© Shim-Sutcliffe Architects / Photography: William Jess Laird

Hot on the heels of the Ace Hotel Sydney opening, another design-led property has opened its doors halfway across the planet in what’s generally considered Canada‘s coolest city. Situated in the downtown Garment District, the hotel occupies a newly built, 14-storey structure by local architecture practice Shim-Sutcliffe Architects and features an interior design by Atelier Ace, the hotel chain’s affiliated creative agency and responsible for that hailed signature look of all of its properties. Although distinctly modern and understated, the building’s clean-line façade comprises red clay bricks as an homage to the material that has very much shaped Toronto‘s architectural identity and its many magnificent buildings. Guest and visitors are greeted by Horizon Line, a large site-specific art installation designed by architect A. Howard Sutcliffe which portrays the waters of Lake Ontario in an abstract way.

The reception desk features glazed brick and a red oak top and doubles as a sales counter for Ace Hotel Toronto‘s in-house shop. The lobby, the property’s main social space with an extended living room vibe, is a bit of an engineering marvel as it’s suspended by steel rods and framed by imposing concrete arches. Initially set in wood forms, the arches feature the appearance of textural wood grain, playfully mixing and matching material and pattern, and are paired with Douglas fir flooring. Interactive elements, such as a communal work table made by local design practice Made Design, and a DJ booth adorned by colourful concrete discs from Montreal-based studio Concrete Cat, are intended for the use and pleasure of all. The 123 guest rooms and suites come in seven different categories and sizes, and each one offering the modern comfort and amenities as you may expect, including free WiFi and eco-friendly uka bath products, yet oozing Ace Hotel‘s inimitable coolness at the same time.

At 716 sq.ft. (67 sqm.), the Ace Suite is the largest on the premises and comes with a number of soothing extras, such as a king-size bed, window bench, living room, curated minibar, casting-compatible high-def TV, custom Tivoli sound system, guitar, private wet bar and kitchenette, jumbo shower and a separate bathtub. Being a major addition to the city’s downtown hospitality scene, Ace Hotel Toronto has additional trumps up its sleeve, and the first one being The Lobby bar in the aforementioned lobby space. Furnishings comprise of a mix of a wide range of new and custom-made pieces, such as a double-sided sofa, a stool collaboration with designer Garth Roberts and rugs manufactured by Mexico City-based Odabashian, and carefully sourced vintage items, including chairs, lighting and rugs. The hotel’s culinary element is anchored by Alder, a wood-fire restaurant with Mediterranean-inspired dishes and helmed by chef Patrick Kriss.

Situated at a lower level and connected to the lobby by way of tie rod-supported stairs, the setting fittingly features bare concrete walls, brick flooring, in addition to detailing in copper, brass, wood and clay that lend the restaurant a warm and welcoming edge. The venue’s bar is crafted from copper and black wood, and offers a starkly different experience. Last but not least, there’s the Rooftop Bar, a buzzing late-night haunt designed by local design studio MSDS with sweeping views of the city. Art is omnipresent, and it’s not surprising, the hotel has its very own art programme, featuring original works from almost 40 artists, all with a personal link to Toronto. Additionally, the hotel boasts three event spaces, each in a different size, but fully equipped to host various events.

Ace Hotel
51 Camden Street (Garment District)
Toronto, ON M5V 1V2
Telephone: +1 416 6371200

© Shim-Sutcliffe Architects / Photography: William Jess Laird