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Inside the Drake Hotel’s colourful new wing with pop art, psychedelic carpets and retro finishes

By Caroline Aksich and Sarah Kidd| Photography by Daniel Neuhaus
Inside the Drake Hotel's colourful new wing with pop art, psychedelic carpets and retro finishes

After nearly two decades of empire building—Drake Devonshire and the Drake Motor Inn brought the Toronto brand east—local hotelier Jeff Stober has turned his attention back to where it all began. This past December, the Drake unveiled its five-storey glow-up: a new wing that adds 32 rooms and a rooftop suite to the hotel’s existing 19. The original shoebox lobby has been replaced by a generous entryway, complete with cozy fireplace and bijou bar. The new space exudes retro cool—there’s the impossibly plush rainbow carpet with Magical Mystery Tour energy (designed by Studio Watson and former Drake art director Kathy Grant) and the cane-and-tambour wood banquette with original vintage upholstery.

Inside the Drake Hotel's colourful new wing with pop art, psychedelic carpets and retro finishes

The custom three-pedestal coffee table in front of the fireplace is by local design firm Susan For Susan:

Inside the Drake Hotel's colourful new wing with pop art, psychedelic carpets and retro finishes

Here’s the new ground-floor bar:

Inside the Drake Hotel's colourful new wing with pop art, psychedelic carpets and retro finishes
Inside the Drake Hotel's colourful new wing with pop art, psychedelic carpets and retro finishes

Try the Queen Street Dawa ($18), an indulgent mix of Spirit of York vodka, sencha tea, melon, lime and honey:

Inside the Drake Hotel's colourful new wing with pop art, psychedelic carpets and retro finishes

Or if you’re feeling peckish, order the habanero-honey bang bang shrimp ($19), which has just the right proportions of spicy and sweet:

Inside the Drake Hotel's colourful new wing with pop art, psychedelic carpets and retro finishes

In true Drake style, local art reigns—three-quarters of their collection is Canadian. The immersive gallery experience was curated by Ashley Mulvihill of Ninth Editions. It’s anchored in the surreal (Toko Hosoya’s fantastical anemone-esque series) and avant-garde (Luke van H’s epoxy-coated “found glove” pieces):

Inside the Drake Hotel's colourful new wing with pop art, psychedelic carpets and retro finishes

Stephanie Hier’s “Evening Shadows and a Skittish Whisper,” made with oil on linen and glazed stoneware, hangs behind the reception desk. The custom light fixtures are by Concord Lighting, and the desk and work tables are by Toronto’s Odami:

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Inside the Drake Hotel's colourful new wing with pop art, psychedelic carpets and retro finishes

Seeing double? That’s kind of the point. Framed on the wall is a pencil-and-paper piece by Iqaluit-born artist Saimaiyu Akesuk. The Drake then commissioned Angela Aula and Oscar Flores to create a mural inspired by that same artwork:

Inside the Drake Hotel's colourful new wing with pop art, psychedelic carpets and retro finishes

Owen Marshall’s “Unremarkable Staircase” mural adds some sardonic humour to the otherwise unadorned stairwell:

Inside the Drake Hotel's colourful new wing with pop art, psychedelic carpets and retro finishes

The elevator cab features vinyl stickers by illustrator Sarah Alinia Ziazi. Three floor-to-ceiling murals, also by Ziazi, are featured on the upper floors:

Inside the Drake Hotel's colourful new wing with pop art, psychedelic carpets and retro finishes

DesignAgency’s fetching interiors continue in the guest rooms with Douglas fir–lined hallways, custom millwork, sensuous tufted velvet headboards and graphic wallpapers. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, there’s also the Drake’s pleasure pack (starting at $10), an à la carte menu of sex toys that encourages guests to play out their love hotel fantasies:

Inside the Drake Hotel's colourful new wing with pop art, psychedelic carpets and retro finishes

The two-bedroom Rooftop Suite—done up in geometric patterns printed on marble tiles, wallpapers and carpets—comes with a private 540-square-foot terrace overlooking Queen West. It starts at $2,000 per night:

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Inside the Drake Hotel's colourful new wing with pop art, psychedelic carpets and retro finishes
Inside the Drake Hotel's colourful new wing with pop art, psychedelic carpets and retro finishes

Gadabouts will enjoy its spacious rooms, locally sourced mini-bar treats, sumptuous Frette linens and luxe amenities, including Malin and Goetz bath products:

Inside the Drake Hotel's colourful new wing with pop art, psychedelic carpets and retro finishes

Here’s a closer look at the kitchenette, which features locally sourced mini-bar libations including Pixie sparkling rosé, Henderson Brewing beers and Loch Mór Cider:

Inside the Drake Hotel's colourful new wing with pop art, psychedelic carpets and retro finishes

The Rooftop Suite’s bathroom (and the hotel’s overall aesthetic) takes its cues from Italy’s laminate- and terrazzo-loving Memphis Group:

Inside the Drake Hotel's colourful new wing with pop art, psychedelic carpets and retro finishes

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