One of Toronto’s most happening neighborhoods is named after quite possibly the gayest street name this side of the Liza With a Z Turnpike: Queen Street West. Filled with tiny restaurants, quaint boutiques, and dozens of art galleries, it’s one of those once-bad neighborhoods that’s now a spectacular place to live (we presume), and visit.
Just know that a cab ride to the Gay Village is approximately $20 US each way.
At The Gladstone Hotel (above and right), each of the 37 rooms has been thoughtfully designed by a local artist. There are hotels where every room looks like a Stepford version of the others, but here, you could stay here 37 times and feel like you’re in a different world each and every time. With a cafe and popular nighttime bar, there’s never a dull moment. Even the old-school elevator that requires a professional operator is something that exemplifies the hotel’s embracement of the past and look toward the future.
Meanwhile, just down the street, The Drake Hotel is all kinds of hip. The artwork throughout is edgy and thought-provoking.
The rooms here (affectionately called crash pads) are nicely sized with fantastic glass showers and plenty of amenities. Like the handmade dolls in each room. Or the black-bound menu from which you can order up a fun little souvenir package containing various combinations of porn DVDs, sex toys, condoms and lube.
We had the privilege of staying in the hotel’s one and only suite (right). See that matronly woman in the painting on the wall? Yeah, her eyes glow red at night. Try coming home tipsy to that image.
Elsewhere on the property, there are several eating and drinking options, our favorites of which will be posted here in the Toronto: Eats story.
Photo Credits: gladstonehotel.com, drakehotel.ca