Sometimes it all seems like a whirlwind, honestly, especially after a year like 2013. With Drake One Fifty up and running and bringing a little colour to the Financial District, and the Devonshire's opening just around the corner, it's interesting to look back—all the way to those early, embryonic years when the paint was barely dry.
For example, from this side of history, it gets a little harder by the year to remember why we're called "Drake" to begin with. But to those who remember the run-down, weathered sidewalks of Queen West in the early 2000s, the black banners hanging outside the then-equally run-down Drake Hotel might come to mind. And if they do, there's your first clue right there. Underscoring the stylized white lettering that read "Drake," there was an image of something iconically Canadian—a duck. Specifically, a male duck.
So it wasn't Sir Frances Drake, or Nick Drake, or even the local hip-hop phenom of the same name. It was the duck.
That's just one example, of course, demonstrating how little details get lost to the time fog over the years. But like the neighbourhood of which we're proud to be a part, every banner, every room paneled with fake wood, and every vending machine tells a story—even a bygone story, as the case may be.
But enough from us, right? The best way, as ever, to tell that story is a thousand words at a time, through photos from before Drake became the cultural playground that we are today.
Drake's history is all our history, and from the looks of things, it's getting better year after year.