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Four hotel brands that have the power to generate a new luxury market in Toronto

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Opening day at the new Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto’s Yorkville neighbourhood on Oct. 5. In the past year, four luxury hotels have opened in Toronto offering customized treatment starting at around $500 a night.

Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

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Isadore Sharp, founder and chairman of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, welcomes the opening-day crowd. Mr. Sharp began his hotel chain in the 1960s. It now includes high-end properties in 35 countries.

Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

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Exterior of the 55-storey Four Seasons on the corner of Bay Street and Yorkville Avenue. In the past year, three other luxury hotels – the Shangri-La, the Trump Hotel and the Ritz-Carlton – have opened in Toronto, each with an attached condominium component on the upper floors.

Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

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Interior of the Four Seasons. ‘I think Toronto has been underserviced from a luxury hotel standpoint for years,’ says Bill Stone, executive vice-president with real estate consultancy CBRE Hotels. ‘There have been hotels like the Windsor Arms or Hazelton, but they weren’t enough to service demand.’

Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

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The new 65-storey Trump International Hotel and Tower opened in January at the corner of Bay and Adelaide Streets. ‘I think what you’re seeing [with this recent development boom] is the proper size of a luxury hotel,’ Mr. Stone says. ‘The Trump, Shangri-La, Four Seasons and the Ritz-Carlton are all under 300 room. They’re targeted to the luxury leisure or business traveller.’

Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

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Check-in desk at the Trump International Hotel. It and the other five-star properties have added slightly fewer than 1,000 rooms to Toronto’s approximately 17,000-room downtown hotel supply, says David Larone, Toronto-based director of hospitality consulting firm PKF Consulting Inc.

Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

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The Shangri-La Hotel opened in May at University Avenue and Adelaide Street. Here, a massive outdoor stainless-steel sculpture by Chinese artist Zhang Huan was prepared for the opening. Called the Rising, the sculpture depicts a flock of birds on a tree root.

Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

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The Shangri-La hoisted five Hornby trees to its 66th floor rooftop garden. A total of 26 trees were transported to the building’s roof – one of the highest garden locations in Toronto.

Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail

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The lobby of the new 53-storey Ritz-Carlton, Toronto just prior to its grand opening in February, 2011, on Wellington Street West.

Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

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Grand-opening crowd at the Ritz-Carlton, Toronto. These hotel brands have the power to generate a new luxury market for Toronto, Mr. Stone adds. ‘[These brands] are very strong marketing machines and can attract demand that wouldn’t necessarily be coming to Toronto if one of their hotels wasn’t here.’

Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

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