There have now been two significant times that my running, and life, has been drastically improved by Hotel X Toronto. The spot, which is located inside Exhibition Place and just north of the MGT, one of the most popular running routes in the country, is not only luxurious and absurdly conveniently located for a runner in the GTA, but the people go out of their way to ensure your time in their hotel is extraordinary.
I run with BlackToe Running, and we had a 10K during the pandemic. At the time, I hadn’t raced in months and our group—of which there were nearly seventy—was ecstatic to be back racing, and to be back together. It just so happened, and our run was along the MGT, of course, that I was staying at the Hotel X that very weekend to finish my book. Can you imagine my delight at the convenience and the treatment I received from an attendant concierge who helped stock my room with bananas and waters and, in a delightful detail designed to surprise and delight, two craft beers for after my race was finished?
With a menu prepared by celebrity chef Adrian Niman, a runner who heads up the food program for the entire hotel—including the tasty, stylish new dining destination ROSES Cocina—I ate smartly before my race and then gluttonously after my race was through. Options mean everything for a runner, and Hotel X makes you feel home away from home (if your home was a palace where you were catered to day and night).
I knew I liked the place. And then I went once again.
The second time I visited the hotel, I was starting my training for the Toronto Waterfront Marathon, and noticing how out of shape and lazy I’d become. Like all eager runners, I began my training too swiftly—it’s hard to go from zero to one hundred if you’re not an Italian sport’s car—and immediately felt cramping from my toes to my shoulder blades. I didn’t want to get discouraged, training was just starting, and so, after a 30K long run (brutal), I reserved a spot at the rooftop patio at Hotel X Toronto. Matt Black, the hotel’s director of marketing and revenue, is also runner, and he knows how important our sport is to his guests.
Over the city and after my run, sipping a craft beer and munching on sliders, I looked out over Toronto and could see the exact spot where the finish line would be in October. Suddenly, the impossible didn’t seem so daunting and, taking a sip, I remembered to enjoy the ride.
The Hotel X Toronto is a perfect destination for Canadians venturing to the city for the marathon this fall, and also a great place for locals to go to remember that life doesn’t always have to be a struggle. Sometimes, like I’ve now had the good fortune to enjoy two times, we can stop and enjoy the view—even when we’re working as hard as we can to achieve all our dreams. In fact, I might argue, that’s when a place like Hotel X becomes even sweeter.
When it’s something you’ve earned.