The Drake Hotel is a Toronto landmark — known to locals and visitors alike as a neighbourhood gem located on Queen Street West. It’s a casual yet cool place to go for drinks, catch up with old friends, have a relaxing — or romantic — overnight stay in one of its 19 rooms, or hear local artists play at its Drake Underground music venue.
The legendary property is still serving up drinks and tunes, and now a whole lot more as they just unveiled their brand-new Modern Wing – complete with a colourful lobby, intimate bar, tons of thought-provoking art by local and international artists, and 32 cozy and thoughtfully curated guest rooms and suites.
“It has always been our hope to create a neighbourhood hub rooted in our local community and to bridge art of the moment with intentional hospitality,” says Shaileen Shah, general manager of The Drake Hotel, in a press release. “At its core, we want to ignite curiosity within both the modern traveller and our friends — and our new spaces are designed for exactly that. We are excited to, at long last, open the doors of the Modern Wing and we certainly aspire to continue our longstanding tradition of welcoming, world-class hospitality.”
To enter the Modern Wing, you’ll still arrive on Queen Street West but a brassy revolving door just east of the classic entrance will be your new way in. You immediately set foot in the lobby with the snug lobby bar directly to your right (Negroni, anyone?) The lobby is a welcoming space, filled with colourful sofas, intricate lamps, unique seating options, coffee table books, artwork, greenery, a modern-looking reception desk, and a one-of-a-kind, hand-woven rug tying the whole space together.
The five-story expansion, which was designed by Toronto’s DesignAgency in collaboration with the Drake’s in-house design team, integrates the historic flagship property into a sizeable new structure — incorporating a central courtyard visible from every floor and public spaces such as a semi-private meeting room at the back of the lobby. One of the most notable additions though is the Rooftop Suite — which literally has its own private rooftop terrace, with sweeping views of the city, as well as an in-room dining area, bar, two bedrooms, two stunning bathrooms, and a living space perfect for hosting.
Feeding off the vibrancy of its West Queen West neighbourhood, the design of the new wing celebrates and solidifies The Drake’s place and legacy in the city — with added inventions as well as tributes to the street’s historic facades. The Modern Wing’s timelessness and in particular, its electric lobby, will provide a welcomed pause from the hustle of the city — a comfortable, casual place for visitors and locals to socialize, work, relax, admire art, and most likely, enjoy a cocktail or two.
Photos courtesy of Double Space Photography and Brandon Barre.