Where to Stay Next Time You’re in Toronto

Beautiful boutique hotels that make a visit to our nemesis city worth a trip. 

May 6, 2019

By Stacey McLachlan / Photo: Jorge Vasconez/Unsplash

As much as we here at Vancouver magazine like to pretend that Toronto doesn’t exist—sort of a civic sibling rivalry, if you will—the hard truth is that sometimes…Vancouverites actually go there. For work. For fun. For family. For stalking Drake. (Wait, what?)

So in the name of servicing our fellow West Coasters, as is our sworn journalistic duty, we’ve swallowed our pride and opened our hearts to Canada’s biggest city. What we found was a robust selection of chic boutique hotels that might just convince us that Toronto, actually, might be as cool as it thinks it is. Damn.


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The SkyBar at Hotel X.

Hotel X

111 Princes’ Boulevard, Toronto
hotelxtoronto.com

Between the rooftop pool and the daily wine-and-cheese happy hour, you might not spend any time in your room. But when you do settle in for a night, it’s a dream: sweeping views of Lake Ontario, cushy linens and killer ammentities in the bathroom (we’re suckers for a hotel that provides you a toothbrush—it’s the little things, y’know?), including L’Occitane soaps and lotions.

One of Hotel X’s rooms.

Hotel X is under a year old, and still has that shiny-new feel, especially when you explore the facilities: the indoor tennis courts are pristine, and the 6,500-square-foot TenXTO fitness facility features state-of-the-art Artis machinery worth hauling yourself out of your cozy bed to try out. After your workout, the three-level jewel box that is the SkyBar is the ideal place to reward yourself.

Yes, it’s a little far from the beaten path—it’s tucked behind the Ex, and therefore fairly close to the waterfront, too—but courtesy shuttles help ease the pain, and the nights are quiet as a result. Rates from $267 per night.

Since You’re In the Neighbourhood…: The recently opened Stackt Market is a 15-minute walk away, and features a cluster of shipping containers that have been converted into pop-up shops (find handmade ceramic planters, made-in-TO fashion brands and quirky glasses frames made from recycled plastic) next to Belgian Moon Brewery. As food vendors are added to the mix this summer, expect this spot to be hoppin’.

Kimpton Saint George’s homey lobby.

Kimpton Saint George

280 Bloor St W, Toronto
kimptonsaintgeorge.com

The Mason Studio-designed lobby at the very pretty Kimpton Saint George feels more like a living room than a hotel waiting room, with mid-century-modern-inspired furnishings and a cozy marble-and-micro-beadboard fireplace setting the stage for your stay. Upstairs, the rooms are decked out in moody blues, greens and grays, and filled with works from Canadian artists. Each suite is rife with thoughtful surprises, from the practical (TVs feature Chromecast to stream your Netflix binge, yoga mats and beautiful soaps from Atelier Bloem) to the whimsical (a white wooden squirrel is hidden in the wardrobe).

The Presidential Suite at the Kimpton.

The attached Fortunate Fox serves up a solid brunch as you make a game plan for the day (the croque madame is a calorie bomb, sure, but consider it fuel for waiting in line for the Kusama infinity mirror at AGO). Bicycles are available if you prefer exploring on two wheels. Rates from $218 per night.

Since You’re in the Neighbourhood…: Vancouver isn’t the only Canadian city obsessed with plant-based eating, and here in Toronto, they’re seriously elevating the game with restaurants like Planta. A few blocks from Kimpton Saint George, find high-end vegan fare in an Instagram-cool setting: think Morrocan tile and truffle “parmesan” cauliflower tots.

The over-the-top St. Regis lobby.

St. Regis

325 Bay Street, Toronto
marriott.com/hotels/travel/yyzxr-the-st-regis-toronto

With its splashy, gold-ceilinged lobby, it’s not too hard to see that this luxury hotel was once a Trump Tower, but never mind its questionable past: the glam St. Regis is here to pave a bright future. The 65-storey building is Canada’s first St. Regis Luxury Hotel, and does it up right with splurge-worthy details in each suite, like Frette linens and in-mirror bathroom televisions. Every surface here competes to be more sumptuous than the last. We hope you like velvet.

The living room of one of St. Regis’ suites.

Want to level up the VIP vibe? The spa on the 31st floor offers body scrubs and wraps so you can get your glow on while looking down on the world below. Rates from $783 per night.

Since You’re in the Neighbourhood…: If you’re ever going to catch a Raptors game, now should be the time, and with the stadium just steps away, you’ll easily avoid the Uber surge fees with a short walk back to your suite. And since St. Regis is the largest luxury hotel in the city, we’ll bet you could catch an MVP or two in the elevator (or lingering around the bar) post game. Stay alert.

The Frette bedding at St. Regis inspires some sweet dreams.

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