W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of 30 extraordinary hotel brands, has announced the opening of W Toronto. Rising 11 stories in the vibrant, creatively charged neighborhood of Yorkville, the hotel is a celebration of Toronto’s storied art scene, diversity of culture, and legacy of non-conformity. Destined to bring a new energy and sophistication to the city’s luxury lifestyle hospitality scene, W Toronto gives locals a new playground and travelers an authentic, socially charged retreat.
“From its street art scene and ongoing musical legacy, Toronto is a natural fit for W Hotels,” says Benoit Racle, Vice President, Brand Management, W Hotels Worldwide. “Our unassuming, playful interpretation of luxury is poised to make W Toronto a regular stop for those living and working in Toronto as well as the perfect place for an out-of-town guest to revel in the city like a local.”
A Culture Clash of Design
Designed by global creative agency Sid Lee, W Toronto is a juxtaposition of the city’s biophilia, man-made city grid and brutalist architecture. The contrast begins with the exterior, where the brutalist façade has been transformed through warm, LED lighting that illuminates the night sky, including a glowing, opaque orange lift to take guests to the rooftop bar and restaurant. The journey begins on the 6th Floor, where the Welcome Desk and Living Room (the W brand’s signature lobby/lounge) drips in jewel tones of ruby, amethyst, and topaz – with curved lines and velvet furniture reminiscent of Toronto’s late 60s and early 70s counterculture movement. Other highlights of the 5,000 square foot space include a communal “fire” pit, a circular destination bar featuring cascading amber lighting, and access to The Yard, an outdoor terrace surrounded by a three-story atrium of guest room windows – creating a voyeuristic tension between public and private.
W Toronto features 254 guest rooms – including 30 suites – two of which are Extreme Wow (Presidential) Suites. Drawing inspiration from Toronto’s illustrious theater district, guest room beds are flanked by stage-inspired pendant lights and situated in front of a sapphire velvet curtain that can be automatically drawn open or shut. Design touches include curved banquettes, dressing-room style vanity mirrors, “record-like” tables in honor of Toronto’s musical legacy and nods to nature, like the abstract floral wallpaper and mushroom-shaped accent lights. As a playful wink to personal artistic interpretation, Double Queen Rooms are adorned with wall art that reads “Not everything has to mean something. Some things just are.” by Canadian writer and musician Charles de Lint.
Art + Soul: The Art Collection and Sound Suite of W Toronto
Music and creative artistry take centerstage at W Toronto, boasting Canada’s first W Sound Suite, the brand’s signature recording studio experience. Situated off the Living Room, behind a nondescript, one-way, tinted window, W Toronto’s W Sound Suite is outfitted with professional equipment where accomplished and novice musicians, podcasters, and other creatives can draw inspiration from the city and hotel scene.
From the psychedelic rock of the 60s and the hip hop of today, to the street art of Graffiti Alley, Toronto is known for its multidisciplinary artistic legacy. W Toronto honors and adds to this cannon with a collection of original work beginning with the W Monument on Bloor Street. Created by Sid Lee, it reflects biophilia and hippie culture through the use of natural crystal rock patterns and the bold palette of psychedelia. The journey continues with three murals by Dutch-born artist Mikael B. At the driveway is “Below The Surface,” a mesmerising interpretation of undersea volcanic eruptions; “Hidden Gem” – located at Lift Level G – inspired by Salvador Dalí, Jackson Pollock and Peter Saul with an array of colors and geometric shapes; and “Clear Vision,” an abstract experimentation of color in the meeting and event space.
Coffee. Cocktail. Cuisine Scene.
Leading the creative culinary charge at W Toronto is Executive Chef Keith Pears, who is well-known to culinary enthusiasts. His enviable resume – B.C. Chef of the Year, Gold Metal Plates, Bocuse d’Or National Selection, and appearing on Chopped Canada – brings star quality to W Toronto’s three distinct beverage and food venues, taking guests on a progressive journey from morning to late night. It begins with PUBLIC SCHOOL, the rebellious, ground floor coffee house, kitchen and bar driven by barista culture by day and new school tonics, elixirs and low or no alcohol beverages by night. The playful, unpretentious, plant-forward menu is served across two sweeping levels, accentuated by inviting, late 60s/early 70s seating in a palette of soothing earth tones as well as “Toronto Gush,” an original mural by Costa Rican-born artist Alan Ganev, inspired by Toronto’s Graffiti Alley.
Ideal for a solo coffee, casual working lunch, after-work cocktail or late-night revelry, the Living Room pays homage to Toronto’s standing as the most multicultural city in the world. Featuring “Toronto Tapas” – light, shareable bites representing the city’s diverse neighborhoods – the menu includes: Barbacoa Tacos (Kensington Market); Jerk Chicken Skewers (Little Jamaica); and Fogo Island Cod Cheeks (Little India). “Sparkling” is the theme of the Living Room beverage program, with Champagne, rare bottles and a Perlini corking system allowing for unique flight experiences, bubbly by the glass as well as sparkling cocktails, such as the Celery Sour and the Green Goddess Bloody Mary.
As the sun sets, SKYLIGHT, the hotel’s rooftop bar and restaurant, casts a spell on the city’s late-night scene with alluring curated cocktails and Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. The indoor-outdoor boho oasis overlooks Toronto’s iconic Bloor Street, celebrating the provocative and artistic spirit of the 60s Yorkville hippie revolution. In addition to the bazaar-inspired main room – with its nightly DJ booth and performance stage – SKYLIGHT features The Loft (for semi-private events); The Den (an intimate seating, people-watching nook); and The Terrace (with birdcage-style seating). The menu includes familial-style mezze, salatas, and freshly made maneesh served with tagines as well as an over-the-top Seafood Tower with oysters, clams, shrimp cocktail, escabeche, tuna and scallop crudos, king crab legs, lobster, and caviar. SKYLIGHT’s cocktail program is Vermouth and Amaro-centric with a selection of upscale curated cocktails, seasonal spritzes, and adult slushes.
Business is a Pleasure
With five event spaces encompassing 4,679 square feet, W Toronto is the ideal location for conducting business or celebrating a milestone. Industry, at 1,980 square feet, features botanical-inspired wallpaper decorated with elliptical lighting, reminiscent of floral seedlings, and can be divided into three intimate spaces. Studios 1 and 2, off the Living Room, as well as Strategy 1 and 2, offer more casual working session settings. Prior to that big presentation or wedding day, W Toronto’s 3,300 square foot FIT gym is the perfect place for guests to focus and recharge.
“W Toronto is a microcosm of the people, culture, and history of this incredible city,” says Craig Reaume, General Manager, W Toronto. “From the intentional design of each guest room and the authentically diverse menus to the music and vibe of each public space, W Toronto offers a long overdue alternative to the luxury hotel scene. We cannot wait to welcome guests time and again.”