Fairmont Royal York Hotel

The lobby's one of the largest and grandest I've ever seen

Stairwell to the concourse level

Art Deco lighting

Love the screen - not the funiture

Check-in desks

Four-sided clock in the main lobby

One of the exit foyers

Great tile work

Mural above the exit

Elevator detail

Probably carved in the 20s

Main lobby chandelier - gorgeous!

Main lobby elevators - all 8 of them

A beautiful tableau

The concert hall

View from the second floor balcony

The bar

The ballroom - wow, look at that ceiling.

I was at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel last night. The main lobby's a real gem even though the furniture and carpeting is horribly dated - like an imitation Dynasty set. I ignore that. The real star of this wonderful space is the Art Deco detail in the tile work, light fixtures, wooden grid ceiling, brass hand railings, stone floors and walls, murals and big green clock that greets me at the side entrance.

This hotel is big. Not Vegas big, but substantial nonetheless: 1,600 rooms, 10 elevators, endless hallways - I get lost in it without even trying. To add to the confusion, some elevators don't go to some floors. Not the best thing to discover when you're running late. Actually, now that I work for myself, I don't worry as much as I used to about the time. 10 minutes here or there doesn't usually upset anyone. When I worked for agencies though, some drivers were real pricks about it. There was this one guy I referred to as The Time Nazi. He gave me so much grief when I was a few minutes off. Such a brown noser too - constantly sucking up to the boss and any blonde within sight. I hated him. Just thinking about him makes me want to squeeze something real hard - like his little turkey neck.

But I digress.

I'm fascinated by the fact that the hotel was opened on June 11, 1929 - a mere 4 months before Black Tuesday, otherwise known as the Crash of 29. Who sustained its operation during the dark period that followed? Did people host lavish parties in the ballroom and concert hall while the bread lines formed? Were there bread lines in Toronto?

Maybe only this guy knows the truth:
According to the book, an apparition of a grey haired man appears in a maroon smoking jacket and slacks silently moving along the hallway of the eighth floor of the dormitory tower. There are staff members who refuse to go on the floor during the midnight shift for that reason.
Toronto Ghosts and Hauntings

The Fairmont Royal York Hotel: A Brief History
Flickr set: Hotels in Toronto