from the past by summerfield

from the past

'and all go stumbling through that house
in lonely secrecy
saying "Do reveal yourself"
or "Why has thou forsaken me?"
and no one knows where the night is going'
- from The Guests by Leonard Cohen in "I am a Hotel"

there is a secret ballroom at the top of the King Edward Hotel in Toronto. the "crystal ballroom" was once the most fashionable place to be until the late 1950's, where the toronto's elites and moneyed types had to be seen. it was also the inspiration for Leonard Cohen's I am a Hotel musical. in 2004, it was added to the list of historical places for the event "Doors Open Toronto".

the ballroom had tall picture windows and intricate decors, the paints now faded and peeling off. it featured three grand chandeliers that in the 1980's were sold off for just under $500, when the hotel decided not to include the ballroom in its renovation. however, there are now plans to have it renovated and restored to its former glory.

above is one of the designs in the ceiling from where one of the chandeliers used to hang, its intricate details very much visible although faded and neglected.

my facebook status on thursday, may 26, 2011: i want to hang on to things from the past, because i once belonged there.
Thanks for the story and great work on the research! Awesome. A fav.
May 29th, 2011  
@slang - thanks so much. for the fav, too! the neck pain is well worth it.
May 29th, 2011  
that is an amazing design -- I just love it!! And what a great background it has -- loved reading about it!! And I like your FB status!
May 29th, 2011  
@cscecil - thanks, CS. it is indeed amazing. there was a video being shown about how the ballroom actually looked like in its heyday and being the place where even royal dignitaries had set foot, it was opulent and ostentatious - far cry from the state it is in now. i read that all this time it had only been used to demonstrate "fly fishing".
May 29th, 2011  
Very nice. The empty hole where the chandelier was attached seems empty, lonely compared to the rest. Hope they bring it back to life.
May 29th, 2011  
wonderful image, the ornateness of the piece yet it's clear that it's chandelier is missing, almost looks like yanked out by how rough the center mark is. I love the story and think it's so important to document these things!
May 29th, 2011  
I'm a fan a architecture and ornate building decorations and moldings...what beautiful workmanship... nice pic.
May 29th, 2011  
@cscecil - thanks for the fav. so glad you like this photo.
May 29th, 2011  
@jannkc - the ballroom will be renovated soon. it's really a sin if they just leave it there to decay. it's history, after all.
@gailreese - thanks. i'm trying to read as much as i can on toronto's history.
@steeler - thank you so much, howard. more ornate buildings coming up, maybe! there are hundreds of old intricate buildings in this city alone.
May 29th, 2011  
ooh, nice shot.!
May 29th, 2011  
@patticake - thank you, patti.
May 30th, 2011  
Congrats on the Popular page- great shot.
May 30th, 2011  
@jannkc - thank you. i made it in there, didn't i? i saw it briefly and one of the girls at the office did a screen capture and e-mailed it to me. i logged on tonight and it's not there anymore, been bumped off, i suppose. haha!
May 31st, 2011  
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