Friday, December 27, 2013

hotels in the city

There has been a destructive ice storm in the Greater Toronto Area that has left tens of thousands of people without power - still, after six days. It is a massive undertaking to get the hydro lines back up, and the trees that pulled them down sorted, and the electricity turned on. I heard from one media source that it is almost 2 hours per home in some cases. The daily fresh snowfalls, the winds  and frozen tree limbs aren't helping.

For PostcardFriendshipFriday here are a few of the historically iconic hotels in the area where people may - or may not - be able to find a warm bed. Although, in reality, only three of these are still functioning as hotels.

First up, the "King Eddy" located on King St just east of Yonge St. It opened in 1903 with 400 rooms and 300 baths and claimed to be entirely fireproof (probably a rare thing in those days) It is possibly the best place in the city for High Tea.

The art deco Park Plaza is located in Yorkville and wasn't opened until 1936 after a delay of 8 years due to the Depression. Located on the fringe of the downtown core, the rooftop patio was a favourite place to see the view over the city.
The Royal York Hotel opened in 1929. Built in the Chateau style favoured by the Canadian Pacific Railway, it is located across the street from Union Station. It was a state-of-the-art hotel when it was built, with ten elevators, a radio in each of its 1,048 rooms, and a private shower or bath in each room.

For decades it was the most visible building on the Toronto skyline and even now, people of a certain age lament that "you can't even see the Royal York" for all the new condos going up.

Over in Hamilton, The Royal Connaught Hotel is an Edwardian gem built in 1916. At 13 storeys, it was the tallest building in Hamilton and the rooftop restaurant provided "breathtaking views over Lake Ontario and the Niagara Escarpment". It was closed in 2004, but is currently undergoing a transformation as a ... condominium!


  1. It's a terrible state of affairs in Toronto...I feel so badly for all those folks who can't stay in their own homes.

    1. I have family members who are part of the throng. They are also carless - but at least the tree branch fell on the car and not their house!

  2. Luckily I have never had to deal with a power outage in the winter.

    1. We lost power for a few days in the summer which was a nuisance, but the few hours we lost it this time around was enough of a shock for me! I cannot imagine what it must be like for people trying to stay comfortable in 3ºC.

  3. Such beautiful postcards. I loved the history behind them! Also the linen finished postcards are some of my favorite types of postcards. We've heard on the news how badly you folks have been hit by the ice and snow. Unless one had a wood stove, it would be so hard to live without electricity under those circumstances. I've been praying for everyone hit so hard by this storm.

    I surely do wish we'd have some phenomenal bad weather here...but all it does in Oregon is sog and fog. ((hugs))


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