iron... why don't I just move in here and call it home?) and fairly big considering it is Downtown Toronto. You get a choice between a room with a view of the Harbourfront and a room with a bathtub in the restroom. You can probably figure out which one I went with - it'd been a long week!

As a foodie, I have to proclaim myself more than satisfied with the menu too - not too pricey considering the ambiance, plenty of vegetarian options, and, my favorite, a menu full of options available after 11pm! Now that's something that's near impossible to find in this city.

My only slight quibbles were with the TV, which also seemed to have stepped out of the 1900's, and with the internet (free wifi only in the lobby, you've to pay to use it in your room. Surprising enough from a 4-star hotel, but if you're paying to use it, surely you don't have to enter a very long pass code every three hours when it times itself out? Aurgh.)

That aside though, it's been a fantastic visit and I'm going to miss the friendly staff and the efficiency of staying here when we leave. I'll have to come back to sample more dishes off their menu.

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