Inside Canada’s first Ace Hotel

Featuring local art, bespoke furniture, and rooms designed to look like urban shacks

Canada’s first-ever Ace property, the Ace Hotel Toronto, recently opened on the corner of Camden and Brant streets in the city’s Garment District. Designed by Shim-Sutcliffe Architects, the newly built hotel offers expansive public spaces and serene cabin-like guest rooms, all with bespoke, vintage furnishings and various works by local Canadian artists including Nadia Gohar, Dahae Song and Erin Vincent.

The distinctive precast brick exterior of the 14-story hotel is a nod to the Don Valley red bricks used in various Toronto landmarks. The look is meant to complement warehouses and factories in the area.

There is a reception to welcome guests and a small retail area. The curve of the glazed brick counter echoes the curved entrance and interior arches of the building.

The mezzanine lobby bar bathed in natural light is suspended by steel rods and framed by dramatic steel-edged concrete arches.

Like the rest of the Ace Toronto, the lobby is decorated with a combination of custom new and vintage furniture. There is a preference for varied materials and those that will acquire a patina over time. The wooden stools and double-sided sofa are by Toronto designer Garth Roberts.

The three kite-inspired white lights are made of wood and plexiglass and were designed by Shim-Sutcliffe to draw attention to the bar.

Skyline, a three-story mural visible from the lobby entrance and bar, was designed by A. Howard Sutcliffe and inspired by the waters of Lake Ontario. Patinated plywood by Sutcliffe for the installation on the beach of his chalet.

The hotel’s arts program features original works by nearly 40 artists, all of whom are connected to Toronto.

The food and drink selection at Ace – from the restaurant menu to the mini-bar – is helmed by Chef Patrick Kriss, founder of the Alo Group.

Alder, located on the lower level, is a Mediterranean-inspired, wood-fired restaurant. Dinner service will begin on August 9, with breakfast, brunch and lunch to come. On the menu, grilled chicken with harissa juice, red pepper carpaccio and dark chocolate and peanut mille-feuille. Wines from Pearl Morissette, Lost Craft beer and spirits from Beattie’s Distillers feature on the drink menu.

Bush-hammered concrete walls, brick floors, and accents of copper, brass, wood, and clay give the underground room a warm feel — and the smell of wood burning in the kitchen completes the vibe.

There are 123 rooms, the largest being the 716-square-foot Ace Suite with corner views. Prices for one of three suites start at $1,500 a night. There’s a guitar, Tivoli sound system, private bar, and in-room wine fridge, as well as more typical amenities like a living room and kitchenette.

Rooms feature many of the textures and materials found in the hotel’s public spaces: exposed concrete ceilings, linen wallpaper, Douglas fir paneling, copper headboards. The quilts on the beds are made from unsold fabrics by Vancouver textile artist Kyle Parent, and the vinyl collection is curated by local label Arts and Crafts.

But the best part of every room might just be the comfy, deep window benches.

Leave a Comment