Dobber@TIFF: The Drake Hotel

The Drake Hotel is a cultural, entertainment and hospitality landmark located in Toronto’s Queen West Art & Design District. Ever since it opened its doors on Valentine’s Day 2004, The Drake has come to be known as an energetic hub for visual and performance art as well as dining and hospitality.

A west-end retreat for pretty parties
During TIFF, The Drake acts as a west-end retreat for those looking to enjoy a pretty party outside of festival HQ. A potpourri of Drake’s TIFF past: Benedict Cumberbatch did all of his press for The Fifth Estate here, Adrien Grenier is a regular, Adam Driver hung out (and got his hair cut) at the hotel’s Overdrive Party, and the always-oddball Peaches performed an unforgettable set here.

Room Two Oh Two spacious and plump
The Drake’s signature suite, dubbed Room Two Oh Two, is big enough to host a pre-show party, with its own mid-century-inspired living area outfitted with a plump Italian daybed. The spacious suite is also outfitted with a contemporary glass shower, original artwork, custom millwork, hardwood floors, tasty treats, Malin + Goetz toiletries, complimentary tech library and handmade doll.

Brunch on Beaconsfield
Most local folks swear by the Drake’s brunch, which is best enjoyed on the patio that stretches along breezy Beaconsfield Avenue. Soak up the sun in the late morning while sipping a frothy latte and devour the kitchen’s signature Benny (hand-carved country ham, cheddar biscuit, poached eggs and hollandaise) and Chicken & Waffles (southern-fried chicken thighs, herb waffle, Niagara cherry jam, crème fraiche and maple syrup).

Shoot for the sky
The hotel’s rooftop patio, The Sky Yard, comes alive every evening, as the who’s who arrive for Toronto’s most sought after al-fresco party. Quench your thirst on my two fave creative cocktails: Hedonism II (Mount Gay Eclipse rum, amaretto, cassis, lime, bittermens elemakule tiki bitters) and Seven Sages (cucumber gin, matcha green tea, honey syrup, muddled sage, lemon juice and seltzer water).

Australian influence
Each year, the Drake partners with TIFF’s Future Projections program, an initiative to underscore the link between visual arts and film. This year, TIFF is flying in a notable Australian filmmaker, Shaun Gladwell, who will showcase a series of short films made with BMX bikes and skateboards at The Drake and Drake One Fifty.

Andrew Dobson, September 8, 2014