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
Husband and I came to Drake for a night in the city. We really liked the different eating spaces - awesome roof patio space - food and drinks were great. Stayed in Salon room on third floor. We asked for a quiet room as well as we ran AC at night so sound wasn’t a problem for us. Caught a guitar show at the Underground which was also nice space. Appreciated the complimentary yoga and spin class options. Definitely very different from typical hotel experience - in a great way generally all around. We would return.
The Drake was a great hotel and place to see a live concert. Went there to see Shawn James and both he and the Drake did not disappoint!! Great venue with a great location. They have a great rooftop patio bar with a bartender that knows how to mix a good drink. We’ll be back!!
We stayed at the Drake on our honeymoon having read a lot about it over the years in various magazines. It’s clear to me that many of our favourite hotels in Europe have been inspired by aspects of the Drake approach so it was cool to experience the source of this. The community feel of the place is very contagious, and the friendly hotel/restaurant/cafe staff make you feel right at home! They’d left some bubbly in our room for us with a lovely note congratulating us on our wedding, and this extended to a further glass when we went down to the restaurant for dinner. Really kind and thoughtful! Food was good too.
In terms of hotel essentials, the location is great too. It’s handy for exploring a really vibrant neighbour with lots of bars and restaurants to choose from, and also for jumping on a convenient and easy street car to get into town. We stayed in an ‘M’ room, which was a good size for the two of us. The bed was comfy. I love Malin & Goetz so the toiletries were a dream too. Heartily recommended!