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Old October 14th, 2010, 03:17 AM   #321
MissyC
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Oh lovely ... getting shape and soon will be the grand opening, perhaps before X-mas.

I hope once these are finished that Starwood will start building a new Sheraton and a new Westin and a new Le Meridien and hopefully a St. Regis in this city ... and all with at least 48 stories
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Old October 25th, 2010, 07:42 PM   #322
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Downtown suites spell hip, urban, personal
Developer is releasing nearly 1,400 units in second half of 2010

23 October 2010
The Toronto Star

Even if you haven't heard of Graywood Developments, you've likely heard the catchy radio ads for two of their condo projects.

There's the tuneful twist on Marvin Gaye's classic "Mercy Mercy Me" for the Mercer ("Mercer Mercer Me") in Toronto's Entertainment District and the jubilant "Hands Up" promoting the Ocean Club on Etobicoke's waterfront.

But Graywood itself has flown quietly under the radar despite being a fixture on the city's condo scene for more than two decades. It doesn't even have a website.

But between June 1 and the end of the year, the company will have released almost 1,400 condo units in the city market, including 159 residential units at the Residences at the Ritz-Carlton, 493 suites at Five Condos at 5 St. Joseph, 415 at the Mercer and 461 at the Ocean Club.

The luxurious five-star Ritz, developed in partnership with Cadillac Fairview at 181 Wellington St. W., has established a new standard for Graywood.

"The hotel is set to open beginning of next year and the proof is in the delivery of that building," says Stephen Price, chief operating officer for Graywood. "We have learned a lot from that and are able to transfer it to all our projects."

Although each of Graywood's current projects has a distinct personality, there are themes common to all of them, says Price.

"First of all is the location. Then the design detail, not just in the esthetic of the building but in its functionality. And the value proposition we're offering customers," says Price, who points out that Graywood seeks out "triple A" locations for its projects.

"Good sites are fewer and harder to find, but we've always been able to find enough for us," he says. "We are not a production developer-builder. We build as we find sites that fit our criteria, and we will wait until we can find those that suit us.

"Then we seek out an architect that will capture the vision we have and find an interior designer who will complement the architecture, then a landscape architect. Those are our three primary partners."

Five, a modern 45-storey glass tower with undulating balconies, is slated to rise along tree-lined St. Joseph St.

Just steps from Yonge and Bloor Sts., this joint venture with MOD Developments will incorporate a four-storey Gothic Revival warehouse into its façade and a series of small heritage storefronts along Yonge St.

The model suite, designed by Anna Simone of Cecconi Simone, is a sophisticated bohemian style, mixing dark chocolate wood, modern white leather, metal and glass. More than two-thirds of the Five suites have been sold.

"What you'll see in all our buildings is that our kitchens are all highly designed," says Price as he stands in the pristine white Euro-style model kitchen in Five. "We design not just for the esthetic, but for the pragmatic, so they are functional and the kitchens are integrated with the living area.

"We particularly focus on the kitchen because that's where people like to spend a lot of time. Our second priority is the bathroom."

Five will likely draw people with a hip urban personal sense of style (they may work at the University of Toronto or nearby hospitals).

The Mercer, near King and St. John Sts. in the Entertainment District, which will be launched later this year in partnership with Beaverhall Homes, is expected to draw a different crowd.

"The Mercer is for the downtown person," says Price. "We know that area very well because of the Ritz. We were pioneers to build a five-star project in an area that hadn't yet proven itself as a residential location. But it seems the whole city is evolving around there, with the Toronto International Film Festival (Bell Lightbox/Festival Tower) and all the amenities that are here."

At the Ritz, Price says people get large suites and "incredible hotel services."

"Mercer is catering to a different buyer. We are expecting to get an interesting group of downtown professionals. It's across the street from the entrance to the PATH system at Metro Hall. It's going to appeal to the younger, hipper audience," he predicts. "Maybe not quite as hip as Five. Mercer is like New York's Soho, Five is the Lower East Side."

The 33-storey tower, designed by BBB Architects, will have a brick treatment that ties into the street's history yet will be modern in design.

"We are targeting people who appreciate a contemporary, hip building," explains Price. "We are identifying the 'me' in Mercer, not in a selfish way but in an individual way. These are people who are successful, know who they are and what they want. They appreciate architecture, they appreciate quality design and, most of all, they appreciate the location."

