The Drake Hotel
What We Love
- One small hotel – five places to order a drink
- Live music most nights
- Super-friendly staff makes guests feel like locals
- READ MORE: 72 Hours in Ontario
What To Know
- Noise and vibration from bar travels to some rooms on second floor
- Big name retailers and downtown Toronto attractions are at least a 10-minute cab ride away
- Guestrooms are open-plan and a bit on the small side
- No elevator
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
The Drake’s eclectic interior embraces both the building’s rich history — including its 1890s construction and 1940s refurbishing — and its current role as a cutting-edge cultural icon in the West Queen West art and design district. A 2001 renovation gave new life to the Drake’s old bones. Instead of a face-lift, 3rd Uncle Design highlighted many of the original design elements — wrinkles and all — and layered them with their own edgy stylings. Turn-of-the century terrazzo floors, mahogany wainscoting and exposed brick mix with Midcentury Modern furniture and vintage objets to give the Drake an authentic retro cool. A full-time art curator rotates a prominent and playful display of contemporary art.
Bed and Bath
The well-conceived guestrooms are models of space and design efficiency. Though smaller than most other Toronto rooms (starting at 150 square feet), they don’t feel cramped thanks to creative and functional open shelving, high ceilings, lots of natural light and glass separating the bathroom from the sleeping area. Entertainment options include an iPod loaded with a Drake-approved playlist, a selection of cool Hollywood classic movie rentals and, for the frisky, a “pleasure menu” with toys and erotica for sale.
For a 19-room hotel, there’s a lot going on. Choose from one of five spots in the hotel to drink, dine or take in live music. The main floor lounge are accessorized with vintage radios, murals and the endlessly looping, eclectic Drake TV. Head to the rooftop Sky Yard for fresh air, or join the hipster crowd downstairs for a live indie show at the Underground. The bright and cheerful Corner Café is the perfect recovery breakfast spot. Get some of their yummy homemade jam or baked goods to go.
How to Get There
We held our wedding at the Drake in the Sky Yard last month and it was everything we hoped for and more.
When we started looking for a venue the staff at the Drake were quick to respond to our queries about event information and all their prices and options were very transparent from the start. When we visited to see the space, we loved it right away. We knew we wanted a venue that would take care of all food and drink, staff, furniture, dishes, etc. It is a bonus that the space is already beautifully decorated, so we only added flowers here and there. There is a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces which worked out great as different zones for our reception.
I can't say enough good things about the staff at the Drake. Everyone was so friendly, helpful and organized. The team really went above and beyond, and took such good care of our guests - and us! Jessica was our planner and a wonderful calm and organized presence on the day of.
The food was outstanding and we keep getting compliments on it. We did a combination of platters, passed appetizers, and a taco bar. The cake and desserts came from the Drake Commissary and were incredible.
We're so glad we chose to have our wedding at the Drake. The atmosphere and food were perfect!
If the Drake Hotel had a twin I would still choose the Drake Hotel. My GF and I stayed in the music studio room and loved traveling Toronto but ultimately experiencing the night life in the Drake Hotel itself, as if it was all part of God's Plan. At the Drake Hotel you dont have to Take Care because the staff will Take Care for you. 'When the party's over just dont forget me, we'll change the pace and we'll just go slow" - words from The Drake and embodied in the Hotel.
Having worked out that Toronto hotels offer mediocrity at a premium price, I stumbled upon The Drake. Well appointed rooms with thoughtful touches, like the mini Bose speaker and steal-worthy robes. For the lone traveller, the fact that the bar downstairs had mellow jazz-funk on my first night and a hipster pub quiz on the second really added to the enjoyment. Good food and a bar staff who could make a Negroni Sbagliato without skipping a beat. One pointer for next time: as flying with shaving kit is generally banned, offer guests a mini barber kit like most other hotels. The convenience store across the road may sell razors, but you expect a hotel of this class to deal with this, rather than expect customers to sort things out themselves.
I had a 20 hour layover and chose to have some fun and book a trip at the Drake Hotel. This was perfect. I arrived around 11 pm and even though it is a walkup, I had help with my luggage. There was an ATM to tip and a line out the door for the wonderful DJS spinning cool dance music. I left my baggage in the room and had a terrific time dancing and meeting cool people. The next morning I took an inexpensive uber ride to Kensington Market and walked back through the cool Chinatown and graffiti alley. The walk back took about an hour, but I took photos, shopped, grabbed coffee, and had bites to nibble on. The Drake had a cool cafe where I took care of my travel needs online and took an uber back to the airport. You could stay at an airport hotel, but, if you have the time, enjoy the cool town that is Toronto. And, I might be in my early 40's but, I still wanted to kick it a little. I also recommend grabbing what Canadians call a limo and skip the long taxi line at the airport.
Stayed at The Drake for 3 nights and completely fell in love with the place. As a first timer, I was very pleased with the level of attention. All the simple details were looked after and the service was beyond expectations. I was there for a solo business trip and will look at booking it again. You have to try the steak & frites and the self served drinks in the rooms.