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48 Hours In Toronto For the Urban Explorer

1,837 min read

Hotel X Toronto by Library Hotel Collection

Toronto is a city of neighborhoods and Canada’s largest and most populous city, representing people from more than 200 distinct ethnic origins. When planning a visit to such a vast and culturally diverse metropolis, one can easily become overwhelmed with all of the enticing options when it comes to lodging, dining and activities.

With 140 officially recognized neighborhoods and an additional 100 unofficial neighborhoods, Toronto can be an exceedingly difficult city to navigate without doing a bit of research to see which locations afford you the most opportunities based on your specific needs. Below is a list of four select, luxury properties based upon your desire to conduct business, shop, or to seek entertainment or cultural pursuits.

St. Regis Toronto

STAY

FINANCIAL DISTRICT

Located in the Financial District a few block away from the ever-popular Toronto Eaton Center, the glamorous St. Regis Toronto ticks of two boxes in terms of shopping and business opportunities while visiting the city that sees more than 43 million tourists a year. Attractions such as the Scotiabank Arena, Bell Lightbox, Union Station and St. Lawrence Market make the St. Regis Toronto an ideal choice for any visitor seeking luxury and convenience while handling business.

St. Regis Toronto

While waiting to check into one of the elegantly appointed 258 hotel rooms or suites in Toronto’s first St. Regis, enjoy a light snack or cocktail in the sleekly designed Astor Lounge that is neatly tucked away behind the reception area. Designed by DesignAgency, the lounge serves as an upscale café by day and a wine lounge by night. We had the pleasure of watching a champagne sabering (a St. Regis Ritual experience) and enjoying a complimentary glass of chilled Victoire Prestige champagne from the freshly sabered bottle. After retiring to our spacious suite, we tended to a barrage of emails while our designated butler unpacked our bags. St. Regis offers a complimentary butler service to all guests.

The St. Regis Toronto boasts the largest guest rooms in Toronto, averaging 550 square feet, while offering 124 suites (more than any other luxury hotel in Toronto). Our suite was sleek and sophisticated in tones of grey, mauve and black with metallic accents. The black lacquered chandeliers, 500 thread-count Bellini linens, gas fireplace and marble finishes put the suite in a class by itself, which St. Regis does very well.

St. Regis Toronto

While many hotel restaurants are shunned for their lack of menu creativity and lackluster décor, Louix Louis is a destination unto itself. Located on the 31st floor, the 130-seat room was designed to look like the inside of a whisky glass. Once you get past the mesmerizing art deco furnishings and artwork, you can concentrate on the innovative menu and cocktail list. Start with a classic cocktail like the Toronto of rye whiskey, Fernet Branca and simple syrup or the signature Jasmine Side Car of jasmine tea infused cognac, Cointreau and lemon. Seafood lovers absolutely can’t go wrong with the decadent Smoked Scallop appetizer of caviar cream, beetroot tartare and watercress. Quite simply put, it is one of those dishes that will linger with you for months to come. Main Dishes of note are the moist Duck Breast with orange glazed squash, pickled ramps and crispy quinoa and the shareable Whole Truffle Chicken served two ways with charred baby leeks and truffle jus.

Le Germain Hotel Toronto Maple Leaf Square

ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT

LE GERMAIN HOTEL TORONTO MAPLE LEAF SQUARE

Situated in the Entertainment District inside of the Maple Leaf Square complex in downtown Toronto, Le Germain Hotel Toronto Maple Leaf Square is perfect for those in town to attend sporting or music events. The hotel is a stone’s throw away from Union Station, the Scotiabank Arena and the Roger’s Centre and surrounded by dining venues that suit every need. With its sports-centric design, the boutique hotel features artistic photo murals of pro NBA and NHL athletes by artist Matthew Plexman, deluxe sheets by Maison Simons, and Molton Brown toiletries.

Guests will love the complimentary Wi-Fi and deluxe breakfast and the intimate feel of the hotel despite being in the center of it all. Choices for the 167 rooms and suites include: The Classic with 400 square feet and your choice of one king or two queen beds; The Prestige with 600 square feet, two queen beds and a reading area; The Round Bed room has a sexier vibe complete with panoramic views while The Signature Suite gives you room to roam with 940 square feet. The super-spacious Balcony Suite and The Apartment Suite boast king size beds, a reading area, panoramic view, separate bath and shower, powder room, and a living and dining room.

Hotel X Toronto

EXHIBITION PLACE

Hotel X Toronto by Library Hotel Collection

If scenic city views and an expansive waterfront are what you are after, look no further than Hotel X Toronto, by Library Hotel Collection.  Less than two miles from downtown Toronto, Hotel X is the ideal property for a staycation for locals or an urban oasis for visitors with a penchant for a luxurious setting that offers all that one could ask for in a getaway.

Even with its 404 guestrooms, the property somehow manages to feel intimate thanks to the numerous communal spaces in the form of restaurants, lounges, a rooftop pool and verdant sundeck. Choose an elegantly decorated Signature or Signature Plus Guestroom that showcases views of Lake Ontario or the Toronto skyline from oversized-windows.The spacious and sophisticated Library Lounge Guest rooms are located on the 24th, 25th and 26th floors and offer loft ceilings and larger windows in addition to privileges such as complimentary 2 pm late checkout, shoe shine service, and exclusive access to the Library Club Lounge. 