The Design Agency (whose principals are in HGTV's The Designer Guys) came up with the suites, lobby and amenity spaces. The lobby will feature a spectacular granite concierge desk and metal screenings to give an urban feel. There will be a living wall to add warmth and depth, as well as a sculptural sofa imported from Italy.

"The most significant amenity of this project is its rooftop terrace with a dining area, outdoor screen and misters," says Price. "It will have a very contemporary look and feel with green elements. We try to ensure as much as we can there is a strong green presence in our projects."

The Ocean Club on the Humber Bayshores (also a collaboration with Beaverhall), also to be launched later this fall, will have a much different flavour. It is perhaps no coincidence that the "Hands Up" music used in its commercials and on its website is also Club Med's theme song.

"Once you turn off Lake Shore Blvd. and on to Park Lawn Ave. to where we front on the lake on Marine Parade, you enter a whole different world," says Price. "There's a butterfly sanctuary, green space, the lake, the Martin Goodman Trail and unobstructed views of the city skyline. It's transformative down there. It has a getaway feeling."

He says people don't need to be sold on the location: "It's a matter of us having the right product."

The two 37-storey and eight-storey towers, designed by Page + Steel/IBI Group, will be sold and operate together but will have independent amenities. The point tower has a sloped, mast-like roof and is inspired by the oceanfront condos of Miami and Vancouver.

"Most suites have wonderful views of city or to the west and we've articulated a number of balconies so the views are available to most residents," says Price. "We'd argue that this is the best location on Lake Shore, given our proximity to lake, and being able to put a point tower so close to lake, the views will be outstanding."

Interior designer Tomas Pearce has created a three-storey resort-style lobby with commissioned sculptures, glass walls and detailed light fixtures.

Amenities will reflect the club atmosphere. There will be a saltwater pool and cascading hot tub. On the eighth floor will be "essentially a large outdoor lounge" with barbecues where residents can watch the sailboats and cyclists.

There will also be a restaurant in the base of the tower, where people can have a drink and enjoy the lake views or have a meal. It will round out the resort-type environment, says Price.

With the growing roster of unique projects, isn't it time for Graywood to establish an online presence to bolster its public profile?

"We don't have a website because there hasn't been a need, as our business is not sourced that way," says Price.

"But we're thinking about it. We want to be a little more progressive in how we communicate."

Stephen Price, chief operating officer of Graywood Developments, describes how the Ocean Club condo on the lake has "a getaway feeling." Vince Talotta Toronto Star
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Old October 26th, 2010, 06:51 AM   #323
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Good ... finally a real good hotel in this town, so much needed really.
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Old October 29th, 2010, 06:24 PM   #324
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By caltrane74 from urbantoronto.ca :

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Old November 3rd, 2010, 07:51 PM   #325
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By Mo-tage from urbantoronto.ca :

image hosted on flickr
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Old November 14th, 2010, 07:35 AM   #326
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By caltrane74 from urbantoronto.ca :

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Old November 14th, 2010, 11:27 PM   #327
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It will be nice to see it come alive in the next few months.
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Old November 17th, 2010, 07:29 PM   #328
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By androiduk from urbantoronto.ca :

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Old November 17th, 2010, 07:34 PM   #329
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I like it. Very nice design.
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Old November 18th, 2010, 07:11 AM   #330
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I was checking out some floorplans today. Pretty decent sq/ft considering its starting at 1.2 million. Unfortunately you're pretty low down if you're only spending that much.

Gosh, to think if I had the money.
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Old November 26th, 2010, 04:46 PM   #331
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Old November 26th, 2010, 05:28 PM   #332
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Fantastic!
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Old November 30th, 2010, 04:58 PM   #333
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Old December 1st, 2010, 07:23 PM   #334
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I wonder how I can apply for "any" job at the Ritz, maybe a front desk employeer or reservation repr. or I don't know ...

I couldn't find their HR dept using google!
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 09:47 AM   #335
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlotteJ View Post
I wonder how I can apply for "any" job at the Ritz, maybe a front desk employeer or reservation repr. or I don't know ...

