After purchasing an old hotel in the West Queen West Art and Design District in 2001, cultural visionary Jeff Stober teamed up with local architect Paul Syme and multi-disciplinary design firm 3rd UNCLE to realize a space that would change the way visitors and locals experience hospitality in Toronto. Through the careful planning and thoughtful renovation of a hotel that was originally built in 1890, the extremely talented creative team preserved iconic elements of the building’s past while infusing it with a new energy.
The interior program at the Drake was reconfigured to include 19 guest rooms and several new functions, which allowed guests to enjoy an intersection of “Hospitality, Culture and Community”. The cohesiveness of the concept and brand identity has continued through subsequent renovations of the hotel. Charm is found in the details throughout the hotel and in the guest rooms, appointed with custom luggage racks reminiscent of the area’s railway history and handmade dolls that patiently await your arrival. Since the re-opening of its doors in 2004, the Drake hotel has established itself as more than just a trend.
With the mélange of activities at the Drake, you really could spend an entire day there wandering from one space to the next. Start the day off right by getting centered at the yoga gym, then stop into the cafe for an espresso and pastry. For lunch, try some innovative sushi at the Raw Bar and then head up to the Sky Yard to mingle in the afternoon sun. Relax in the Lounge for pre-dinner drinks before meeting with friends to enjoy private dining in Room 222. A day at the Drake wouldn’t be complete without checking out a new band at the Underground before returning to the Sky Yard for a warm apple cider by the fire pit. If you feel as though you haven’t had enough upon check out, pop into the General Store on your way out for some Drake-to-go.
Signing off, Drake enthusiast.
Photos via Drake Hotel, 3rd Uncle Design Inc, and George Whiteside