You’re spending your Sunday afternoon test-driving Aston Martins and Bugattis. Face it—you’re different. You’re a special breed. And Grand Touring knows that, which is why they’re investing in a state-of-the-art new location in Toronto. But what separates their new dealership from the old? And what separates their clientele from the typical car buyer? Simply put: If you end up in Grand Touring’s showroom, it’s because you desire more. Now, with a new 141,000-square-foot facility in Canada’s cultural capital, the GTA’s luxury car buyer will have everything they need.
The first time I was in a car that was not simply a way to get from A to B was when I was six years old. My grandfather, a car lover, took me to an auto show. He and I used to spend hours together pouring through coffee table books filled with chrome rimmed, lusciously curved, elegant machines. And now here I was, in their presence, like meeting a pop icon or film star. I remember crawling into a Rolls Royce, tracing my small fingers over the interior, the dashboard, clenching the wheel and being brought into a world of reverie—of majesty. The day went on like this, bouncing from Bentley to Jaguar to Lamborghini, each moment the continuation an almost hedonistic extravagance. Being in these cars was like stepping into another world, an impossible dreamscape I never wanted to leave.
After that afternoon, each and every automotive experience paled in comparison. My parents’ car, my friends’ cars, all seemed pedestrian—benign. Even as I got older, and invested in my own cars, the experience was lacking—empty. Suburban highway-side dealerships didn’t do the medium of the automobile justice. The bright halogen showroom lights in big box frames failed to return the cars to the waking fantasy of that first irreplaceable memory of affluence. These showrooms seemed the antithesis of luxury.
It’s that feeling, that sense of wonder, that Grand Touring is capturing in their new dealership. The 777 Dundas St. East location, due to be completed in 2017, is a five-floor marvel designed by the renowned firms Plaston Architects and Weis & Associates, both of whom specialize in automotive industry and were given the opportunity to design a dream dealership. The building will not just be the bellwether luxury dealership in Canada, but a visually stunning addition to the Toronto cityscape.
Three showrooms will be finely tuned to the aesthetic, tradition, and personality of the brands they feature. The showrooms will be able to boast 50 automobiles, creating the sense that every visit is like a trip to a prestige auto show. But Grand Touring’s new location doesn’t aspire to simply being an upscale commercial convenience, but rather a fine-tuned machine, a vehicle to address and surpass the needs of the luxury automobile owner.
“It [the new dealership] has been a lot of work, but the outcome has just been outstanding,” says Paul Cummings, dealer principal and CEO. “Everyone from the city, our designers and our manufacturers have all come together for one common goal. It was an equally shared passion to reach this goal for Grand Touring.”
Luxury deserves luxury. When you get married, you don’t buy off the rack. When you’re investing in your vacation home, you don’t go to a Sunday open house. These moments deserve attention, precision, professionalism—perfection. In the automotive sales industry, these moments require an experience like Grand Touring will offer with their new venue.
The elite automobile industry is evolving, and Grand Touring is cultivating a business to meet the equally evolving needs of the luxury car market. “The luxury segment is growing,” notes Cummings. “All of our manufacturers are investing and bringing more and more products into the marketplace, so we really need to plan ahead for future growth and development.”
Cummings is as excited about the new building as one imagines the clientele will be to test drive one of their elite automobiles from Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “Being able to find this property was a home run. It was previously used in an automotive capacity and we have been able to work with the owners to develop a plan that worked for them as well as us for a mutually beneficial transaction.”
Grand Touring’s efforts and mandate are perfectly in tune with the unique needs of their clientele. They excel in ways that take them beyond a business into the realm of purveyors of luxury. And they’re as eager as their clientele to open the doors. “The part that I am looking forward to most is the ribbon cutting ceremony,” adds the inspired Cummings. “Our employees have been working harder than ever to take care of our clients. They are truly an incredible group of people and I am very fortunate to have them around me. They’re the ones who make it happen everyday and they deserve a new home as much as our luxury brands do.”
A luxury car isn’t about status or ego. It’s not about aesthetic or opulence. It’s not about swagger. It’s about reliving that first feeling one has for an automobile, that moment where one falls in love with a machine, with something that is more than a convenience, but rather a mode for reverie.