The Ivy is Toronto’s most clandestine hotel, one of the city’s best-kept secrets. Restored in a 19th-century chocolate factory and housed beside the offices of St. Joseph Media (the company that owns Toronto Life Magazine), the hotel is an extension of Verity, a private, women-only networking club. Gents, don’t fret! You can stay in the hotel with your significant other. Couples on a private getaway can choose between four rooms—all outfitted with Hastens beds, Bulgari products, bamboo heated floors in the marble-encased bathrooms, and spacious balconies overlooking a 19th-century courtyard, home to George Restaurant’s back patio. The only difference between rooms? The color palette: green, red, turquoise, or gold. Outside, guests are within walking distance of iconic city landmarks like the Eaton Centre, the Distillery District, Nathan Phillips Square, Four Seasons Centre for Performing Arts, and Queen West. The location enables guests to relax in the hotel’s ivy-guarded sanctuary while staying connected to the bustle of downtown Toronto.
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The Ivy at Verity is steps from the Eaton Centre, City Hall/Nathan Phillips Square, and many of Toronto’s iconic attractions for theater and entertainment—Massey Hall, the Winter Garden Theatre, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts—while still being far enough east to get a good night’s sleep. Also right nearby is barbecue-inspired Carbon Bar for snacks and cocktails. Guests love walking over to the Distillery District, full of shops and eateries like the colorful El Catrin patio, Soma for edible souvenirs and gifts for the chocolate lover, or Balzac’s, the best spot to people watch while you savor your coffee. Along the way, check out the furniture stores of Old Town, like the affordable (and Canadian) EQ3 on King Street East—another way to discover the area east of Yonge Street.
Need to Know
Rooms: 4 rooms. From $399. Check-in: 4 p.m.; check-out: 11 a.m. Dining options: At the Honor Bar, guests receive a robust continental breakfast, with banana bread made in-house. In the evenings, there’s a choice of coffee, tea, a soft drink, or your own self-mixed drink for $6. Just leave money at the bar (on your honor). Downstairs, you can grab baked goods to go. For a more swank affair, try George Restaurant. With a focus on local and seasonal ingredients, offerings include tasting menus, a vegetarian menu, and private dining. A comprehensive wine list is curated by sommelier Christopher Sealy (of Midfield Wine Bar). Opt to dine on the leafy and romantic patio, one of Toronto’s best. The hotel’s year-round urban retreat package offers a four-course meal at George (and a Sweetgrass spa treatment), included with a one-night stay. Spa and gym details: The Sweetgrass Spa is open to women only and offers a variety of treatments including hydrotherapy. Massages are offered in-room only to male guests of the hotel. The fitness center is open to women only and features fitness classes as well as an ozone water pool (complete with an underwater treadmill).
Who it's for: Couples desiring the luxury of a getaway without leaving the city. With the Verity club, the hotel caters to female business travelers who want to network in the city but also get a good night’s rest. Our favorite rooms: Room Four, the Gold Room, offers a luxurious sheen compared to the other rooms. This room is a favorite with honeymooners. Good to know: If you want to stay connected, there are work desks in a private office and also in the hallways. All of the artwork has been painted by members of the Verity network. If you would like to join the Verity club, out-of-town memberships are available.