The Drake Hotel

Architect: Paul Syme and 3RD Uncle Design Inc.

Client : Jeff Stober

The Drake Hotel is a historically rich staple of Parkdale’s art and design district. Marking its beginning as a small Canadian Pacific Hostelry (Stanwick,Flores, and Araban, 146), the 116 year old building went through various transformations and received a multitude of monikers over the years. It is only in the past six years after its grand re-opening that it was recognized as a “palpable hit” (Smith, 45) and now received as the preferred haunt of the artists, and hipsters of Toronto.

Located on 1150 Queen Street West, the hotel is comprised of nineteen suites affectionately dubbed “crash pads”, a yoga studio,  bar/lounge, dining area, sky yard, as well as “The Underground” : a space for live performances (Stanwick,Flores, and Araban, 146).

To address the street, the architect incorporated elements found in the neighborhood and other buildings into the current design of The Drake Hotel. As John Tong, a partner in 3rd Uncle Design Inc. stated, “ We wanted to stay as true as possible to the neighborhood surrounding it”  (Smith, 45) thus  The Drake Hotel was intentionally not meant to be an upscale building which used very refined materials, it was however meant to be a reflection of the neighborhood and the transformations which it at times had to endure.

The design in its entirety reflects both the present and history of Parkdale. The sophisticated selection and mixture of both classic and modern elements emphasizes the harmony between The Drake Hotel and the site which it has not strayed from since the beginning of its architectural life.


Smith, Leslie C. “Lost and Found Art: the Drake Hotel.” Canadian Interiors 41.3 (2004): 45-49. Print.

Stanwick, Sean, Jennifer Flores, and Tom Arban. Design City Toronto. Chichester: J. Wiley & Sons, 2007. Print.

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