Fairmont Royal York at 90: ‘Transformation’ nearly complete

IMAGE: A series of major renovations and refurbishments at Toronto's downtown Fairmont Royal York will come to a close this summer. (Courtesy Fairmont)

A series of major renovations and refurbishments at Toronto’s downtown Fairmont Royal York will come to a close this summer. (Courtesy Fairmont)

The landmark Fairmont Royal York in downtown Toronto will celebrate its 90th anniversary this summer with the completion of renovations which have been years in the making.

“Fairmont Royal York is a Toronto icon, and in order to preserve it and have it serve guests and the larger community for years to come, it was necessary to make some changes,” general manager Edwin Frizzell told RENX. “Our priority was preserving the historical aspects of the hotel, while also helping to bring it into more modern times. This balance guided all of our decisions in this renovation, and was so important to us, our guests and the community.”

Multiple phases of renovations have been taking place at Fairmont Royal York, located across Front Street from Union Station, since 2013. Guest rooms were completed in 2017, followed by updates to some meeting rooms on the main mezzanine level.

“The final phase of our transformation is currently underway to include our new Fairmont Gold, the hotel-within-a-hotel level of luxury, refreshed ballrooms and foyer space on the convention floor, two new Legacy Suites, and the main lobby level’s public spaces, arrival area, dining room and bar,” said Frizzell.

“Following the reveal of our transformation in the middle of June, we will make updates to our kitchens and to some additional meeting rooms located throughout the hotel. Naturally, though, being a hotel with our heritage and commitment to offer enhanced luxury experiences and services to the millions of visitors we welcome each year, maintenance to our hotel is forever ongoing.”

Fairmont Gold and Legacy Suites

Fairmont Royal York has worked with Champalimaud Design and Rockwell Group on the multi-million-dollar renovation projects. Both firms have been responsible for changes at hotels in Canada, the United States and other countries.

New York City-based Champalimaud is behind the design of the Fairmont Gold suites and lounge, as well as the Legacy Suites.

Fairmont Gold will be located on the 12th through 18th floors of Fairmont Royal York. It will give guests access to: an 18th-floor private lounge with city views; a dedicated check-in and reception area; a devoted concierge team; complimentary premium food and beverage offerings; a deluxe honour bar; locally curated artwork; a sleep and wellness program; and premium butler-style services.

Frizzell said more specific details about the Legacy Suites will be unveiled in the future, but said they’re “unique in their size and their luxury, residential feel.”

Fairmont Royal York history

Fairmont Royal York began its life as The Royal York in 1929. When completed, it was the tallest building in the British Commonwealth at almost 400 feet, and with 28 storeys above street level.

It contained 1,048 rooms and included a concert hall, library, bakery, radio station, ballrooms, restaurants and even a hospital.

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has a portfolio of more than 75 hotels worldwide, including The Plaza in New York City, The Savoy in London, Fairmont San Francisco, Fairmont Banff Springs and Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai.

Fairmont is part of Accor, a hospitality group with approximately 4,800 hotels, resorts and residences across 100 countries.


Steve is a veteran writer, reporter, editor and communications specialist whose work has appeared in a wide variety of print and online outlets. He’s the author of the book Hot…

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Steve is a veteran writer, reporter, editor and communications specialist whose work has appeared in a wide variety of print and online outlets. He’s the author of the book Hot…

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