I couldn't find their HR dept using google!
The RC homepage has a careers section.



http://corporate.ritzcarlton.com/en/Careers/Default.htm
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Old December 3rd, 2010, 04:15 AM   #336
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minna View Post
The RC homepage has a careers section.



http://corporate.ritzcarlton.com/en/Careers/Default.htm
Thank you...
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Old December 16th, 2010, 11:13 AM   #337
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The strait-laced city loosens up
With its striking architecture, thriving arts culture and dynamic dining scene, 'Toronto the Good' fully deserves its new 'good time' label, Sarah Barrell
30 October 2010
The Daily Telegraph

Everywhere you look in downtown Toronto skyscrapers are rising. This new landscape of chrome and glass, unrecognisable from a couple of years ago, disorientates me as I try to find the ferry terminal. When I eventually make it across to leafy Toronto Island, I'm rewarded with a view back to the mainland of the perfect North American pop-up city, seemingly growing before my eyes.

Canada's largest city is developing fast, yet it has been quite slow to shake off the pall of Presbyterianism that has, since colonial times, earned it the label "Toronto the Good".

Briefly in the Sixties it had a tantalising brush with Bohemia as a hub for draft dodgers, but it's only in the past few years that the place has let its creative communities lead the way. This new confidence can be seen everywhere: in a crop of new luxury hotels, an innovative dining scene, and pioneering art galleries and design studios.

Toronto these days is not so much good as "good-time".

The recent rise in profile of the Toronto International Film Festival (Tiff) has helped. A permanent home for the festival, the Bell Lightbox, has just opened, housing five cinemas, screening rooms and exhibition space that will attract stars yearround.

The Art Gallery of Ontario has been redesigned by the architect Frank Gehry, a native of the city, in one of his rare home-grown projects; and the state museum has had a makeover by Daniel Libeskind.

Just across the border, America's cities may be stagnating, but in Toronto the appetite for upgrading thrives. The "Mink Mile" designer shopping district has been given a C$25 million (£15.3 million) facelift. In the heart of downtown, dowdy Union Station is undergoing a C$200million renovation that should allow this Beaux Arts building to bask in the sort of glory enjoyed by Grand Central in New York.

Economic crisis? What economic crisis? Five luxury hotels will open here in the next two years, including a Trump, a Four Seasons and, already doing business, the latest branch of New York's Thompson group; the first outside America.

Film is only one highlight of the city's arts scene. From now until May, the World Stage Festival (www.harbourfrontcentre.com) will be bringing international names in theatre, dance and music to the city's lakefront. Also downtown until this weekend is the annual Art Toronto (www.tiafair.com), Canada's leading international art fair, where more than 1,000 contemporary artists exhibit their work.

But probably the most dynamic thing in Toronto right now is the dining scene, dominated by maverick chefs such as Jamie Kennedy, Susur Lee and Mark McEwan.

"Toronto is a very diverse city, known for its ethnic cuisine," says Bonnie Stern, grande dame of a local cookery school. "We also have very sophisticated chefs with upscale restaurants. But the emerging local-food movement sees younger chefs opening creative, neighbourhood restaurants that Torontonians are travelling across the city to experience."

These chefs may share something in style with Anthony Bourdain - all leather jackets and rock 'n' roll hair - but they are driven by a "farm to fork" ethic that's more Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

There's perhaps no better time for foodies to explore Toronto than now, when trees are turning fiery colours and food markets are packed with autumn pumpkins - with chefs hunting the best seasonal veg.

Neighbourhood watch

Downtown Get the best out of Toronto's fastest-changing district on a walking tour with Bruce Bell (www.brucebelltours.ca). There might not be much left of the "old town", but the city's most colourful historian does a great job of interpreting every remaining cobble, plaque and colonial church.

Distillery District Art galleries, bars and design shops are housed in cathedral-like Victorian brick warehouses, some of which still have distillery workings incorporated into their design. Clark & Faria (www.monteclarkgallery.com) and the Corkin Gallery (www.kingallery.com) show mixed-media, contemporary art from names such as Nan Goldin and Herb Ritz. Soma Chocolate (www.somachocolate.com) is a laboratory-like boutique for the finest cacao-based products, while Lileo (www.lileo.ca) sells books, art, clothes and great coffee in a mannequin-free emporium.