Guests with access to the Library Club Lounge can enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast, all-day refreshments and an evening wine and cheese reception. For those wanting even more luxury and space, there is the Suite Collection that can accommodate up to three adults and includes Junior Suites, One Bedroom Suites, the 2100 square feet Presidential Suite and the stunning Bi-Level Penthouse Suite. All of the suites have envious views that can be experienced through floor-to-ceiling windows.

Hotel X Toronto

The amenities at Hotel X Toronto are endless. The hotel does not charge a resort fee though it boasts Canada’s only Guerlin Spa, access to classes and facilities at 10XTO, a rooftop pool with panoramic views of the Toronto skyline, 10XTO Kid’s Play Centre available for onsite guests for three hours, a 250 seat cinema and 56 seat screening room, and Toronto’s only 3-Level Rooftop Skybar. There is even a complimentary shuttle to Union Station and Billy Bishop Airport. When it comes to dining, there are 8 options that include the newly opened Pétros 82 Mediterranean Restaurant, a Nespresso Café, Maxx’s Kitchen, The Nest at Falcon SkyBar and The Perch at Falcon SkyBar.

Kimpton Saint George

YORKVILLE

Kimpton Saint George

For those seeking culture and who appreciate design details, the Kimpton Saint George provides the perfect accommodations. Located across the street from the Bata Shoe Museum on the edge of Bloor-Yorkville and The Annex, the new boutique hotel perfectly embodies the neighborhood’s hipster vibe with a dash of understated luxury.

Furnishings and custom artwork from local artists and artisans are paired with natural materials like wood and stone and a touch of brass to deliver an atmosphere of sophisticated calm that makes many guests feel right at home. Bespoke Benefits like Kimpton’s signature hosted wine hour, complimentary morning coffee and tea service, pet-friendly environment, and access to PUBLIC cruiser bikes and in-room yoga mats have won over many guests who have enrolled in the IHG Rewards Club Elite program. IHG Rewards Club members get complimentary high-speed WIFI on all devices throughout their hotel stay, an introductory $15 bar credit, and earn points towards future stays at over 5,500 Kimpton properties.

Kimpton Saint George

Each Kimpton is unique, offering special touches that appeal to its particular tribe of guests. My Kimpton Saint George Specialty Suite featured luxury Atelier Bloem bath products, Frette linens, a walk-in shower, polished brass accents, a private bar, and a separate living area with a sofa bed and a record player that made my stay unforgettable.

Exceptionally befitting of the Kimpton Saint George’s cool factor, The Fortunate Fox is an uber-hip gastrobub located inside of the boutique property. The elevated pub menu pairs local craft beers and cocktails with comforting fare such as Fish and Chips, Southern Fried Chicken, Tikka Masala Curry, and Braised Short Ribs in addition to burgers and pizza. The restaurant is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Alo Restaurant

WINE & DINE

A virtual melting pot of cultures from all over the world, it’s no wonder that Toronto is a culinary powerhouse. Below are a few not-to-miss restaurants when visitng the city for 48 hours.

Alo– A contemporary French restaurant and cocktail bar located atop a heritage building in downtown Toronto.  The dining room offers blind, multi-course tasting menus while the bar features classically inspired cocktails and a sharing-style, a la carte menu.

Planta– Internationally inspired, plant-based dishes served in a stylish setting. There are three locations in Toronto.

Pizzeria Libretto– Serves gourmet pizzas and pasta with vegan and vegetarian options in addition to cocktails and wine. Multiple locations throughout Toronto.

Little India Restaurant– Crowd-pleasing, budget friendly Indian restaurant with vegan and vegetarian options.

Royal Ontario Museum

PLAY

So you only have 48 hours to enjoy while visiting the vast metropolis that is Toronto? Below is a list of a few of the hundreds of things to do in this amazing city.

Royal Ontario Museum– Delight in one of North America’s most renowned cultural institutions. View Inuit art and culture in addition to art, culture and nature from around the world.

Distillery District– Take a walking tour of this internationally acclaimed village of brick-lined streets and dozens of restored Victorian Industrial buildings that is hone to live theaters, galleries, fashion, cafes and restaurants.

Casa Loma– Take a step back in time with a tour of this historic, Edwardian castle.

Toronto Island Park– Take a ferry to this stunning park that consists of four main islands, containing trails, beaches and children’s amusement rides.

Toronto Eaton Centre-The shopping mall and office complex is North America’s busiest shopping mall and Toronto’s most popular tourist attraction.

CN Tower– An engineering wonder, The CN Tower is Canada’s National Tower with award-winning restaurants such as the 360 Restaurant and entertainment. Ride to the very top in 58 seconds in a glass-paneled elevator, observe the city’s skyline on one of three observation decks, experience the “World’s Highest Outdoor Walk on a Building” with Edge Walk, let your kids enjoy the KidZone play area.

Toronto Zoo The Toronto Zoo is the largest zoo in Canada. It is divided into seven zoogeographic regions: Indo-Malaya, Africa, Americas, Tundra, Trek, Australia, Eurasia and the Canadian domain. This season, experience the Kangaroo Walk-Thru, Boo At The Zoo, and Lumina Enchanted Walk Nights.

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