The Ritz-Carlton is one of many luxury hotels erected during Toronto’s construction boom of the past five years. The hotel is an ode to Canadiana in its subtle details: the gold-plated maple leafs on the lobby floors and the 450 pieces of Canadian art placed throughout the property. Spa junkies will enjoy one of the best spas in Toronto; art lovers can take curated art tours; and food enthusiasts will delight at the cheese cave, one of the many perks of dining at the Ritz. Though this is the ultimate resting spot for the well-heeled business traveler, leisure travelers are right next door to some of Toronto’s hottest attractions, including the CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium, and TIFF Bell Lightbox. Bypass the lobby lounge and head straight to the back terrace, DEQ, and raise a glass (or two) to start off an extravagant stay in Toronto.
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Sitting amid the bustle of Toronto’s Financial District, the Ritz-Carlton Toronto is close to the city’s cultural institutions as well. Explore the innovative programming of the Design Exchange, Roy Thompson Hall, and the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts (for opera and ballet). In the heart of Festival central, the TIFF Bell Lightbox (not to mention Canteen and Luma for dining) is an essential Torontonian experience. The hotel is steps away from sports stadiums and concert venues, as well as the Toronto Islands for a can’t-miss view of Toronto’s skyline. Thrill seekers will love the CN Tower’s Edgewalk, an unparalleled vantage point of the metropolis. Business and leisure dinners can be enjoyed at the Financial District outposts of the city’s most popular restaurants, including the Drake One Fifty and Pizzeria Libretto. The Distillery District is a short streetcar ride from the hotel. Stroll the cobblestones and browse hidden art galleries and upscale shops like Got Style. Cluny, El Catrin, and Balzac’s are prime spots for French, Mexican, and coffee, respectively. Don’t forget souvenirs from the area’s best bookstore, Ben McNally, and sweets from SOMA chocolate.
Need to Know
Rooms: 263 rooms; 63 suites. From $500. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Handcrafted Italian cuisine can be found at TOCA (the acronym for Toronto, Canada). The open-concept kitchen showcases a walk-through pastry corridor, a glass-encased cheese cave, and a wine cellar that focuses on Canadian wines. The standout dish? Ravioli caprese stuffed with caciotta cheese. The Ritz Bar, near the hotel’s entrance, is ideal for a quick bite or cocktail. In the summer months, Cuban-themed evenings at Nueva Vista Social Club add a social ambience on Thursday and Friday nights, where the mojito is the cocktail of choice. During Toronto International Film Festival, gather around the fire pit at the stylish DEQ Terrace, an exclusive hangout. The afternoon tea on Saturdays and Sundays is one of the city’s best. Spa and gym details: The fifth floor of the hotel is referred to as the Urban Sanctuary, a 23,000-square-foot space featuring a spa, fitness center, and indoor combination lap and relaxation pool, with CN Tower views to match. The spa, called Spa My Blend by Clarins, is the second luxury spa of its kind in the world. The light-filled retreat offers 16 treatment rooms, a co-ed urban sanctuary, and a champagne nail bar. The spa is particularly known for its facial, customized via a personal survey. The green tea vitality pool is the whirlpool of your dreams, infused with green tea and jets that hit all the pressure points from neck to ankle.
Who it's for: Frequent business travelers wanting corporate amenities during the week and a place to play on the weekend; leisure travelers celebrating a special occasion; families wanting to splurge and stay next door to Toronto’s top attractions; and conference-goers needing to be within a block of both the TIFF Bell Lightbox and the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC). Sightings of sports figures and celebrities are not uncommon. Our favorite rooms: Though all rooms have either city or lake views, the 900-square-foot Simcoe Suite has a separate lounge and a separate living room. Rooms on floors 18–20 all have stunning city views and exclusive club access. If you want one of the rare, unobstructed, face-to-face views of the CN Tower, the Ritz-Carlton Suite (Room 1908) is your home away from home. It features an expansive bathroom with an onyx wall behind the freestanding tub, a fitness area with a treadmill, and a full kitchen that connects to the dining room and comes with a secret door (and even a chef at your service). Good to know: The hotel’s resident artist (and server at TOCA), Jacqueline Poirier, offers culture tips on Toronto’s most popular neighborhoods via the hotel’s YouTube page. Poirier’s hand-painted plates—featuring iconic Toronto landmarks, landscapes, and other playful images—adorn the walls and place settings at TOCA.