If you picked up Architectural Digest recently, you may have noticed a nod to our growing Toronto-based brand on page 44. In the January 2014 issue, the heavyweight publication discovered Drake One Fifty—and like others since we opened our doors back in October, flatteringly appeared to dig us.
"For a decade Toronto's Drake Hotel has been not just a hub of hospitality," it reads, "but also an important showcase for artists and musicians." Now, the magazine continues to say, we're doing the same thing in the Financial District, doing our part to change the game for the downtown culinary scene. Pointing out highlights like Chef Ted Corrado's "Canadian take on brasserie cuisine," "a lively art collection," and "designer designer Martin Brudnizki's colourful, textured interiors," this great write-up frames a truth we're honoured to see recognized by a leading authority like Architectural Digest: from our gnomes to our beloved photobooth, the pop-up Drake General Store, our performance stage, and our award-winning cocktail program, Drake One Fifty is decidedly not your usual Bay Street fare.
Then, we move on to the Canadian Art Winter 2014 issue. Considering how important art, artists, and the arts scene at large has been to us since our doors first opened back in 2004, we were beyond thrilled to chat with Canadian Art about our inaugural curated show—and what that vibe might do for the new neighbourhoods we're calling home.
"Drake One Fifty provides an interesting case," it says. "At the foot of a fairly soulless contemporary office tower, it had no original, retro decor elements to draw out." The answer? Our owner, Jeff Stober, and curator Mia Nielsen "Drake-ified" it, with the addition of Martin Brunizki's eye for design. It's the first export of Queen West as a "brand-cum-aesthetic," it reads. "At least that's what Jeff Stober thinks—and, indeed, is proving."
And, of course, there was the towering praise of Toronto Life, whose January 1, 2014 edition focused on not just our soon-to-be-decade-long history, but the role of Drake One Fifty in spicing up Bay Street. "The Drake has proven to be a natural fit downtown," it reads. With heartwarming expertise into who we are, Toronto Life noted the bright colours and the orange gnomes in front of our York Street location—"the first clue that it's a Drake property," it says. Pointing out the Canadian art found throughout the space—the Douglas Coupland mural, for example, or Eleanor King's disposable coffee cup sculpture—author Mark Pupo wrote about being won over by the Drake brand, bit by bit. Today, he writes, we not only stood up to the test of time, but changed Toronto in the process.
As for Drake One Fifty? "It's a grander Drake," Pupo writes. "The sort of place to go for a post-ballet snack."
What an incredibly encouraging, inspiring thing to read. We work hard to be a cultural community center, wearing our passion on our sleeves. When your vision is so central to what you're doing, as our approach to culture, community and hospitality is to us, it's so gratifying to see published visionaries like Architectural Digest and Canadian Art share it.
Not a bad way to roll into our tenth year, right?