A Temple of Northern Chic
The New York of Canada – and also the Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, and L.A., to judge by the American cities it’s stood in for in the movies – Toronto is a power-trip urban center, full of skyscrapers, limos, and buzz. Head northwest of the high-end retail district of Yonge and Bloor, however, and you find yourself in a different vibe entirely, with pretty Victorian shopping streets full of art galleries, cafés, big-name designer boutiques, and chic restaurants. This is Yorkville, once an independent village, then the Haight-Ashbury of the North, now the gentrified home of all things haute Toronto.
If you were, say, Robert De Niro, and planned to spend some time here, you’d book a suite at the Four Seasons, the Toronto-based luxury chain’s flagship hotel and a favorite of visiting celebs – especially during the 10-day Toronto International Film Festival, one of the film world’s most important, when room reservations become as coveted as Oscars. The marble-floored lobby and other public areas are designed with a mix of clean modern lines and classic parlor style. The spacious guest rooms and suites follow the same aesthetic, with a quiet, restrained elegance that’s more gentle embrace than bear hug. Book a corner room to enjoy the wonderful balconies; a north-facing room for the most wide-open views; or a south-facing room on an upper floor for views of the city skyline, with its 1,815-foot Canadian National (CN) Tower, the world’s tallest freestanding structure.
The hotel’s main restaurant, Truffles, is a must-dine, frequently cited as the best restaurant in Canada. Overseen by chef Jason McCloud, the continental menu offers the signature eponymous spaghettini in truffle emulsion and much more, arranged in seven-course degustation menus and accompanied by a mile-long wine list.
Overlooking Yorkville Avenue, the hotel’s La Serre lounge is Toronto’s number one power bar. Thick red cushioned chairs set the mood for high-end business schmoozing, and Cuban cigars and single-malt scotch help close the deal.