Drake Hotel Modern Wing

The Drake’s first new building, the Modern Wing by DesignAgency gives the community vibrant new meeting spaces and offers guests improved accessibility and an expanded variety of innovative and fun room options.

  • area / size 24,000 sqft
  • Year 2022
  • Location Toronto, Canada,
  • Type Hotel,
  • The new Modern Wing at Toronto’s Drake Hotel signals the next chapter for the legendary West Queen West neighbourhood. The five-storey addition to the original nineteenth century Classic Wing provides the hotel with a living room-style lobby, an intimate street front bar, meeting and event spaces, 32 new guest rooms (for a total of 51), and a rooftop penthouse suite with a large terrace. DesignAgency realized the Modern Wing’s interiors in collaboration with the Drake’s in-house design team and original Drake hotel designer John Tong of +tongtong, with Diamond Schmitt Architects as the building’s architects. Adding local flavour came naturally to this impassioned team of design experts – uniquely, all are residents of the area, and the project represents a significant milestone for the future of their neighbourhood.

    In step with the hotel’s evolution, DesignAgency brought a newfound sense of refinement to the Drake’s playful and referential style, and grounded the interiors with a rich sense of place. A generous brass revolving door, and a red velvet curtained bar offer the elegant sense of arrival and comfort associated with the world’s most treasured vintage urban hotels. DesignAgency imagined the lobby as a place where guests and locals alike can mingle and savour the Drake’s famed cocktails. The eclectic mid-century modern furnishings and painted brick fireplace signal classic hospitality spiked with contemporary panache. A walnut tambour banquette offers the perfect counterpoint to fresh takes, such as the sculptural check-in desk designed by Toronto-based Odami. The lobby bar capitalizes on the flow of energy between the street and interior. The Drake has always enlivened Queen Street West, and now its lobby bar features a curved, full-height window to engage passersby with bar guests, and vice versa.

    The design team are all avid travelers, and their personal and professional understanding of the elements of a great hotel stay informed the lengthy design process of the guest suites. The rooms’ saturated colours, feature artists, and signature wallpapers – ranging from traditional Arts and Crafts style to geometrics – change from floor to floor, giving each a unique mood. Custom-made blankets, patterned rugs and lighting by local artisans, underscore the hotel’s creative expression. The nearly 1,000 square-foot, two-bedroom Rooftop Suite is the epitome of the Drake’s idiosyncratic personality and spirited approach, fearlessly mixing bold patterns with a sophisticated more-is-more attitude. Wall-to-wall glass doors open to a large south-facing terrace that invites sunset cocktails at the end of a luxe staycation or serves as the perfect backdrop for a private party.

    Design: DesignAgency
    Design Partner: John Tong of +tongtong
    Architect: Diamond Schmitt Architects
    Photography: Brandon Barre