A Drake party is like no other. It’s why your best friend’s bachelorette, a milestone birthday, or a company bash are all at home here. Here’s to more Drake to celebrate this spring and summer with ‘Bashes in a Box’, our curated bespoke packages for a fuss-free soirée and Drake Academy, where guests can partake in their secret box cocktail competition.
To prime the canvas for your next Drake get-together, we caught up with our event orchestrators of good times, we caught up with Alana Zucker, Senior Manager of Event Sales + Operations at The Drake Hotel, and Leanne Ruest, Director of Sales + Events at Drake Devonshire/ Drake Motor , to give you the inside scoop about Drake Events. To book your event, email email@example.com.
+ How do our properties embody the ‘business as [un]usual’ statement when it comes to special events? What makes do you think makes us unique?
AZ: We love pushing the boundaries and allowing our clients and guests to create their own adventure – This allows a space to transform from a dining room to a corporate day-time meeting, to a wedding, to a cocktail party, and more! Throw in our vibrant neighbourhood location, art, design, unique hotel offerings, brand-new rooftop terrace suite, garnished with our unique add-ons, we refer to as Drake Academy, and that’s business as unusual!
LR: Drake Devonshire is like an adult camp; you can see guests’ shoulders relax as they settle into their surroundings. Views of the lake and the sound of the waves crashing on the shore floating into the pavilion windows while you strategize with your team. Honestly, what could be better. Additional team building offerings that are part of our Drake Academy and curated programming within the dynamic community of The County set us apart from a typical business retreat location
+When you look back at the last year, what one event really stands out to you and why?
AZ: I have to say, the full-building wide, three-day conference we held last year during TIFF is the event that stands out most to me! With the expansion of our Modern Wing and total of 51 hotel rooms, it really increases the types and sizes of events that we’re able to host. Having the ability to welcome our guests overnight, in combination with their event, conference or meeting, is quite special. This allows us to take our “One-stop-shop” approach to an entirely new level.
LR: There were so many wonderful events that took place over the last year but one event that was truly unique was a mock trial for a law firm. As a huge Law and Order (OG, not SVU) fan, watching the space get transformed into a courtroom and observing the process was something exciting for me that I have never witnessed before.
I am also a huge sucker for weddings. Every wedding at Drake Devonshire over the past year has been special in its own way. The intimate environment in any of our event spaces creates a feeling of connection that is not something you can achieve in other venues. And the bride and groom’s first dance on the patio overlooking the water is something that will always remain ingrained in my memory.
+What is your favorite place to host events at Drake Devonshire? Why?
LR: Oh no, it is hard to choose just one space! They all have such incredible features, but I am going to go with the Glass Box. The light-filled space is perfect for any event and lends such a bright, inspired environment that is perfect for any occasion. From an intimate wedding to a corporate meeting, the space is so easy to transform.
+What’s your favorite type of event to plan?
AZ: I love working with wedding couples and building that initial connection, while trying to bring their vision to life. Once they’ve chosen to host their special day at The Drake, I will introduce them to our wonderful Event Specialist, who will take over all the planning details, as well as have a presence onsite on the day of their event. There’s even an opportunity to have our Specialist as the couples Month of Event Coordinator, which is always super exciting!
+When someone says Toronto, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?
AZ: A city that’s full of life – especially in the Summer! Torontonians love their city, as there’s something for everyone here – an amazing food scene, music, culture, architecture, cool neighborhoods and open minded, warm people!
+Favourite places in PEC?
LR: Drake Devonshire patio is definitely my favourite spot in The County. The view of the sunset is truly magical.
+Spring or Summer?
AZ: I’d have to say Summer! I’ve been in the hospitality industry for the last 15 years and always associate the Summer with a busy event season – which I love! I also love warm weather and getting a tan, which is only doable in the Summer in Toronto haha.
+Sunset or Sunrise
LR: Why such tough questions – although an early riser, it has to be sunset for me. Nothing beats the colours of a magnificent sunset.
AZ: Probably Leon Bridges now, although I only listen to Country Music while I work 😊
+What’s your go-to drink after work?
LR: My go to is an Aperol Spritz!