Bay Street Looking North To Old City Hall, Google Maps
Exiting our Go Train at Union Station, we take
The Path underground ambling through Toronto's financial district, moving north through the Royal Bank Plaza and the Toronto-Dominion Bank Tower to First Canadian Place with its impressive 150 shops, services and restaurants. We emerge at Bay and Adelaide and the
Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto®, ideally situated mid-city and within view of Old City Hall.
We are ensconced in Room 2801, a spacious suite with a King bed and the most comfortable pillows I have ever experienced. The 65-storey tower includes 261 luxurious rooms and suites featuring floor-to-ceiling windows with stunning views of Toronto's skyline, stone-accented bathrooms, in-mirror bathroom TVs, Nespresso coffee machines and Trump-stamped slippers, robes and even chocolates. There are multiple light switch controls that allow one to control the mood in every area while an attractive Phalaenopsis orchid revels in its copious pink blooms.
Just off the lobby, the Calvin Bar is a cozy respite featuring classic cocktails while the America Restaurant upstairs replete with pictures of movie stars attending Toronto's VIP-driven TIFF, offers guests (and the likes of Alex Baldwin) a sophisticated and stylish dining room.
The two-level, 15,000-square foot, Purebeauty Salon & Spa provides a full menu of signature treatments, along with express services in one luxurious space; the Spa's fitness centre includes a fully-equipped exercise gym and a 65-foot, heated, indoor saltwater lap pool and whirlpool which goes easy on the skin. In the morning, we enjoy a casual in-room breakfast, not wanting ever to leave this opulent oasis.
Just down Adelaide St., we head for supper at the highly-regarded
Hy's Steakhouse and Cocktail Bar. My first impression of architect Brian Awde and interior designer Elaine Thorsell is that they have created an elegant, private, dimly-lit, deeply romantic room. The richly toned wood paneled edifice features high ceilings, sumptuous velvet banquettes and gilded lighting and ornate cornice details, and seats 180 for business oriented power-lunches and dinner. The service was first rate, always attentive, and my conundrum was that we were attending a play that night and did not want to overeat despite the spectacular menu.
It features high-quality dishes such as gorgonzola filet mignon, Cajun rib steak, blackened Ahi tuna, Chateaubriand, and fan favourite - steak and lobster, but I opted for the small, 8 ounce Filet Mignon (51.95) with a baked potato ( the 12 oz is 68.95) and my spouse, the slow roasted half free range chicken with vegetables and chicken jus (34.95). Hy's beef comes from a farm in High River, Alberta where it's dry-aged for 28 days then wet-aged finished. Everything was scrumptious, and as we were careful with quantity, my spouse selected a tasty ice cream dessert, and - as I love custard, I opted for the Crème Brûlée with an enticing almond flavour. Yum!
Toronto is recognized as the third-largest theatre centre in the English-speaking world, after New York and London, quite a distinction, with over 90 venues in the Greater Toronto Area. After supper, an $8 cab ride (traditional, not Uber) takes us to
The Young Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto's Distillery Historic District, and Soulpepper, its tenant, is Toronto's largest theatre company.
The Just by
Albert Camus is a timely drama given the current mania in our conflicted world for suicide bombings and seemingly a broken American electoral system, drifting towards, if not already controlled by a dictatorship of the 1% that attempts through its vast economic resources to literally purchase members of both parties to serve its narrow ends.
Director Frank Cox-O'Connell explains that to address the current terrorism conundrum, Camus looked back in order to look forward. "The historical moment he chose was 1905 Moscow; a tipping point in society, two weeks after the Bloody Sunday Massacre (thousands of peaceful protesters gathered to call for better working conditions and were fired upon). He looked to the terrorist seed of the Russian Revolution as five citizens leave behind their relative privilege to make the world a better place."
The play was
expertly performed, and I was even more thrilled to spot
Ken Dryden in the audience. He, of course, is an expert in violence himself as Les Habitants of his era routinely terrorized other NHL teams!
Besides writing for the five Niagara Postmedia newspapers, Mike has been published in every major newspaper across Canada including the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and Toronto Sun. He has been published in National Geographic Traveler, Buffalo Spree, Stitches, West of the City, Seniors Review and Hamilton-Burlington's View Magazine. With hundreds of reviews, photos and helpful votes, he has earned Trip Advisor's "Top Contributor Badge" and is considered an "Expert" in both Hotels and Restaurant reviews. Mike posts photos to Pinterest where he has a following of four thousand viewers.