For the past 88 years, Fairmont Royal York, originally called The Royal York, has stood tall and proud, immediately opposite of Toronto’s Union Station and Canadian Pacific Railway, located at 100 Front Street West. Designed by Ross and Macdonald, and built by the Canadian Pacific Railway, it was the tallest building in the British Commonwealth, soaring at 28 floors and close to 400 ft. above ground, the hotel quickly set the standard for hospitality during this time. This historic building became, and is still known as a city within a city. Upon opening, the state-of-the-art hotel offered 1,048 guest rooms equipped with a radio, private shower and bath in each room. In addition, The Royal York included a large Concert Hall, which was home to Canada’s largest pipe organ, weighing in at 50 tons with five manuals and 107 stops. The telephone switchboard was 66 feet long and required 35 operators. The 1.5 acres of public rooms also included a 12-bed hospital and a 12,000-book library. The hotel was also home to a glass-enclosed roof garden, the largest hotel kitchen in Canada with a bakery that could produce over 15,000 French rolls a day.
In 2016, the hotel recently completed a 1,200-room $150M renovation project to now boast 1,373 renovated luxury accommodations and will soon undergo a $200M investment with new meeting rooms and event spaces, Fairmont Gold and a refresh to all remaining dining outlets. The hotel was also recognized by The Toronto Film Office as “The Most Filmed Location” for 2016 – which celebrates its starlight in endless films and TV productions. It is no wonder that Fairmont Royal York Hotel continues to play such a prominent role in Toronto’s history.