Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Royal York Hotel in Toronto

Photo: Carol Tulpar, 2009

Designed by Ross and Macdonald in 1927 and positioned across from Toronto's Union Station, the CPR's Royal York was once the tallest building in the British Commonwealth.

This is not the first hotel to occupy the site, as indicated on the Fairmont website. In 1843, the Ontario Terrace opened here and ten years later was renamed Sword's Hotel. In 186o the name changed to Revere House and again to the Queen's House in 1862, after a major renovation. At the time, Canadian Confederation was still five years in the future.

Queen's House was owned by McGaw and Winnet, hoteliers who also had hostelries in Niagara-on-the-Lake and in London, Ontario. After Henry Winnett died, his estate sold the Queen's to the CPR. They replaced it in 1929 with the Royal York.

A full-floor Royal Suite is available for the use of the Queen's family. The Royal York also has a roof garden and apiary. According to a wikipedia article, the queen bees also have royal suites: The Honey Moon Suite, The Royal Sweet, and the V.I.Bee Suite.

The bees provide several hundred pounds of honey annually. The garden supplies fresh vegetables, fresh herbs and fresh flowers for the nine restaurants in this venerable old hotel.

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