History Of The Omni King Edward Hotel
A crown jewel in Canada’s most storied city
Throughout its long history, The Omni King Edward Hotel has set the standard for luxury hotels in Canada. As Toronto’s first luxury hotel, it has long been the first choice of Toronto’s elite, as well as convention goers, political figures and business travelers.
Originally built in 1903 by Mr. George Gooderham – a developer and one of Toronto’s wealthiest men – at a cost of $6 million, the opulent hotel was intended to stem the tide of development that was moving toward the newly opened city hall at Bay and Queen Streets.
At the time, the King Edward Hotel was not simply a luxury hotel. Boasting an art collection that would be worth more than $75 million today, it was an exclusive destination where men enjoyed port and cigars in sweeping parlors while ladies sipped tea in the hotel’s elegant sitting lounges.
In 1921, an 18-story addition made the hotel one of Toronto’s tallest buildings. The 17th and 18th floors featured a lavish social venue, the Crystal Ballroom, named for its impressive crystal chandeliers. This stylish venue quickly became the place to see and be seen and served as the backdrop for countless society weddings, balls and dances.
Today, The Omni King Edward Hotel is proud to keep the legacy of “the King Eddy” alive. We treasure this unique gem and continue to work toward restoring and preserving a regal icon of Toronto’s history.
The Crystal Ballroom
The Crystal Ballroom, located on the 17th floor, opened its doors to public acclaim in 1922. High atop the city, with floor to ceiling windows, it boasted unparalleled skyline views of Toronto, quickly becoming a picture of luxury. At the height of the Roaring Twenties and until its closure in the 1970s, it was the most sought-after venue for high-profile events and galas.
Almost 100 years after its first debut, The Omni King Edward’s Crystal Ballroom has once again open its doors following a $6.5 million dollar renovation. This timeless space has maintained its characteristic features: ornate moldings, 12-meter high coffered ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views of the city.