- Written by Douglas Brown
- Published on 07 October 2013
Brief History of the King Edward Hotel
The King Edward Hotel is located in downtown Toronto at 37 King Street East. Colloquially known as the 'King Eddy', the hotel was designed by Chicago architect Henry Ives Cobb and Toronto architect E. J. Lennox for developer George Gooderham's Toronto Hotel Company.
The King Eddy was granted its regal name by British monarch and namesake King Edward VII. The hotel first opened its doors in 1903, originally offering 400 rooms and 300 baths. In 1922, an 18-storey addition was grafted onto the 1903 building which added an extra 530 rooms and the magnificent Crystal Ballroom to the original 8 storey structure. The most recent renovation was completed between 1979 and 1981. The King Eddy officially re-opened on May 7th, 1981.
The King Edward Hotel has a fascinating history. Notable dignitaries, luminaries, and cultural figures who have stayed—as well as lived in residency—within the hotel include: Mark Twain, Rudolph Valentino, Louis Armstrong, Elvis Presley, Ernest Hemingway, and Margaret Thatcher.
The Beatles stayed in the King Edward's Royal Suite during their first visit to Toronto in 1964. Their occupancy resulted in a "commotion" when, in an effort to catch a glimpse of the Fab-Four, 3,000 plus fans packed the streets and swarmed the hotel's lobby. In 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono stayed in the same Royal Suite the night before their infamous 'Bed-in for Peace' began.
Parts of Hollywood film star and musician Jamie Foxx's movie Bait were filmed at the King Eddy and Britney Spears is known to favour the elegant hotel when visiting Toronto.
Through the 20th century, the King Edward has been the hotel of choice for an impressive number of dignitaries, celebrities, and political figures visiting Toronto. The regal marble corridors resonate with an otherworldly ambiance of craftsmanship and quality which is long-lost to another time and era. This hotel has a historical weight and presence to it which, quite literally, echoes through its grandiose architectural style.
If the organizers of TAVES 2013 had decided to hold the event at some poorly constructed airport hotel, or a noisy open-concept 21st century convention centre, this ambiance would be sorely missing; and TAVES' visitors would see it, feel it, and, perhaps most importantly, hear it.
High-end audio is a luxury hobby by anyone's standards. Holding the 2013 TAVES at such a romantic venue as the King Eddy adds a regal atmosphere, historical richness, architectural warmth, and old-world charm which, for the most part, isn't commonly seen in the Toronto area. High-end audio is one of a very few industries where artisanal craftsmanship still exists; heck… even prospers.
Exhibitors who attended the 2011 and 2012 TAVE shows, and are returning for TAVES 2013, love the King Eddy's larger-than-average rooms; and the uniqueness and variety of the room layouts and sizes. Whether showcasing leading-edge Home Theater gear with massive flat-panel television screens or seeking smaller rooms for a more intimate and home-like setting to demonstrate jaw-dropping, cutting edge, 2-channel technology, the King Edward Hotel can readily accommodate everyone's wants and needs. Germane to its 1903 design-build date, thick walls and excellent acoustics come standard in every room the King Eddy offers.
Several live music performances are planned for Friday and Saturday. Local Toronto band the Ray Montford Trio will be playing both Friday and Saturday and the admission is FREE to all three concerts with the purchase of a TAVES 2013 ticket.
Roy Gregory, founder of British audio magazine HiFi+, will be holding a FREE set-up and fine-tuning workshop for 2-channel systems. Multi-channel Home Theater set-up and tweaking demonstrations will also be held at various times during the 3-day event. A number of exhibitors will be selling CDs, vinyl records, cables, equipment stands, Blu-ray discs, and ancillary products. So… bring some coin for audio goodies.
For more details about TAVES 2013 and for a list of exhibitors, check the 2013 TAVES website at: http://taveshow.com
Check back in early November for my on-site TAVES 2013 coverage!
(Information about the King Eddy Hotel from Wikapedia)