Queen Street West Many of the bars, galleries and boutiques for which Toronto is included on hot (or cool) lists are in Queen Street West and nearby Ossington Street. Here you find everything from custom-made cufflinks to fair-trade yarn, modern photography to bijoux bakeries. Explore this bohemian enclave with Betty Anne Jordan (www.artinsite.net), an arts writer who hosts excellent free walking tours.

Yorkville Oversized sunglasses and wallets dominate Toronto's smartest neighbourhood. Mink Mile (Bloor Street's designer retail row) and Holt Renfrew, a department store, are the shopping landmarks for those with big bucks. New boutiques such as Rac (www.racboutique.com) sell clothes from up-and-coming Canadian designers, while the Guild Shop has rotating works from the Ontario Crafts Council (www.theguildshop.ca). Revive yourself with a coffee at Zaza Espresso Bar (75 Yorkville Ave) and a stroll around Yorkville Park - which has a 650-ton granite rock carved out of the billionyear-old Canadian Shield.

Toronto Islands Hire a bike from the ferry terminal and explore this 570-acre archipelago (10 minutes from downtown). It has two private marinas, a sandy beach and several hamlets whose residents are as individual as the colourful wooden houses they occupy.

Hip hotels

The Thompson (www.thompsonhotels.com) It doesn't quite have the views of Toronto's CN Tower (the tallest free-standing structure in the Americas), but this rooftop is definitely more exclusive and has a near vertigo-inducing infinity pool. Rooms have the high design and laid-back style characteristic of this playful American franchise. Doubles from C$245 a night.

The Hazelton (www.hazeltonhotel.com) This 77-room, all-suite hotel in the heart of Yorkville is Toronto's most exclusive tourist address (until the Four Seasons opens its property nearby in 2012). The Hazelton's restaurant, One, is run by Mark McEwan, one of Canada's best-loved television chefs, and its bar is a favourite with the movie industry during the film festival. Doubles from C$525 per night.

The Drake (www.thedrakehotel.ca) Alongside the neighbouring Gladstone, this artsy hotel - a former dosshouse - was credited with reviving Queen Street West when it opened in 2004. A roaring success with both locals and visitors, it seems to be ever expanding, this summer opening an ice-cream parlour. Seventeen compact rooms are each individually designed with a Fifties spirit. From C$189 per night.

Ritz Carlton (www.ritzcarlton.com) The newest of Toronto's luxury hotel crop, this 267-room skyscraper will open in the heart of the city's financial district in January. The glass-and-limestone structure gently widens as it reaches the sky and has the CN Tower reflected perfectly in its façade. From C$500 per night.

Cultural highs

The Art Gallery of Ontario (www.ago.net) has filled its new space, designed by Frank Gehry, with almost 600 new works. Don't miss Art and Film, the major retrospective from the American art powerhouse Julian Schnabel (until January 2).

Daniel Libeskind's expansion of the Royal Ontario Museum (www.rom.on.ca) looks like crystal growing out of rock, the perfect home for Canada's natural history treasures, which include 80ft totem poles, rare Jurassic dinosaur skeletons and Benjamin West's painting, The Death of General Wolfe, depicting Canada's military and colonial history.

The Bell Lightbox (www.tiff.net), the new permanent home for Tiff, has a museum-like gravitas and a rotating programme of film, featuring guest speakers such as David Cronenberg and Peter Bogdanovich. The Tim Burton exhibit that wowed New York's MoMa opens on November 26, a major exhibition of his drawings, sculptures, maquettes and videos.

The Toronto Railway Heritage Centre (www.trha.ca), in the recently renovated Canadian Pacific Railway Round House, shows the locomotives of the early railways.

David LaChapelle's mural of Naomi Campbell as Venus at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (www.mocca.ca) is about the only permanent work at this gallery, which aims to show Canadian art as quickly as it is made.

Where to eat

Lee (www.susur.com) serves small plates with Asian and international flavours. This informal dining room has deep-red, silk-screened walls and pink Lucite tables at which guests share dishes such as Angus burger and spiced fries, caramelised blackened cod, and Singapore slaw with salmon sashimi. Dinner for two with wine is about C$100.

