Toronto has become what Montreal used to be like in the 1980s before everyone fled La Belle Provence to get away from those mad sovereigntists. There is a joie, an elcat and plenty of elan in the big smoke today. And these qualities were particularly present on the first weekend of Gay Pride Week. Most of the activity was clustered around along Yonge Street, the spine that bifurcates this great city. Venture West on Queen and out of the craziness of the rainbow coalition's hub and you'll find the "Design District" - a hive of renovated and restored century old buildings.
The Drake, a boutique hotel, is one of these. Each room was designed by an artist. The only one they had available was a "Crash Pad" on the 3rd level. There's no elevator but the friendly front desk clerk carried by bags upstairs. The 100 sq. ft. room, shaped like a shoe-box, has the pristine efficiency of a captain's cabin in a submarine: desk, TV, sink along one wall and a single bed with crisp white linens (and one soft pillow and one hard one) along the opposite wall. The sparkling show stall and toilet are at the far end. My room #311 was directly above the bar so it was a little noisy but that's Toronto these days - a city that seems to have woken up finally. The Drake's street level restaurant has a funky atmosphere if a little pricey. All of the above is augmented by the friendliest front desk staff who are knowledgeable about the city, the hotel and appear to love their jobs. It was great fun and I'll be back as often as I can.
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- Also Known As:
- Toronto Drake Hotel
- Drake Toronto