I have stayed at this hotel 6 times now (always off-season) and I love it's unique character and charm. With only a coup,e of negatives, this is my go to place in Toronto so long as you do not need to be near the business center.
Backdrop: The hotel is nestled into a clearing of woods, with train access within walking distance. It's a good size facility, including a conference center, but its not too large. Runners will appreciate the ready access to relatively flat trails across the street.
Lobby: the lobby is wood adorned and rustic, with a fireplace, seating area and bar that serves decent food and spirits. The staff is friendly and can help with transportation needs.
Rooms: This last time I was in room 503 and its simply huge. You take an elevator to the fifth floor and then have to walk up a ramp to the room. This is an important point for those that have mobility issues, you are either walking down or up since the hotel is situated in a hilly area. Of course there are elevators, but do not expect a level floor most of the time.
Once you enter the room you will be greeted by jazz music playing in the background. The hotel often hosts the local jazz station and you should Call in advance and find out if there is an event. If there is, attend it as its quite fun. You do need reservations.
The room itself is 5 star. I had a sitting room, family room and bedroom. As far as I know all rooms have fake fireplaces that work well, but don't actually throw off heat. The bed is very comfortable and there is plenty of other seating area and computer access. Task lighting is very good. The bathroom is spacious with all the amenities. I had a separate tub and shower. Best of all, everything was clean and the HVAC worked well.
Food: I have dined at the restaurant and the pub. The restaurant food is good to very good. The pub food is surprisingly good. The cheese plate was nice and the calamari is grilled and had wonderful flavor. One minor complaint is that the kitchen closes too early at 9:00. It should be open until at least 10:30pm. If you want other food you will need a car or cab and there are rarely cabs just waiting there, so one will have to be called, though I rarely have to wait long.
Amenities: Since I was there for business I can't comment too much, but there is a spa, a gift shop and the aforementioned convention center in the basement. Cell service is spotty at the lower levels, but wireless seems to work okay. Food at the conference I was at was also pretty good.
Dings: Not many. Food service hours and things can be a bit of a hike. The hotel reminds me of that Escher optical illusion art of a square where people keep walking in circles, always up. The hotel is like that. They do try to put up a lot of signs, but every day people asked me for directions to the lobby. I easily overlook this and give this 4 stars and one of my personal favorite hotels and my own personal bike reward.