During my trip to Toronto last month, I came across a delightful place that I found instantly charming and I would suggest be a must-see during any trip to this Canadian metropolis. Imagine the Chelsea Hotel opened by hipsters in an Canadian industrial park.
Located in the city’s rather secluded art neighborhood (which seems to endless creep west down Queen St.), the hotel is between a train track, a strip mall and supermarket (it is Toronto, after all).
As its defining feature, the hotel has commissioned artists to design each of the 37 rooms. Some are nature-themed, others color saturated, and still others subdued and almost zen.
Downstairs there’s a bar and a performance venue and it’s a stone’s throw from another trendy Toronto hotel and a little further from the city’s main psychiatric facility. It gives the whole place a film noir ambiance.
One of the city’s prominent contemporary galleries, Paul Petro, has curated a show in the hallways. All the details of this hundred year old hotel are remarkable, including the cage elevator with a lever and the fine southwest Asian and Caucasian rugs in the sitting areas.
The rooms are all small (what do you expect for CDN$125/night), but super clean and comfy. There’s a lot of traffic noise around the hotel, but don’t sweat it since so each room comes fully equipped with two sets of earplugs which work beautifully.
I’m happy to report that I slept beautifully in the red room (pictured here) and meandered to the cafe bar downstairs to enjoy eggs and pastries (I love breakfast, it’s a weakness).