By Norah Bradford
Four Seasons Toronto Soars as the Canadian Brand’s Flagship our Seasons brings home 50 years of experience and innovation with its Toronto, Canada outpost. Back home at last: in the city where it all began, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has come full circle when it opened its new flagship on Yorkville Avenue at the corner of Bay Street in 2012. The stunning 259 room hotel serves as the Four Seasons’ vision for the future, representing the world’s best luxury travel experience and the modern center of a city’s social and business life.
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts was born with the opening of the company’s first location in 1961, a motor hotel on Jarvis Street in downtown Toronto. The fondly remembered Inn on the Park opened two years later and continued to operate just down the road from the present corporate offices until the mid-1990s. In a joint venture, the company briefly operated a business oriented hotel downtown in the 1970s. The first Four Seasons location in Yorkville was open from 1978 until earlier this year, when the operation moved down the street to its new building – the current Four Seasons Hotel Toronto.
Described by esteemed art and architecture critic John Bentley Mays as “a strong jolt of intelligent, urbane elegance,” Four Seasons Toronto was designed by architectsAlliance, and built by Menkes Construction Ltd. Sweeping into the drive heated for Canadian winters, of course) past Claude Cormier’s visionary roseless rose garden, guests circle the grand fountain designed just for this space. Alighting on a 12-colour mosaic with a floral overlay from the etched glass canopy above, the urban “carpet” is the creation of Cormier and Hotel interior designer Yabu Pushelberg, inspired by the Persian rugs popular in the Victorian era as a nod to Yorkville’s more traditional architecture.
Past the lobby, ascending a floating staircase to a loft above the Hotel’s vibrant lounge, dbar, travellers and the city’s food lovers alike will find a uniquely Canadian setting for Michelin-starred Chef Daniel Boulud’s Café Boulud. Rosalie Wise Designs has created a bold, contemporary space rising from billion-year-old stone floors quarried in southwestern Ontario, with local woods, warm textures and abundant natural light surrounding cosy tables. The ambiance is further enhanced by a collection of paintings from internationally acclaimed pop artist Mr. Brainwash, available for sale via Yorkville’s Gallery One. For those shunning the limelight or seeking an extra sense of occasion, a private dining room accommodates up to ten guests.
There are spas, and then there are Four Seasons Spas. Spanning the entire 9th floor and part of the 8th, the new Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Toronto is the most expansive urban spa in the city, and the largest of any Four Seasons hotel orldwide. More than 2,700 square metres (30,000 square feet) of space includes 17 treatment rooms with several suites for two, a pool, a nail and hair bar, men’s and women’s change rooms with separate steam rooms, and a Spa boutique. “We call it a ‘spa in the sky’ thanks to its lofty position above Yorkville and gorgeous views in all directions,” says award-winning Senior Spa Director Todd Hewitt, who leads a staff of more than 70.
“A winding pathway flows gently from one realm of beauty and serenity to the next.”
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