1 Hotel is now open in Toronto, bringing what its owners call a sustainable urban retreat to the city. The hotel is attempting to prove sustainability is possible without having to skimp on luxury.
To mark its Canadian debut the hotel, located at 550 Wellington Street West, joined with Tree Canada to plant 2,021 trees throughout the city.
“With the opening of 1 Hotel Toronto, Mohari has rooted itself deeper within the Toronto community,” said Mark Scheinberg, founder of Mohari Hospitality in a release. “We are proud to bring a new level of service and luxury hospitality experience to the city, and through the planting of trees, mark our commitment to the local community and environment.”
Every year, the City of Toronto generates 900,000 tons of waste. The hospitality industry contributes to this and other environmental impacts through room temperature controls and hot showers, daily laundering, food preparation, electricity and other conveniences and operations.
The industry is starting to recognize and respond to the need to divert waste; however, this has been part of 1 Hotel’s mission from its inception. The hotel even has a Zero Waste Initiative to divert 90 per cent of its total waste from landfills within its first month of operation.
At the end of its first year, 1 Hotel’s goal is to divert 93 per cent of its waste and obtain a zero-waste certification. Condé Nast Traveler refers to the hotel as, “a literal urban oasis that takes sustainability seriously.”
“1 Hotel Toronto sets a new standard for responsible luxury hospitality and serves as a city escape where guests can connect with nature,” said 1 Hotels founder and CEO, and chairman of Starwood Capital Group, Barry Sternlicht in a release. “1 Hotels embraces the idea that living well includes protecting the natural beauty around us and we look forward to introducing our mission to the like-minded city of Toronto.”
1 Hotel’s environmental keystones
1 Hotel’s sustainability keystones — the foundation on which it bases all of its design, construction and operational decisions — include the following:
– environmental impact: employ energy, water and environmental design strategies to minimize its footprint;
– advocacy, education and engagement: inspire conversations about the environment and 1 Hotel’s role in protecting it by organizing volunteer activities, and advocacy and educational initiatives like its partnership with the Natural Resources Defence Council;
– health and wellbeing: use natural and reclaimed materials, including air and water filtration systems and biophilic design principles. The hotel places health and wellness at the centre of its design, construction, facilities and operational decisions;
– resiliency and ongoing performance improvement: act as a platform for change, which encourages the firm to be innovative, and guests to be part of this change. It continues to innovate through initiatives like plastic reduction programs and electric car activations;
– food and beverage responsibility: support the protection of natural resources for future generations. “People and the environment depend on one another, and the dignity of labour from field to fork should be fought for,” says the company on its website.
1 Hotel’s environmental efforts
1 Hotel’s sustainability measures include the use of hangers made from 100 per cent post-consumer recycled materials, room keys made out of recycled wood and plants. The showers include timers which remind guests saving just a few minutes of water can add up.
Renewable energy systems power the hotel and on-site composting turns organic waste into reusable soil for the 3,300 plants on the property.
Each suite contains a reclaimed chalkboard to write on in an effort to conserve paper. The hotel even has an official electric vehicle, the Audi e-tron, to transport guests around the area.
Each room contains an energy-efficient heating and cooling system, and the 1 Kitchen Toronto is a zero-waste operation. The hotel also purchases carbon offsets to reduce its operational footprint and is allied with GreenPlanet to convert 100 per cent of its kitchen oil and grease into biofuel.
In-suite carafes are made from reclaimed wine bottles, reducing single-use plastics.
When guests want their rooms cleaned, they can place a small rock outside the door instead of a typical plastic sign. However, guests willing to forego a daily cleaning during their stays can help save the hotel thousands of litres of water and other products each month.
About 1 Hotel properties
The Toronto location is the sixth property in the portfolio. Its first locations launched in Miami and Manhattan in 2015, followed by Brooklyn, West Hollywood and Sanya, China.
Each property employs sustainability measures, such as New York’s 1 Resort Brooklyn Bridge, which uses water packs to reduce single-use plastic waste. The London location substitutes plastic with plant-based products.
1 Hotel’s South Beach location in Miami has won the award for North America’s Leading Beach Resort three years in a row, from 2018–20, and is nominated again this year. The hotel was also nominated for several other awards, including the World’s Leading Eco Resort 2019–20.
All 1 Hotel properties are among the first hotels in the world to become Sharecare Health Security VERIFIED with Forbes Travel Guide. The verification helps ensure guests can book their stay with properties employing appropriate health safety procedures.
The brand will soon open a San Francisco property, with other hotels under development in Nashville, Hanalei Bay, Cabo San Lucas, Paris, London, Mission Bay and Melbourne.