Fairmont Royal York prepares to celebrate 90th anniversary with “majestic transformation”

by W. Andrew Powell
Rendering of Fairmont Royal York's new lobby & arrival experience

Toronto’s iconic Fairmont Royal York hotel celebrates its 90th anniversary this summer, and in honour of the special occasion, the hotel is preparing to unveil a number of changes, from the lobby experience to the guest suites, and the food.

Fairmont has given us a glimpse of the new elevated lobby experience with the design image above, which showcases how the hotel plans to redefine the space, but there is a lot more to come from the historic hotel.

Fairmont has called the upcoming changes a “majestic transformation, honouring the icon’s timeless grandeur while elevating it into a new era of luxury,” while noting that the updates “will respect the illustrious past and certified historic architectural elements of the hotel while extending that story into a bold and modern new chapter.”

Fairmont Royal York

The Fairmont Royal York’s renovations are part of a major plan to make it the finest luxury hotel experience in Toronto, which is no small feat. I would expect nothing less of the brand or the property though, which is one of Toronto’s oldest and grandest hotels.

The moment that guests arrive in the updated lobby, that new luxury experience will begin, with a design by Rockwell Group that combines Toronto’s past and present as a “living room” for the city and will include design cues from the railway and Toronto’s Union Station.

Notably, two changes that have already been confirmed include the removal of the spiral staircase that was installed in the 1970s, as well as the brass clock, which has been placed in storage for the time being. A new clock experience, and other additions will be unveiled with the new lobby design in the summer.

“Fairmont Royal York has always been a defining feature of the Toronto skyline and we are excited to announce the next stage in its time-honoured history,” said Edwin Frizzell, regional vice president and general manager, Fairmont Royal York.

“As we celebrate 90 years of outstanding service, incredible people and history-making moments, it is with great pride that we prepare to unveil the most significant transformation this building has ever seen.”

Fairmont Gold Residents Lounge
Fairmont Gold Residents Lounge

Fairmont’s executive chef, jW Foster, will unveil four new signature dining concepts for the Fairmont Royal York’s 90th anniversary, with a focus on sustainable food and authentic local ingredients.

Reservations are already being accepted for Fairmont Gold suites this summer, which will feature “larger, elegantly appointed” spaces and include access to the new Fairmont Gold Residents Lounge that will be served by members of “Les Clefs d’Or” society.

The Residents Lounge interior design will be a premium space that combines penthouse surroundings with privacy and relaxation, and it was curated by luxury experts Champalimaud.

Two Legacy Suites will also be unveiled as part of the hotel redesign, transforming two signature suites into modern, cosmopolitan grandeur.

Updates will also be announced soon for the hotel’s meeting, event, and wedding spaces, to reflect more modern aestetics and design, with historic features.

Opened in 1929, the Fairmont Royal York has played a lot of roles on screen, and welcomed guests from around the world, including for the Queen’s Jubilee and Bill Clinton’s 60th birthday.

Updates and more details on the renovations and designs will be coming up later this spring. Until then, visit thefairmontroyalyork.com for more history, details, or to book your stay.

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