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November 30, 2008
July 12, 2006
February 7, 2011
Williamsville, New York
December 8, 2003
I enjoy staying in something other than the normal big-box hotels, and a quick search on the internet brought up Madison Manor.
Near the corner from Bloor and Spadina, Madison Manor is a charming old brick Victorian home that has 23 hotel rooms. The flavor of the old home has been preserved, with original woodwork and older furnishings in the common areas and hallways. These touches carry over to the rooms, but they are not the frou-frou Victorian rooms typical of some B&Bs. The rooms updated with all the latest amenities such as gas fireplaces (in some rooms), updated modern baths, in room internet access via dial-up or DSL, cable TV and air conditioning.
I reserved the room their website called the best for "people watching", Room 408. This spacious room on the top floor has a small balcony, accessible through sliding doors off the bedroom. It overlooks the next-door patio of the Madison Avenue Pub (same owners as the Hotel) and that place hops in the summer. People watching indeed - but who is watching whom? I guess it depends on how daring you are! It also has a fireplace that works with the flick of a switch on the side of the chimney. Nothing like having it 95 degrees outside, then cranking the air-conditioning inside just so you can have the fire flickering into the evening!
Room amenities also include iron and board, in-room safe, coffee maker and hairdryers.
Continental breakfast is included in the price of the room, but frankly, we've always been so tired from our daily activities that we end up sleeping through it! The beds are very comfortable, and even though there is some street and pub noise, you'll find yourself quickly drifting off.
Note that when you check in, the office is actually in the Pub next door. While you are there, see if parking vouchers are available for slots either at the Manor or in the lot just behind. With parking at a premium, it's worth a few extra dollars. It doesn't guarantee a spot though if the pub next door is busy and patrons park in the wrong spots, or the lot may be full. Additionally, the TTC station is also behind the hotel and is really the best way to get around the town.
And speaking of getting around, there is no elevator at the Manor, so if wheelchair accessibility or accommodation for a mobility disability is important, this may not be the best fit.
Should you stay here? If you want to see a new part of town, absolutely! You're within walking distance of the Royal Ontario Museum, Bata Shoe Museum and the toney Yorkville area. But frankly, head down Bloor to experience a neighborhood that shows how Torontonians REALLY live!
Break out of the big-box rut, and try a boutique. Madison Manor is a great place to start.
From journal Americans who LOVE Toronto!