Fodor's Expert Review Cosmopolitan Toronto Hotel

8 Colborne St., at Yonge St., Toronto, Ontario, M5E 1E1, Canada See on Map

The Cosmo, as the locals call it, is tucked away on a side street in the heart of Toronto, attracting long-stay business guests, performers and families who need the kitchens. This all-suite hotel feels like a mid-range condo. Ask for a suite with a number ending in \"03\" between floors 17 and 23 for the best view of Lake Ontario, or blow your budget and rent one of the two designer penthouses--1,450-square-foot duplexs on two floors, with wrap-around balconies and extraordinary views. There's free Wi-Fi in all rooms.

Popular with film crews and performance troupes of all kinds, the Cosmo always has an eclectic mix of people in the lobby bar. It's great for extended stays because of the in-suite laundry facilities and full kitchens.


Feeling much like a turn-key condo, the suits have open kitchens with a fridge, toaster, dishwasher and microwave. Everyone gets private or Juliet balcony with cityscape views, floor-to-ceiling windows that open to fresh air, washer and dryers, hardwood flooring and ergonomic work furniture.

A complimentary daily newspaper and yoga mat makes it feel like home. The 400-thread-count Egyptian-cotton linens are especially thoughtful.


Why is lucky bamboo so reassuring? It works in the bathrooms at Cosmo, where there are bowl sinks, rainfall shower-heads, and 100% cotton or microfibre bathrobes and slippers.


Small and efficient, the lobby is stylish, featuring a wavy-textured wall treatment and a light installation by the famous glass artist Rob Synder. There's a couch under built-in shelves and three custom tables. The roundabout door seems a bit grand for the lobby, but it's a nice touch at the entryway.


The SpaZen Spa has 1,500 square feet of tranquility. Witness the glass enclosed solarium inspired by Japanese gardens. Soak in the 12-seater Jacuzzi after your treatment in one of the five private treatment rooms.

YOU SHOULD KNOW SpaZen is closed Monday and Tuesday.


You'll find the gym on the third floor, where it thoroughly underwhelms. It's basic, at best, without windows or natural light. Still, there are a few treadmills, so put on your headphones and "Just Do It".


Wildfire Steakhouse & Wine Bar is a classic bistro located just off the lobby. It's pleasant, with barn board decor, an exposed glass wine cellar, hanging pendant lights, brick walls and a small but well-edited menu. Try the signature Caesar salad with house-cured pork belly.

YOU SHOULD KNOW Breakfast--it's complicated. If you get the bed and breakfast package, you get a coupon worth $10 toward breakfast served at Wildfires. There's no buffet and only a limited choice of options under $10.00. Any beverage fancier than regular coffee costs extra.


Performers and film crews hang out at the intimate bar, meeting friends after work. The expansive wine list keeps it interesting. Classic cocktails are not a problem.


Getting Around

Minutes from Union Station by foot, the hotel as valet ($45 per day) or self parking is just two blocks away. That's good because the hotel has only 10 spots for valet. Most entertainment venus and sports arenas are nearby, as are boutiques and retail shopping. Streetcars are the best way to go east-west along Queen Street.


George Restaurant (10-minute walk) has an inventive tasting menu and a secluded courtyard, while the Woods Restaurant and Bar (2-minute walk) is a rustic chic place to have bistro staples.


The Flatiron (4-minute walk) is an iconic landmark, as well as a great British pub with a patio. Just next door, Jack Astor's Bar and Grill (2-minute walk) has a late-night kitchen, open seating and well-priced booze and food specials.


Perfect for long stays, the Cosmo has everything you need to run your life out of another city (i.e. laundry, kitchen, gym, friendly faces). Plus, it's right in the city's financial hub, a quick walk from the corporate offices of KPMG, PWC, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Barclays, Bank of Montreal, RBC, and TD Canada Trust. It's also walking distance the theatres, St.Lawrence market, the Distillery District and it's close to the underground PATH, streetcars and subways. We love the convenience, if not the so-so condo decor.


Casual Chic


Phones: 416-945–5455;800-958–3488

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