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A Grand Entrance To The King Edward Hotel

October 25, 2012

The King Edward Hotel – Toronto’s first luxury hotel – officially opened it’s doors at six a.m.  on May 11, 1903.  When the hotel first opened the main entrance was sheltered by a large canopy of glass and cast iron supported over the sidewalk on paired pillars – a perfect regal welcome to the spectacular foyer of the main lobby that awaited guests inside.

Over the hotel’s history, the entrance way was redesigned when the hotel was part of Sheraton hotels in the 1950s with a completely white-washed front entrance …

…but has returned  back to an inviting royal-blue canopy design today.

The magnificent grandeur of the main lobby – known as the Rotunda (though neither round nor domed) –  is immediately conveyed by the massive marble stone columns (the most expensive artificial marble used in that period), mosaic floor, along with the comfortable chairs, sofas and potted palms. The original lobby also had a chandelier and a large fireplace.

As the first guest’s made their grand entrance – as they continue to do today – they are immediately awestruck by the main lobby’s central space with a two-storey open court, roofed with glass and ringed at the mezzanine level with a double colonnade of Ionic columns in scagliola.



The scagliola style was popular during the 17th-century Baroque period, with the technique regaining popularity in the late Victorian and Edwardian period.

Through the years – as then and now – the glass, towering columns and flowing designs casts the hotel lobby into a rich, golden glow of classicism and elegance.

Guests have always marveled at the open airiness of the lobby whenever they make their grand entrance into the hotel.

KE Lobby

The hotel is currently undergoing renovations to maintain its grandeur, and a  temporary construction canopy covers the glass ceiling windows to ensure safety during renovations. Although this canopy has temporarily covered the floods of sunlight into the lobby, it does not take away from the regal welcome, warmth and majestic visual that guests receive when they enter the lobby.

This spectacular and memorable lobby remains an essential part of the many grand entrances that guests have made to the heart of The King Edward Hotel since 1903 – and continuing today.


From → history

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