As I was breaking bread, having a little soup and a conversation with a fellow Norwich resident Joshua Durst, I found out that he is involved with a Hotel project in Toronto, and commutes there several times a month. I asked him to explain further and after listening for a few more minutes, I knew that I wanted to do a story on this project.
Yes, that is Joshua smiling away as he is about to get some soup.
Below is a brief description of his commute, and why:
About 30 years ago Joshua was trying to manage a dilapidated hotel, an SRO, in midtown Manhattan. Nothing had trained him for such a task, and after two years of fruitless efforts he decided to net lease the property to an expert, and that's how he met his future partner, Henry Kallan. Henry is a hotelier, having managed, developed, and presently owns numerous successful hotels in The Library Hotel Collection.
During the late 2000's Henry asked Joshua's opinion regarding the potential of developing another hotel in one of a half dozen cities in North America. Without hesitation Joshua recommended Toronto, where Henry was looking at a 9 acre, Greenfield site, 1.4 mile from the downtown center and the CN tower, and 200 yards from the shores of Lake Ontario. Today Henry, Alex Rovt, and Joshua are partners in The Hotel X, directly across the street from Toronto's 1 million square foot Exhibition Center.
The project started in the Fall of 2013, and They opened it on April 19th, 2018. In the intervening time Joshua has been commuting to Toronto two or three times a month, working on keeping the hotel on track.
Today, he told me they have a spectacular 404 room, 29 story tall hotel, with 60,000 square feet of ballrooms, conference rooms, and breakout space.
The hotel also has 2 rooftop bars, an indoor/outdoor pool, a 90,000 square foot athletic facility, with 4 indoor tennis courts, 9 squash courts, 25 spinning bikes, a Pilates room, and all are surrounded by 6 acres of gardens.
Trip Advisors has ranked the property at #4 in the city. The partners are still refining their Hotel, as they are working to be ranked #1. You can google the hotel at https://hotelxtoronto.com/en/
and see a gallery
of photos of the hotel, the rooms, and the surrounding views.
Here are a few more that were sent to me by Joshua
Overlooking one of the lobbies (partial view)
The roof top pool on the 28th floor
23rd floor room with unobstructed 360 degrees view
Thanks, for reading
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