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Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know About One King West

Although known to some as simply a hotel in the heart of downtown Toronto, there are many things to One King West that makes it so much more. From it’s vast history, to its unique architecture and time in the spotlight; there’s so much character both inside and outside its walls.

#1: Taking it back to 1914…

For the first interesting fact about this downtown Toronto hotel, we’re stepping back into the past to over 100 years ago when all banking-related business was done face-to-face… Yes, there was a time people didn’t always rely on a machine to complete their transactions. Can you imagine?!?!

Anyways, in 1914, 1 King Street West became the Dominion Bank – now known as TD Canada Trust – and with this transformation came a Vault. You may know the Vault as one of Toronto’s most unique event spaces but before that it was considered the largest and best equipped bank vault in Canada. It was transported up Yonge Street by 19 horses and 8 men… Now that’s a lot of man AND horse power! Here are some more cool facts about the Vault:

  • It includes a 4-foot thick steel door weighing 40 tonnes, yet can be moved with a single finger
  • There is a failsafe inside the Vault that can release the lock in case someone is accidentally locked inside
  • The door is so precisely milled that a paper clip caught in a groove will stop it from closing

So when you stay at this downtown Toronto hotel, not only do you get a comfy and quiet place to rest your head, but also a historical landscape to explore. We you visit, be sure to snap photos of the architectural masterpiece and share with all your friends. Use #OKWVault so we can see it too!

#2: Our Time to Shine…

To stay on the topic of the Vault, our next interesting fact about One King West is all about its ‘Hollywood’ scene. The architecture of this downtown Toronto hotel is so unique that it’s no surprise it has provided the backdrop to both movies and TV shows. ‘RED’ starring Bruce Willis and Helen Mirren filmed a scene in the Vault as pictured below:

Some other movies include Jumper with Hayden Christensen and another set to release late this year, Anon, starring Clive Owen and Amanda Seyfried. In terms of TV shows, some to note include Orphan Black which shot an array of scenes in Fifteen Hundred, Designator Survivor in the Grand Banking Hall and even eTalk’s Stars and Scandals special in the Vault! Can movie locations receive Oscar nominations? Asking for a friend…

Designated Survivor in the Grand Banking Hall

Designated Survivor at One King West

#3: All You Need is Love…

We’ve hosted quite a few weddings over the last several years… Around 382 to be exact. Between those 382 weddings, around 57,070 guests came together to celebrate a couple’s love and promise to cherish each other forever. These 382 weddings have vastly differed in size. For example, there have been weddings as small as 15 guests in Fifteen Hundred and 16 in Chairman’s Boardroom. And on the other side of the spectrum, there have weddings as large as 250 guests in the Grand Banking Hall.

Only a couple hundred guests of the whopping 57,070 we’ve welcomed for weddings!

#4: The Sliver…

For this next interesting fact about One King West, we again step back into the past but this time only to 2005. This was the year 1 King Street West completed a $100 million transformation. Honouring the historical bones, Standford Downey Architects Inc. thoughtfully designed a 51-storey condominium tower atop, nicknamed “The Sliver”. Why this name you might ask? Well it’s quite appropriate actually due to the building being 578ft high and boasting one of the slenderest height to width ratio in the world.

And to counterbalance the natural sway of The Sliver, dampers were installed on the roof. Each of the dampers hold 1000 gallons of water and during high wind the ‘liquid mass’ moves from one end of the container to the other, returning the sway and creating stability. How cool is that?!