The luxury hotel group is to open a two-tower hotel and residences complex in the Yorkville district of Toronto, the city where it all started for Four Seasons 50 years ago this week.
The Four Seasons Hotel and Residences Toronto is scheduled to open next summer, and will be located on the corner of Bay Street and Yorkville Avenue.
The new property is just one block east of the existing Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, which will close in April 2012, and which is itself the third incarnation of Four Seasons in the city. The original Four Seasons hotel opened in Toronto in 1961, as CEO Kathleen Taylor explains:
“It was a motor hotel on a street called Jarvis Street which was the heart of the red light district in Toronto. It became famous because it was across the street from the CBC and in those days the intelligentsia worked for a lot of the government agencies and CBC was no exception. It became one of the most famous places for people to go for a drink after work and it was very successful.
“The second was the Inn on the Park which was way out in what was then farmland. As the city grew it became very successful because the area around it changed and it became like a resort within a city.”
The current Four Seasons property opened in the 1970s (having previously been branded as a Hyatt), and the buildings housing the first two hotels have since been demolished.
Next year will see the opening of the fourth Four Seasons hotel in Toronto, a new-build property comprising a 253-room hotel (a room count which is actually significantly down on the current 380), and over 200 private residences, spread across the 26-floor East Residence and 55-storey West Residence.
The top floor of the West Residence will house the 840sqm penthouse residence, while the hotel will take up the first 20 floors of the buidling. Features will include a first-floor restaurant with “celebrity chef concept”, a ground floor bar, and a 2,600sqm spa with a skylit indoor pool, whirlpool, treatment rooms and fitness centre. There will also be two ballrooms measuring 325 and 650sqm.
General manager of the current Four Seasons property Dimitris Zarikos is also overseeing the new development, and described the décor of the new property as being “minimalist, with muted tones and plenty of contemporary art”.
This week sees the 50th anniversary of the opening of the first Four Seasons property, and to celebrate the group has launched a new Living Values website highlighting Four Seasons’ global CSR efforts in its three focus areas of Supporting Sustainability, Building Communities and Advancing Cancer Research.
Four Seasons has planned openings for Marrakech, Guangzhou and Baltimore this year, with further properties slated in Baku and St Petersburg. The group also recently reopened its property on London’s Park Lane following extensive renovations (see online news January 31), and has also announced a third London property, to be located close to Liverpool Street station (see online news January 12).
Report by Mark Caswell
Four Seasons Toronto through the ages
The original Four Seasons hotel in Toronto
The Inn on the Park
The current Four Seasons Toronto
The forthcoming Four Seasons Hotel and Residences Toronto