Converted Ronald McDonald House now Saint James Hotel

TORONTO—A building converted from a Ronald McDonald House reopened Sept. 12 as the 36-room Saint James Hotel in downtown Toronto, the latest addition to the Ascend Hotel Collection.

TORONTO—A building converted from a Ronald McDonald House reopened Sept. 12 as the 36-room Saint James Hotel in downtown Toronto, the latest addition to the Ascend Hotel Collection.

The property had been a Ronald McDonald house since 1993.

Owners Sterling Group Inc., a Kassam Family Company, converted the building to a hotel after Ronald McDonald House moved to a newer, bigger facility, according to Sterling chairman and CEO Sam Kassam. Sterling chose the property because of its location and spacious guestrooms featuring good views of downtown and the surrounding greenery, he said.

Convenient for both business and leisure travellers, the hotel features a central location in downtown Toronto that’s within walking distance of the Toronto Eaton Centre, Dundas Square, the Financial District and Ryerson University. 

On the renovation side, guestrooms feature new flooring, wall treatments, door locks, TVs, furniture, soft goods, window treatments, seating and appliances, including coffee makers, microwaves and fridges. New bathrooms feature hand-held showers and rain heads. The wiring, too, was updated in all rooms, to accommodate the appliances and 42-inch TVs.

At press time, renovations had been finished on 28 guestrooms, with the remaining eight rooms expected to be completed within 18 months.

Plans call for the opening, in the lobby, of a quick-serve Freshii restaurant specializing in salads, wraps, bowls and fresh juices.

A network of historic, boutique and unique properties that offer guests an authentic, local experience, Choice’s Ascend Hotel Collection now numbers eight hotels in Canada.