As Marriott's acquisition of the Canadian accommodations chain Delta nears finalization, Toronto's Southcore district officially welcomed the new hotel to the neighbourhood. Though the Delta Toronto at the corner of Bremner and Simcoe has been open for business since November, its grand opening bash was held yesterday evening.
The 46-storey structure, designed by Mansoor Kazerouni of Page + Steele/IBI Group Architects, was chosen as the best new Toronto building of 2014 by UrbanToronto readers, sharing its win with the L Tower. Architecturally, the four-star hotel has received recognition for its pixelated curtainwall glazing, pitched roof, the unique geometric shape, and for a twisting and torquing new bridge on the PATH network. Inside, the building's warm, inviting public spaces have been a major debut into the Toronto market for New York-based Champalimaud Design. On hand for the party were President Alexandra Champalimaud, Principal Jon Kastl, and Associate Chatu Ranasinghe.
Several distinguished guests were in attendance, including Mayor John Tory, who shared his excitement for Toronto's newest hotel. "I am just delighted to be here. Delta is a great Canadian brand and Marriott is a great global company," said Mayor John Tory. "I'm just here to say congratulations, thank you to all those who made the investment and made the decision to locate in Toronto, build something of this class, and employ all these people."
"I couldn't be more proud of what we've accomplished in a very short period of time," said Kenneth Greene, President and CEO of Delta Hotels and Resorts. "We undertook a major brand transformation to solidify our leadership in the four-star category. The Delta Toronto is really a symbol of that. It's our flagship property and it's a great place to stay. It really completes our journey of transformation."
Marriott announced its pending acquisition of the bcIMC-owned hotel chain in January. The Delta branding will remain, with Marriott taking responsibility for management and franchise operations. The Delta loyalty program and website will be merged with Marriott's systems. "We are about to close on the acquisition of Delta. There is work to be done but we are eagerly anticipating the completion of the deal," said Arne Sorenson, President and CEO of Marriott International. "Delta is a company we have admired for many years. Delta has long had a strong east-west travel position, taking Canadians from one side of Canada to the other, with broad distribution across the country. Marriott, with good distribution in Canada and spectacular distribution in the United States and around the world, has had this powerful north-south platform."
Following the speeches, Delta Hotels and Resorts' Managing Director Jean-Luc Barone announced a special donation to CAN Fund, a not-for-profit organization that raises money for Canadian athletes. Olympians and/or Canadian National champion athletes Conrad Leinemann (Beach Volleyball), Brian Price (Rowing) and Mandy Bujold (Boxing) were on hand to celebrate the opening.
The celebration was held in the SOCO Ballroom, at 6,500 square feet the largest party space in the hotel. The room is one of several event and meeting spaces on the second and third floors of the building, each named after a distinct Toronto neighbourhood. Indicative of the growing vibe and excitement around the young Southcore neighbourhood, representatives from several nearby attractions and services including the UP Express, Porter Airlines, the CN Tower, the Hockey Hall of Fame, and Ripley's Aquarium were in attendance to showcase their venues and services.
Hotel amenities are found in the fourth floor, where both indoor and outdoor recreational spaces provide guests with ample activities. Containing a pool, fitness studio and two outdoor decks, one of which will contain a rooftop bar, the amenities have quickly become well-used by the hundreds of guests staying within the 567 suites. The top floor Club Lounge provides morning breakfast, quiet meeting areas, and lounging spaces to guests staying within the top four floors.
The Delta is connected to Union Station and the Metro Toronto Convention Centre via a newly opened PATH bridge over Simcoe Street. Spearheaded by Public Art Management Ltd. with Toronto artists Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins and New York architect James Khamsi of FIRM a.d., 'Torque' links the hotel to the rest of the city. Its interiors are painted in several shades of grey which, when combined with the triangular windows allowing users to peek out across the area, creates a striking relationship between light and shade.
The hotel's close proximity to major downtown attractions including the Air Canada Centre and the Rogers Centre will allow the building to roll out the welcome mat to thousands of tourists every year, while business travellers will be able to take advantage of its climate-controlled connections to Toronto's Financial Core. Developed by bcIMC and Leasing Manager GWL Realty, the building has become Toronto's first hotel-only tower to be built in two decades, also taking the title for tallest hotel-only tower in the city.
The Delta's contribution to the Southcore's street life will be fully realized following our chilly Winter when the SOCO Kitchen + Bar opens its large Bremner Boulevard-side patio in the Spring.
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