One King West Towers Over Toronto

Canadians are no stranger to the film industry, the incentives drawing major Hollywood studios to film throughout Canada. Familiar films such as Red, The Hulk, Max Payne and Jumper all share one thing in common: portions were filmed at One King West, the Financial District hotel in Toronto, Canada.

Built in 1914 as the Dominion Bank and then later transformed into the Toronto Dominion Bank, the historic building is a staple of Toronto’s history. With vaulted ceilings, impressive Grand Banking Hall, and historic Chairman’s Boardroom where much of Toronto’s business dealings were held, the twelve-story building was converted in 2005 to One King West Hotel. Converting the Grand Banking Hall into a event and reception space, the Dark Knight Rises movie premier had the space transformed into Wayne Manor and the 100 foot bar, formerly the teller’s desk) is the longest bar in Canada.

Upon entering the room, I could immediately feel transported into a lavish movie gala or stunning set, a backdrop for film or a dream wedding with intricate crests of the provinces of Canada embellishing the ceiling, the Juliet Balconies overlooking the hall below and the sturdy stonework hewn from craftsmen of the turn of the century.

Coupled with the historic section of the building is a new 53-story skyscraper. Maintaining the historic portions of Toronto, historic facades must be preserved while new additions can be built over and above the original buildings. The rooms of the historic section of the hotel feel like cozy, French-inspired hotel rooms; simple yet chic with views overlooking the city streets below. I felt as though I could smell fresh baguettes wafting from the Parisian streets below, half expecting to see the Eiffel Tower from my European-style room. While simple and “no frills,” the historic section do offer amenities such as fridges, a kitchenette and microwave to help to make the room feel more like home.

The new luxury Hospitality Suite, slated to be complete in mid-2013, is far more contemporary much like the suites in the contemporary section of the hotel. With a two-floor space suited for business meetings and cocktail receptions alike, the views of the harbor and bright and sunny terrace windows encompass the newer esthetic of the hotel.

Nicknamed “The Sliver” the tallest residential building in Toronto can be seen from many vantage points of the city as the new addition to the historic building. With stunning vistas and equally sleek interiors, the newer suites in the hotel equalize the historic section for a balanced symbiosis.

Home to Henri’s Bar and Bistro on King, the dining at One King West is held in the main lobby of the hotel. With nooks to carry on conversation or the fashionable bar with modern finishes, the historic element really makes the new additions pop. Downstairs, the iconic Vault is now used for small receptions and cocktail parties, or in the case of the blockbuster Red, the Vault which Helen Mirren, Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, and John Malkovich break into.

Chad Chisholm

Chad Chisholm is a professional photographer and travel writer. Marrying the two together, his travels have taken him across the world, staying in everything from Parisian Penthouses to huts in Ecuador in the rainforest. His work has been published in ISLANDS, Afar, WildJunket, AAA publications, and more. To see Chad's photographic work, visit www.creationize.com ...(Read More)

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