Gilead (www.jamiekennedy.ca) is the newest offering from Jamie Kennedy, Toronto's original "locovore", who brings only local food to the tables of this relaxed café/deli. Seasonal dishes, such as squash ravioli in mushroom broth and Moroccan spiced lamb poutine with sheep's milk cheese, make this simple bistro shine. Two courses for about C$30 per person.

Canoe (www.oliverbonacini.com), the smartest outpost of Toronto's Oliver & Bonnacini restaurant empire, is one of Canada's hottest meal tickets. Located on top of the TD Bank Tower, it has the best view in town. Book well in advance to try its Canadian take on French cuisine: seared foie gras with Niagara stone fruit or Arctic char with baby turnips. Five-course tasting menus with wine C$150 per person.

C5 (www.c5restaurant.ca). Dine in the "crystal", Libeskind's addition to the Royal Ontario Museum, which serves what the chef, Ted Corrado, calls "edible exhibits". Try the multicourse afternoon tea, currently Asian themed to complement the Terracotta Warrior show. From C$59 including museum entry.

The great outdoors

Niagara Falls, the sophisticated hamlet of Niagara on the Lake and the surrounding wine country are all within two hours' drive or train journey from Toronto. From November 11, Niagara Falls shines with nearly two million lights during its Winter Festival (until January 11).

Prince Edward County An hour south-east of the city, it juts out into Lake Ontario, and is renowned for its artisan food producers and excellent local restaurants.

Algonquin One of Canada's bestknown provincial parks is about two hours from the city. It has thousands of forest-fringed lakes, is home to moose and bear, and offers excellent river canoeing day-trips and overnight camping.

Sarah Barrell travelled as a guest of the Canadian Tourism Commission (http://uk.canada.travel/) and Canadian Affair (020 7616 9933; www.canadianaffair.com), which flies from seven British airports to Toronto from £278 return.

More information: seetorontonow.com; www.travelontario.co.uk Tim Burton's exhibition, which wowed New York, is coming to the Bell Lightbox 'Toronto is a very diverse city, known for its ethnic cuisine'

The Skywalk, which takes you from Union Station to Rogers Centre; the chic boutiques of Yorkville; and diners at Lee restaurant The architect Frank Gehry, a native of the city, redesigned the Art Gallery of Ontario, left; and Toronto's skyline seen from Centre Island
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Old December 18th, 2010, 07:30 PM   #338
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 07:25 PM   #339
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http://www.businesstraveller.com/new...en-in-february

Ritz-Carlton Toronto to open in February

Published: 01/12/2010



Luxury hotel group Ritz-Carlton is to open a 267-room property in Toronto in February.

Housed in a new 53-floor tower on Wellington Street, between the city’s financial and entertainment districts, the hotel will take up the first 20 floors while the remaining levels will be given over to Ritz-Carlton residences.

Rooms will start from 42 sqm and will be contemporary in décor, with floor-to-ceiling windows providing either city or lake views. They will come equipped with 42-inch flatscreen TVs, Bose stereos with an iPod dock, DVD players, and marble bathrooms with a separate tub and rainshower and a TV built into the mirror.

The five-floor Podium part of the building, which juts out from the main tower, will house a 2,100 sqm spa on its top level. This will have 16 treatment rooms, a pool, 24-hour gym, yoga studio, men’s and women’s relaxation areas, sauna and steam rooms, and an outdoor terrace.

The Podium will also be home to a restaurant offering Canadian cuisine, a bar, lounge and 1,900 sqm of meeting space, including two ballrooms. A 24-hour business centre will feature a boarding pass machine.

The Club floor will be on the 20th level and include a 24-hour lounge offering five food and drink presentations a day, free wifi and a dedicated concierge. To upgrade to the Club floor will cost about CA$100 (£63) extra per night, with standard room rates starting from CA$495 (£311).

The hotel will also be offering a free chauffeur drop-off service within a 3km radius.

Ritz-Carlton will add two other properties to its portfolio early next year – in January it will open a 341-room hotel next to Dubai’s International Financial Centre, while March will see the launch of a 312-room hotel in Hong Kong’s Kowloon.

The group recently launched a new loyalty scheme, Ritz-Carlton Rewards (see online news September 15), offering members ten points or two airline miles for every US dollar spent on room rates at Ritz-Carlton and Marriott properties.

Visit ritzcarlton.com for more information.
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Old January 2nd, 2011, 06:03 PM   #340
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