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Hotels We Like

The Drake

The Drake

If you've ever been under the misguided impression that Canadians are dull, it's time you checked into The Drake. Arguably Toronto's hippest hotel, it's a cultural experience as well as a place to eat dinner and lay your head. Once a railway hotel, the building became The Drake in 1949, but by the Eighties it had fallen upon hard times. After several incarnations (as a punk bar, rave den and flophouse), it was taken over in 2001 and cleaned up. Today, The Drake is a celebration of experimentation and risk.

The Drake

The hotel boasts 19 elegant loft-style bedrooms, and quirky features are dotted around the building. Decor is made up of restored vintage furniture, found objects, local art and modern twists on old designs. You'll find a blackboard as well as an electronic information and entertainment network, through which visitors are encouraged to interact with their environment.

As good as it looks, The Drake is more about the people who pass through it than its design. An 'artist inspired destination', the hotel hosts music, visual and performance art, so you can stay the night, check out an art exhibit and catch an up-and-coming local band – all under the same roof. As well as meeting diverse Toronto residents who call The Drake their 'third place'.

The Drake

You'll find them propping up the bronze-topped sushi bar, or lounging on red velvet banquettes, leather booths and the cedar-decked roof-top patio.

The Drake

The Drake is a curious mix of contradictions: healthy and decadent, high design and grunge, luxury and avante garde. It's a mixture that reflects the outlook of its hometown: multicultural, aggressively open-minded and elegantly traditional. RM

The Drake Images: David Topping; Kathleen McGrath

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