The Four Seasons began as a humble motor hotel in a not-so-salubrious area of Toronto in 1961. A decade later, having branched out to London, it bloomed into the global symbol of prestige that it is today. Back in Toronto in 1978, it set up shop on the most glamorous corner of Yorkville and has been flaunting its wares here ever since.
During the film festival, celebrities flocked to its glass-fronted, street-level Avenue Bar for a 'quiet' drink. But in recent years, with younger, sexier rivals working the same block, the hotel has lost some of its allure. The rooms still feel indulgent and meticulous service has been maintained, but its glory days are gone.
Under the new ownership of Bill Gates and a Saudi Prince, the stellar flagship for the Canadian super-brand is being built down the street, set to open in 2012. Then this resilient old gal will bow out gracefully.