TORONTO —Toronto’s South Core (SoCo) neighbourhood has a new tenant. Delta Hotels & Resorts officially opened its flagship Toronto property Feb. 26, a few weeks after the announcement came that the brand is being sold to Bethesda, Md.-based Marriott International.
In kicking off the opening celebrations, Jean-Luc Barone, executive director, Food & Beverage, welcomed guests by saying, “Who knew what this would become,” referencing the fact that the hotel sits on the site of a former impound lot, where cars parked illegally throughout the city eventually ended up; he joked that many of the evening’s guests undoubtedly had cause to visit it. The 46-storey hotel sits on prime real estate, strategically located adjacent to the Air Canada Centre, the Roger’s Centre, the CN Tower and the new Ripley’s Aquarium. “It takes a lot of people to build a community, and we all need each other to succeed,” said Barone. The hotel is also the most connected hotel in the city, with direct access to the PATH, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Union Station and Union Pearson Express.
A group of high-profile executives attended the opening, including Ken Greene, president of Delta Hotels & Resorts; Arne Sorenson, president and CEO of Marriott Hotels & Resorts and Mayor John Tory. “This is a wonderful celebration and salute to Delta Toronto,” said Greene, acknowledging the 6,000 team members who define the brand. “We’ve undergone a brand transformation to solidify our leadership in the four-star category,” said Greene, adding the “world’s best global brand is now acquiring Canada’s best brand, Delta. This will link Delta hotel guests to the world’s largest reward program.”
In speaking to the crowd, Sorenson quipped: “I’ve never spoken before at a hotel opening that is not part of our group.” He added: a hotel opening always “begins the career of hundreds of team members. It’s the start of many years of great memories.” Sorenson informed attendees that the acquisition will be official in approximately 30 days. “There’s still work to be done. We’ve admired Delta as a company and are pleased it became available. It’s a great partnership between the two companies. Delta has great east-west distribution in Canada, whereas Marrriott has great north-south distribution. We think this will make the hotels stronger.”