At the Windsor Arms, historic and new-millennium amenities are fused together to create a delicate balance of old-world charm and modern decadence. In fact, the building dates back to 1927 when the University of Toronto, with its neo-Gothic buildings and distinctive piers, porches, and crests were architectural marvels of the burgeoning metropolis. And that's exactly how hotelier, William Arthur Price, envisioned the four-storey building way back in the 30s. The original idea was to create a hotel residence to blend in with the university's signature, Victorian buildings. When completed, guests and passersby wondered whether Price had stamped the outside crest with his initials or that of the hotel. The question still remains to this day.
Years later, in 1966, the hotel entered Toronto's culinary scene, opening its restaurant, Three Small Rooms. The Courtyard Cafe was launched in 1976 and that same year, Club 22 opened as part of the city's growing nightlife.
By the late 80's, years of neglect took hold and in 1991 the Windsor Arms was shutdown with no prospects of reopening, that is, until developer George Friedmann sparked a vision of resurrection.
After purchasing the property in 1995, Friedmann commissioned architect, Sol Wassermuhl of Page + Steele to maintain the original characteristics from the stained glass window facing St. Thomas Street to the stone portico and vestibule in the entrance, but otherwise to completely rebuild the hotel and add condominium homes atop. Consultants from around the world descended on the plans and the results were custom mahogany furnishings based on 1920s French styles, rooms with cozy fireplaces, and bathrooms with limestone floors and walls, all in a modern, contemporary setting.
In May 1999, with 28 unique suites ranging from 500 to1,500 square feet, conference rooms, and a spa, the hotel reopened to fanfare and accolades. The city's most luxurious condominiums with access to all hotel services were created atop the hotel. The New York Times say's: Classic Toronto haunt stands smartly again. Rooms were outfitted with state-of-the-art entertainment systems but retained homey like crisp, buttery-soft, 320-threadcount, Frette bed linens.
The tearoom, with its original 1927 fireplace, is modelled around that same mid-twentieth-century elegance. Even the spa glows with old-world serenity mixed with a contemporary feel.
Nowadays, the Windsor Arms Hotel is home to visiting A-listers, big-ticket musicians, and prestigious jet-setters. The hotel has hosted fashion shoots and exclusive parties.