Inn on the Park

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The former Inn on the Park building in June 2008

Inn on the Park was a luxury hotel that once graced the hill overlooking Leslie Street and Eglinton Avenue in North York, Ontario.

History[edit]

Urban Resort[edit]

The Inn on the Park was built in 1963, three years after the founding of the parent company Four Seasons Hotels and the Four Seasons Motor Inn. This site marked the first attempt to build a hotel outside of downtown Toronto. The site was chosen as it was located not far from the Don Valley Parkway and focused on the company's emphasis of resort and business travel. The hotel was surrounded by 600 acres (2.4 km2) of parkland.

Built on what was still farmland in North York, the first phase consisted of the hotel's lower building, built by architect Peter Dickinson, who built the first Four Seasons hotel in 1961. From the air the hotel appeared as the Star of David, a tribute to founder Isadore Sharp's Jewish origins.[1]

Growth and Focus on Luxury[edit]

Four Seasons began to change their corporate strategy with focus on luxury starting in 1971. At the Inn on the Park a taller tower by Venchiarutti Gagliardi Architect, at 23 stories and having 269 rooms, it was added in 1971. A 30,000-square-foot (2,800 m2) convention area and two restaurants (Harvest Restaurant and The Terrace Lounge) were also added.

Decline and Demise[edit]

A decade after the expansion, the Inn on the Park suffered a setback. The second wing suffered a fire involving loss of six lives in January 1981, including Canadian television producer and director Cecil "Cy" True.

The building of the Four Seasons Yorkville in the same year as the expansion of the Don Mills property led to financial crisis for the company in 1974.

By the 1980s the chain's focus went global. The Don Mills hotel was getting tired and did not attract the same customers as the Yorkville site. The site was sold in the 1980s.[2]

The hotel was converted to a Holiday Inn (signage replaced the Inn on the Park on the lower tower) and later by new owners Rowntree Enterprises as Toronto Don Valley Hotel. The final owners saw little potential for running a run-down hotel and opted to re-develop it. The hotel ceased operating in 2005 and the original hotel, restaurants and convention centre were demolished in 2006 to give way to a Toyota and Lexus dealership, known as Toyota On The Park. The iconic stone wall was retained at the site. The 1971 tower was initially being proposed for reuse as seniors condos, however these plans fell through. As of September 2014 Pro Green Demolition has begun work to bring the remaining tower down.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°43′10″N 79°20′57″W / 43.719528°N 79.349248°W / 43.719528; -79.349248