Interesting Building : The King Edward Hotel

I went out for lunch with my friend Paige last week, over in the King and Yonge Street area. She is someone I used to work with, and though Nick has heard a lot (of good things!) about her, he had never met her. So he came with me, to say a quick hello before she and I headed into the restaurant. Then he went off on his own and did some shopping on Yonge Street.

The place that Paige had picked for lunch was right across the street from The King Edward Hotel. We arrived a bit early and were talking on the street when I pulled out my camera to take some shots. For fun, I went to take a ‘one armed self-portrait’ picture of the two of us, when a friendly business man offered to take a picture for us. I think we probably looked like tourists, trying to get a shot of our hotel! Anyway, he took a couple for good measure, and though they were a bit out of focus because I hadn’t changed the settings properly, I’m happy to have them!

The history of this hotel is long and quite interesting. It opened in 1903, and has housed some interesting people while they visited Toronto, including Mark Twain, Rudolph Valentino, Elvis, Louis Armstrong and Ernest Hemingway. Also, The Beatles stayed at this hotel on their first visit to Toronto in 1964 and caused an uproar when 3,000 fans packed the street. Also in 1964, the hotel was picketed due to a scandal caused when Liz Taylor and Richard Burton stayed in the same suite, though they were not married to one another at the time.

The hotel was recently purchased by a developer, who plans to completely renovate the hotel and turn the top 3 floors, which have been vacant for the past 20 years, into condos.

Here’s a cool old photograph, showing the hotel in 1909.

Thank you for taking a look! If you’re interesting in seeing more entries about interesting old buildings in Toronto, please take a look within the “Interesting Buildings” category in the right-hand column.

xo loulou