Inside the Saint George, Kimpton’s first boutique hotel in Toronto
The old Holiday Inn on Bloor Street, near St. George, looks a bit sleeker than it used to, and there’s a simple reason: new management. Kimpton, a chain of boutique hotels founded in San Francisco in 1981 and now owned by InterContinental Hotels Group, took over the property and stripped the building to the bones, renovating it into a chic, subtle ode to the Canadian landscape. On the west-facing side of the 14-storey tower, the hotel commissioned Toronto street artist Jerry Rugg (a.k.a. BirdO) to paint a giant owl mural. In the lobby, local artist Tisha Myles painted dreamy images of clouded forests on the walls. The decor was custom-made by Mason Studio, and it’s characterized by warm earthy tones, natural materials (ash wood, sleek granite) and playful textures that will make guests want to run their hands over every surface.
The new Kimpton Saint George, as it’s called, opens to the public tomorrow. Here’s a peek at what’s inside.
The signage is understated, but at night, small circular lights spell “Saint George” in Braille. It’s meant to be a nod to Honest Ed’s illuminated signage (RIP):
The lobby is called the “living room.” Coffee and tea are served here. There’s also a complimentary daily “wine hour” for anyone staying at the hotel. There will eventually be a pub and event space. The hand-painted mural behind the bar is by Tisha Myles:
Guests can relax in the cozy lounge off the lobby, kitted out with contrasting materials like walnut, ceramic tile and grey marble. Mason Studio enlisted Toronto-based Arts and Objects to stock the place with curiosities and art, most of which were handmade by local artisans:
While guests are waiting for the elevator, they can snap selfies in this cool mirror that looks like it never ends:
The main-floor restroom has more arches, and a dried-moss installation behind the mirrors:
This is a basic two-bed room (there are 188 rooms in total, including 21 suites). All the beds are covered in luxe Frette linens. Pets are allowed to stay free of charge:
Every room is outfitted with a closet that holds some incredibly soft Frette bathrobes:
Inside the closet, local art duo Greatbeard added a white squirrel sculpture, a nod to the famous albino tree rodents of Trinity Bellwoods Park:
The corridors are simple, but decorated in intriguing pieces of art, including watercolours from Jen Mann, who painted a different piece every day for a year:
This suite comes with a marble bar that’s perfect for entertaining:
The bar is stocked with local favourites like Dillon’s gin and Barchef’s famous toasted old fashioned:
The suites come with Teac record players. The hotel worked with Sonic Boom to curate a collection of vinyl from Canadian bands like the Tragically Hip:
Here’s the president’s suite, which has a six-person dining table. The circular piece of art is by Ottawa-based artist and designer Laura Langford:
The suite’s bathroom has a soaker tub:
The toiletries are Atelier Bloem, and the hotel sells them, along with other items like linens and pillows:
280 Bloor St. W., 416-968-0010, kimptonsaintgeorge.com.
This article originally said that the Kimpton Saint George has 20 suites. In fact, there are 21, including the Presidential suite. This article also originally said, incorrectly, that every room in the hotel comes with a Teac turntable. In fact, only the suites have turntables.
This article's headline originally said, incorrectly, that the Saint George is Kimpton's first boutique hotel in Canada. In fact, Kimpton previously operated two hotels in British Columbia, both of which are now no longer affiliated with the brand.