Monday, March 4, 2013

Destination Toronto: Windsor Arms Hotel


"That meeting was a confederacy of dunces," announced Soraya, leaning against the banquette in the bar of the Windsor Arms Hotel.

Julia nodded, wondering if she was Ignatius Reilly, the protagonist of that book, or whether Gabriel was Ignatius and she was Myrna Minkoff.

The bartender delivered their martinis with a smile and a few dishes of tapas, "on the house." He winked at Soraya, who was a regular, and returned to the bar."

Gabriel's Rapture, Ch. 21


To be fair to those who may not have read "Gabriel's Rapture" yet, I'm afraid I can't reveal more from this scene than I already have. However, one of the things I've really enjoyed about the series is how real locations are constantly highlighted throughout the story. No matter how small the opportunity, SR manages to take us all on quite the virtual travel experience.

I don't know about you but if I can't be lounging on the beaches of Belize I can definitely think of worse places to visit than Toronto, and this time I'm speaking from experience. I had the opportunity to visit the city in 2011, and when I wasn't enjoying the company of great friends, I was out and about visiting various locations mentioned in the Gabriel series. I didn't get to see everything I wanted to, but that's OK because I definitely plan on making a return visit one of these days.

One of the places I didn't venture to was the Windsor Arms Hotel, but I can see after studying the map, that I must have walked by it on more than occasion.

The Windsor Arms Hotel is located in the Yorkville neighbourhood and was built in 1927.
Although run down by the 1980's, it was listed as a historic property by the City of Toronto in 1983. It was purchased and rebuilt during the 1990's and reopened in 1999. The Toronto International Film Festival was founded in the hotel in the late 1970's and the hotel's involvement in the Festival continues to this day.

The Windsor Arms Hotel is only mentioned one other time in "Gabriel's Rapture," revealing to us yet another special quality about the fabulous place.

"Underneath the jewel case she found a series of gift certificates for various spa treatments at the Windsor Arms Hotel in Toronto, some of which had various exotic sounding names such as Vichy shower and seaweed and salt body wrap."

Gabriel's Rapture, Ch. 10

Doesn't that sound heavenly? As I contemplate such luxury, I can't help but be reminded about somewhere else we may have recently visited.  *taps chin*

A trip to the spa seemed like a perfect transitioning post from Belize to Toronto and I hope you will sit back, relax and enjoy the experience.

As March is a month centered around one particular Irish holiday (accompanied by a tad of alcohol consumption), I have planned several evenings outside of our Hobbit Holes.

This week we enjoyed martinis.  Next week, I'll be treating us to a round of beer. 

Be sure and dress for a night of shenanigans.

Until then, take care,


Unknown said...

I could use one of those spa gift certificates:) I love Toronto. Thanks Jenn for this post and I hope next time you're in Toronto, we can meet for a coffee. ~ Tina

Jenn said...

I would love that!

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