Finally, the jewel is back in the crown of the King Edward Hotel.
Walking into the ornate Crystal Ballroom is like stepping back into a forgotten time. But then, until recently, the Ballroom had all but been forgotten. As an extension of Omni King Edward Hotel’s $40 million complete renovation, the restoration of the Crystal Ballroom began in 2015 and was finally complete on April 19, 2017.
From the 1920s to the 1970s, the Crystal Ballroom was home to some of Toronto’s most prestigious social functions, including weddings and high-profile galas. And you only have to stand in the center of the grandiose 5,000 square-foot room to understand why.
As with the newly renovated King Edward Hotel, the Crystal Ballroom’s restoration was heavily influenced by its original interior, which featured old-world charm enhanced by modern style and luxury. Fully restored are the venue’s ornate and intricate crown moldings and the 8-meter-high coffered ceilings. Enormous floor-to-ceiling windows frame breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding city and Lake Ontario.
The floor of the pre-function space was finished in mosaic tile. There’s also a new permanent bar designed to reflect the timeless detailing of the original era. Similarly, the Crystal Ballroom carpet is reminiscent of the early 1920s, but rendered in a contemporary fashion. The wall sconces and the three magnificent chandeliers – from which the Ballroom got its name – have been updated and include ornate crystal elements.
History repeats itself as the return to bygone elegance is finally complete.
The original King Edward Hotel was built in 1903. It wasn’t until 1921 that the 17-story tower was added, making the hotel Toronto’s first skyscraper and Canada’s largest hotel at that time. Perched atop the luxury hotel was the crowning jewel: the magnificent and spacious Crystal Ballroom.
It wasn’t long before the venue became the most sought-after destination for high-profile events, becoming the epicenter of Toronto’s colorful social scene.
The Crystal Ballroom continued its reign over the city until it was closed in the late 1970s for a variety of reasons, including stricter fire code regulations. Throughout the years, there’d always been talk of restoring the regal space to its former glory, but extensive renovations were required and funding was never available.
That all changed when Omni, on the heels of its $40 million renovation of the King Edward Hotel, invested an additional $6.5 million to restore the Crystal Ballroom, making it again the fully functioning and lively destination that it once was.