A first look inside 1 Hotel, the Thompson’s verdant replacement

A first look inside 1 Hotel, the Thompson’s verdant replacement

In December 2019, the Thompson Hotel—known for its NBA after-parties and rooftop pool shenanigans—bid adieu to the city with an over-the-top NYE blowout bash. Now, after nearly two years of renovations, the property has reopened under its new moniker: 1 Hotel Toronto. Following locations in South Beach, New York and West Hollywood, this is the first Canadian outpost of the U.S.-based boutique chain all about eco-luxury hospitality. That means their interiors are organic, feature refurbished materials, lots of plants and muted colour schemes—and that they strive to minimize their carbon footprint. Here’s a look inside.

New York-based design firm Rockwell Group oversaw the hotel’s top-to-bottom reno. The entrance—now flanked by maple and pine trees—looks like someone plopped a hunk of Muskoka on Wellington Street. The wilderness carries on inside, with more than 3,300 plants strewn across the property, including the lobby. Much of the wood is sourced from Just Be Woodsy, a local furniture maker that has partnered with the city to give dead and dying trees second lives as tables, stools, and even cheese boards. Some of 1 Hotel Toronto’s behind-the-scenes eco-efforts—like their onsite composting program and paperless commitment—aren’t as obvious:

Although the designers were imported, the majority of materials used are domestic. This elm-wood floor, for example, is made from salvaged, 19th-century barnboard from Huron County, while the swirling limestone behind the reception desk is from the Guelph region. The loon feather sculpture behind the reception desk was created by Moss and Lam:

The reception opens onto Bar Flora, a cocktail bar with a greenhouse-meets-library aesthetic. The dried flower installation that crowns the bar was created by floral artist Lauren Wilson. It will be updated seasonally:

All 112 guest rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows, 50-inch HD smart TVs, yoga mats, 100 per cent organic linens, plush natural cotton robes, rainfall showers and Bamford bath products. The rooms and suites are also equipped with an in-room water filtration system plus Mexican glass tumblers and a carafe (made from recycled wine bottles). What you won’t find? Any plastic bottles:

This is Birch House, the largest of 1 Hotel Toronto’s 21 suites. The sprawling 2,000-square-foot, one-bedroom accommodation comes with a phenomenal bathroom: a spacious rain shower and separate ultra-deep soaker tub. The average nightly rate? A casual $4,500:

Here’s a lower-level conference space for larger gatherings:

The old Thompson Diner, meanwhile, has been replaced by 1 Kitchen: an airy, California-style restaurant with a locavore bent and a loose commitment to plant-based eating (there are many veg and vegan plates, as well as a few carnivorous options). The hotel has been working to grow their own garnishes like herbs and edible flowers, but the other Ontario-grown items on the menu were sourced by food distributor 100km Foods:

Alongside the herbs, this garden pavilion will also host a semi-regular farmer’s market in collaboration with 100km Foods—bringing small Ontario producers into the city. International Landscaping, the local outfit in charge of both the hotel’s interior and exterior greenery, also installed a native pollinator garden (complete with a hotel for solitary bees to take shelter):

The hotel began welcoming guests in early August, but the owners, Mohari Hospitality, have decided to stagger the grand opening. Next up, Harriet’s—their rooftop sushi concept—will open just in time for TIFF. And Casa Madera, the property’s fine-dining option, will follow shortly after. The rooftop is still open to sun worshipers, however, and there’s currently bar service up there until 6 p.m.: