“At the centre of the restaurant is our Cheese Cave where our Restaurant Chef and Certified Fromager, Jitin Gaba, personally selects and ages cheese from around the world,” explained Franck Arnold, General Manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto. In an interview, we discussed the history of the hotel, unique and luxurious design elements across the property and signature suites, handcrafted Italian cuisine at TOCA and much more.
Tell me a little bit about the history and location of The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto.
The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto opened in February 2011 and is one of only two Canadian properties for the brand. The hotel is located in the heart of downtown Toronto, just steps away from the city’s financial and entertainment districts. Due to its proximity, The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto offers magnificent views of the city or Lake Ontario from floor to ceiling windows and is close to many of Toronto’s best sporting, theatre and attractions including the CN Tower, the historic Distillery District, Art Gallery of Ontario, Rogers Centre, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada and the Air Canada Centre.
How would you describe the design and décor of the lobby and the top-tier suites?
The grand foyer of The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto welcomes guests with warm anigre woods and crema marfil marble – handselected from the world’s largest quarry of its type in Alicante, Spain. A magnificent glass bridge spans above, acting as a focal point of the space. Reflections of Canada are evident throughout the building including bronze maple leafs embedded in the lobby floor, part of the hotel’s original art collection consisting of over 450 pieces by local Canadian artists.
The hotel features 263 luxuriously appointed guest rooms and suites, including 56 corner suites, 4 Simcoe Suites, 2 Wellington Suites and the 2,415 square-foot Ritz-Carlton Suite. All guest rooms offer upgraded amenities including handcrafted Italian Frette linens, Portuguese Estremoz marble stone bathrooms with deep soaker tubs and Nespresso coffee machines. For additional pampering, the exclusive Ritz-Carlton Club Level features a spacious lounge, that offers personal concierge service and continuous complimentary food and beverage throughout the day.
In terms of dining, how would you describe the atmosphere and menu of TOCA, and what are some of your favorite dishes?
TOCA offers handcrafted Italian cuisine complemented by seasonal flavours and locally-sourced produce. TOCA is proud to collaborate with Michelin 2-starred Chef Oliver Glowig, one of Rome’s most celebrated culinary leaders to offer such signature dishes such as house made Ravioli Capresi with imported tomatoes, Branzino Del Mediterraneo, and Risotto al Cipollotto. At the centre of the restaurant is our Cheese Cave where our Restaurant Chef and Certified Fromager, Jitin Gaba, personally selects and ages cheese from around the world. For the ultimate dining experience, TOCA also features a Chef’s Table where Chef Gaba develops a customized menu for guests, which is paired with premium wines by the restaurant’s head sommelier, Lorie O’Sullivan.
Launched originally in Paris, Spa My Blend by Clarins is only the second luxury spa of its kind in the world. What kinds of signature treatments would you recommend to guests?
The signature treatment at Spa My Blend by Clarins is the My Blend Facial. Available for the first time in North America, this innovative new therapy features a combination of relaxation techniques, advanced technology and personalized skin care analysis and treatment. After a thorough diagnosis of the skin, the My Blend Facial treatment begins with a relaxation ritual that extends beyond the face and neck to include the upper back, hands and feet. Following treatment, guests can utilize the Spa’s separate men’s and women’s wet and dry relaxation areas with aromatherapy vitality pools, the light-filled Urban Sanctuary or the combination saltwater lap and relaxation pool.
What other experiences and activities might guests be able to organize while staying at The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto to enjoy the city more broadly?
As Canada’s financial, entertainment, sports and cultural capital, Toronto has many unique and wonderful experiences just waiting to be had. Whether you are visiting on a business trip or a weekend getaway with the family, our concierge-crafted Destination Guides offer a variety of ideas of things to do in the city, helping you explore Toronto like a local. Discover Toronto’s dynamic art scene with our Resident Artist, follow our insider’s guide to the best craft beer in the city, or enjoy one of our neigbourhood tours. Or let our Concierge team coordinate a visit to the world-renowned Niagara wine region where Ritz-Carlton, Toronto guests can participate in a variety of one-of-a-kind wine experiences thanks to an exclusive arrangement with some of the area's most celebrated vineyards.