On March 6, the City of Toronto turned 183 years old! Toronto is a young city by global standards, but it has grown up fast and today is an international centre of business, culture, and finance. The intersection of Yonge and King Streets, now home to One King West Hotel & Residence’s downtown Toronto hotel, has been at the city’s core since its founding. Let’s take a brief look at the city’s growth through the prism of this iconic address.
In the beginning…
In 1834, the town of York’s municipal limits were extended and the area was incorporated as the City of Toronto. Ontario’s first official city didn’t look like much at the time: it was home to just 9,000 people, and was bounded by Lake Ontario to the south, Bathurst Street to the west, Parliament Street to the east, and a line just north of what is now Queen Street to the north. One King Street West sat as close to the centre of this newly formed city as possible – even then it would have been an ideal location for a downtown Toronto hotel.
In the mid-1800s it was instead home to Michie & Co. Grocers & Wine Merchants, and in 1879 became the head office of the Dominion Bank. The city swelled through the late 1800s and early 1900s, and by 1911 its population approached 400,000. In 1914, mirroring the city’s rapid growth, an early 12-storey skyscraper – the Dominion Bank Building – was completed at One King West. It has sat at that location ever since, a stately symbol of Toronto’s emergence as a global financial capital and Canada’s business mecca.
In the late 1990s, hot on the heels of another historic municipal amalgamation, the Dominion Bank Building changed ownership and was repurposed for residential use. The building’s refurbishment included the construction of a 51-storey condo tower which today houses the majority of One King West’s downtown Toronto hotel accommodations. The tower’s completion in 2006 coincided with the onset of an unprecedented wave of high-rise construction.
Today, One King West Hotel & Residence sits comfortably among a transformed skyline. The heritage building at its base epitomizes Toronto’s sober, dignified past, while the tower above it embodies the city’s present and future: ambitious, light-hearted, and comfortable in its own skin.
A 183rd birthday may seem like an unusual anniversary to recognize, but a new promotional campaign from Tourism Toronto makes clear that the city is ready to celebrate. Released March 5, the minute-long video paints Toronto as a vibrant, multicultural, and inclusive urban playground that’s just hitting its stride. Watching the images of rooftop bars, ballet on the subway, international cuisine, museums, and of course our patron saint Drake, it’s hard not to marvel at Toronto’s incredible, 183-year evolution.
Toronto is undergoing an exciting rebirth. It has grown into North America’s fourth-largest city and one of the world’s most multicultural communities. And One King West’s downtown Toronto hotel is an ideal home-base from which to join in the fun. Contact One King West Hotel & Residence today for booking and availability information.