Inside Canada’s first Ace Hotel

Inside Canada’s first Ace Hotel

Featuring local art, custom-made furnishings and rooms designed to feel like urban cabins

The very first Ace property in Canada—the Ace Hotel Toronto—recently opened its doors at the corner of Camden and Brant streets in the city’s Garment District. Designed by Shim-Sutcliffe Architects, the new-build hotel offers expansive public spaces and serene, cabin-like guest rooms—all with custom-made and vintage furnishings and diverse works by local Canadian artists including Nadia Gohar, Dahae Song and Erin Vincent.

Photo by Daniel Neuhaus

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

There’s a front desk to welcome guests and a small retail area. The curve of the glazed brick counter recalls the building’s curving entrance and interior arches.

The soaring, natural light–filled mezzanine lobby bar 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’s a preference for variegated materials and those that will develop 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 from wood and Plexiglas and were designed by Shim-Sutcliffe to draw attention to the bar.

Horizon Line, a three-storey mural visible from the entrance and lobby bar, was designed by A. Howard Sutcliffe and inspired by the waters of Lake Ontario. Sutcliffe weathered plywood for the installation on the beach at his cottage.

The hotel’s art program features original work from almost 40 artists, all with ties to Toronto.

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

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

Bush-hammered concrete walls, brick flooring, and copper, brass, wood and clay accents give the subterranean room a cozy feeling—and the smell of wood burning in the kitchen completes the ambiance.

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

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

But the best part of each guest room might just be the cozy extra-deep window benches.