The official opening ceremony of the new Ritz-Carlton Hotel Toronto took place on Wednesday, February 16 at 11:30AM in the hotel's spacious lobby.
Developed by Graywood Developments and Cadillac Fairview, the 52-storey building was designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates and Page + Steele Architects. The hotel occupies the lower 21 levels, while condos take the upper levels. The Ritz is expected to be Toronto's first hotel awarded five stars. Urban Toronto was pleased to be in attendance for the event: here's a quick rundown in pictures. People mingling prior to the ceremony.
Chantal Kreviazuk performed O Canada.
Before speeches began it was announced that Mayor Ford would not attend due to his recent health issues. Premier Dalton McGuinty was also a no-show, but a letter of congratulations from his office was read to the audience. First up was President and CEO of Graywood Developments, Garnet Watchorn.
He was followed up by Michael Beckley, Senior Vice President of Lodging Development, Marriott Hotels and Resorts Canada.
Next up was Bob Kharazmi, Global Officer, Worldwide Operations, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.
A quick stop at the bar to freshen up...
This was followed by the transfer of the first key from the Ritz-Carlton to the first official guest, Piers Handling, CEO of the Toronto International Film Festival. No doubt the Ritz-Carlton will be the hotel of record during the film festival.
Finally the principals made their way to the upstairs ballroom for lunch. We, on the other hand, headed to the subway and back to work! While this event was the official opening, the hotel's real opening to the public is today, February 18, 2011.