Toronto in the summer is a festival goers dream, and what better place to base yourself for the action than The Gladstone Hotel, Canada’s oldest continuously operating hotel, right on hipster friendly Queen Street West. Boasting 37 rooms, each designed by a different artist, this quirky boutique also dedicates its corridors and public spaces to supporting local contemporary artists, providing space to exhibit their artworks, perform and to just hang out.
Upon arrival, our fashion editor, who had just spent a weekend in cottage country on Lake Huron, was greeted by charming and informative staff who at once whisked him up to The Racine room on the 4th floor. Collaboratively designed by artists Susan Collett, Penelope Stewart and Nicholas Stirling, the suite had the ambience and Victorian grandeur of a forgotten time and featured a stack of vintage luggage cleverly converted into an entertainment system.
After a perfect nights sleep (earplugs provided to cancel out any street noise that might make it’s way through the old brick walls) and a very strong morning coffee, we had the chance to catch an exhibit in the main gallery called 10x10, featuring 100 portraits taken by 10 queer photographers celebrating queers in the arts. Big thanks to curator James Fowler, who gave us a copy of the book about the exhibit.
Sadly we didn’t have time to pop into the Gladstone’s Café or their swanky rec-room meets resto-lounge known as the Melody Bar to partake on some Torontonian style bites & bevvies, but the décor was equally as quirky and welcoming and the menu looked devine. So the next time you happen to find yourself in Ontario’s capital and are looking for more than just your average ordinary bed to crash on, along with a taste of local culture and a friendly and creative atmosphere, book a room at The Gladstone and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.