Vibe: Still as hip as it opened: a true Toronto cultural hub, covering all the travel basics – art, music, food and shopping.
Area: At the western end of the Queen Street West, right among the impossibly cool clothing and specialty shops. Downtown is an easy 15-minute streetcar ride eastward and trendy Trinity Bellwoods Park is a 10-minute walk. The Ossington Avenue strip of fashionable bars and restaurants is two blocks away.
The DNA: It doesn’t get much cooler than this. Informal, quirky and fun, The Drake is a pioneer of the small boutique experience in the city – artsy and original, with a high- and low-brow look and feel. The building’s façade, original granite floors and front lobby design details hark back to the building’s rambling past. Art springs out of almost every corner, as you would expect from a hotel with a full-time art curator. The Drake was the first North American hotel to offer a ‘pleasure menu,’ featuring items from sex shop Come As You Are.
Suite-Me-Up: The stunning Rooftop Suite including a private, fully decked out 50m2 (540 sq ft) terrace overlooking the cityscape and two bedrooms with their own adjacent walk-in closet and art-deco, marble-clad, ensuite with soaker tub, glass-encased shower and double-vanity. 6-seat dining tables indoors and out, Memphis-styled living area and Art Deco-meets-mid century kitchenette.
✅ free Wi-Fi • size matters: 51 rooms & suites (14-35m2) (150-385 sq ft) • hotel opened: February 2004 (originally D.A. Small’s Hotel, opened 1890) • architecture & interior design: Diamond Schmitt Architects, John Tong (+tongtong), international studio (Toronto) • bathroom amenities: Malin + Goetz • parking possible nearby (charged) • no pets allowed • 24-hour front desk • wheelchair accessible