Cocktails at Fairmont Royal York’s Library Bar

The Fairmont Royal York is Toronto’s most iconic hotel. It was once the tallest and grandest building in the city, a hallmark to an ambitious skyline. The history is rich here as the property was an original Canadian Pacific Railway fixture. Located directly across from Union Station it happily hosted the who’s who stopping in the Big Smoke while enjoying an epic adventure from coast to coast.

The construction of the hotel began in 1927 after an announcement that shocked local citizens, “we will build the largest hotel in the British Commonwealth!” On June 11, 1929 the hotel officially opened as The Royal York. It was the tallest building in the British Commonwealth and quickly set the hospitality standard of the day. The awesome interior became known as a city within a city, rising 28 floors. It boasted 1,048 rooms – each with radios, private showers and bathtubs (what luxury!) The 1.5 acres of public rooms included a 12-bed hospital, 12,000 book library and ten ornate passenger elevators.


Today it’s easy to step back in time in the heart of Toronto’s buzzing metropolis by simply whisking through the hotel’s doors for a stroll with your sweetie. If you’re looking to enjoy an intimate moment here head straight to the Library Bar, famed for its elegant Afternoon Tea and classic cocktail program.

The Library Bar first opened in 1972, adjacent to the famous Imperial foyer and was modelled after the Hotel’s Library which was said to be one of the most beautiful rooms in the hotel. The original library contained 12,000 volumes chosen by the city of Toronto’s chief Librarian and featured walnut panelled walls lined with bookcases.

Evocative of the golden age of the cocktail, the Library Bar continues to serve the classics in an intimate and sophisticated venue. With its contemporary yet vintage decor, The Library Bar features 27 tables on the main floor and balcony level and is the ideal venue for après work drinks.

The classic feel of the bar has been maintained throughout the years, and features an eclectic collection of historical volumes along with a combination of plush sofa seating and winged back chairs that is sure to make the most intellectual of tipplers comfortable throughout their stay.


Hop up to the bar and chat with friendly bartender who’ll offer up salted pretzels and smoked almonds while you flip through a vintage newspaper inspired cocktail menu. Martini and Manhattan are the finest duo. Martini fans will especially find the “birdbath martini,” to be of particular interest. Each martini is carefully crafted and served table side from a bespoke hand blown glass carafe. Using only the finest ingredients, the bird bath carafe features a unique design which enables the spirit to “breathe”, enhancing the unique flavor profiles of the spirit.  Each bird bath martini is carefully stirred over ice in order to prevent bruising the spirit and poured tableside into an ice cold glass. 

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