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Arts

New details released for Soho House Toronto

Posted by Derek Flack / May 28, 2012

Soho House TorontoAlthough it might not be as opulent as other iterations around the world, Toronto is finally set to get its own Soho House — and just in time for TIFF, at which the group has held pop-ups for the last three years. The private member clubs — of which there are currently 10 locations across the world in cities like London, New York, and Berlin — cater to creative types who occupy the film and media industries (amongst others).

News that the group would be opening a Toronto club has been out for a while, but only recently have the details regarding what's in store finally emerged. Set to open across from the still-under construction Shangri-La Hotel at 192 Adelaide St. W., the local branch will be located in a 10,000 square foot space in a restored heritage building that once served as a hotel in the late 19th century.

Soho House TorontoThe multi-floor space will be outfitted with a partially enclosed rooftop bar, a library, a house kitchen and pantry bar, and the main lounge area, which will be named the Pretzel Bell Bar Lounge, apparently after the tavern that originally occupied the space. That pales in comparison to plans for a Soho House in Istanbul, which is set to occupy three buildings, collectively equipped with 88 bedrooms and multiple rooftop pools.

But, hey, maybe there's something to the relative modesty of the Toronto house. Despite the popularity of the so-called pop-ups in the past, a permanent club is another ballgame altogether, and it's dubious that Toronto could support the scale of operation that's on offer in some of the other cities.

So what's it all going to cost? Soho House memberships are quite consistent across the various cities in which clubs are located. Local memberships are typically $1800 and $900 for those under 27 years of age, while memberships to every house run at $2400 and $1200, respectively. To up the value of the Toronto membership given its lack of on-site amenities (bear in mind, I use that term relatively), these dues also gain one access to the screening room, fitness centre, pool, spa, meeting rooms, ballrooms and valet parking on offer at the Shangri-La.

What do you think? Is it worth it?

Renderings courtesy of Soho House Group

Discussion

24 Comments

Matthew Stasoff / May 28, 2012 at 02:00 pm
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I'd say if you have the money, it's worth it.

But I'd be interested to see if a membership grants you access during TIFF.

I doubt it.
Alex / May 28, 2012 at 02:24 pm
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A Soho House venue would do really well in Toronto. There are certainly enough of the right type of people in the city. The location is still slightly questionable, it seems like it may be aimed at a more city/business area, it'll be interesting to see the memberships they grant.
john / May 28, 2012 at 03:27 pm
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are those yearly rates?
doorhandle / May 28, 2012 at 03:53 pm
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sounds more like d-bag house.
Derek replying to a comment from john / May 28, 2012 at 03:54 pm
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Yes. There are also additional admin fees paid in the first year, but they are relatively minor.
karen / May 28, 2012 at 07:01 pm
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absolutely worth it. an incredible addition to Toronto's thriving arts and culture scene.
Erin / May 28, 2012 at 08:04 pm
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Totally worth it - see you there
iSkyscraper / May 28, 2012 at 09:14 pm
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Snuck into the original in NYC after it first opened; the place definitely had a slick vibe. Private clubs have been around forever, but most of the earlier generations (which revolved around curling, cricket, stuffy men's lounges, etc.) have either turned into family affairs or died off. SoHo is a nice fresh look at the concept.

The best part, though is the save of the building. That shell has been abandoned since the 70s, and I would have bet anything that it was destined to be fall down or be torn down. Simply amazing that it is being restored. Built 1829, saved 2012. Hoo-ray.

http://bit.ly/KREhik
paul / May 28, 2012 at 09:49 pm
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a gathering of snobby, pompous shits who paid for friends? i'll definitely join to entertain myself with drunk idiots and willing snatches
Brent M / May 28, 2012 at 11:45 pm
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Nothing worse than media types -- at least finance ones actually work hard and have money.
peanut gallery / May 29, 2012 at 04:37 am
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I've been to, but am not a member of, Shoreditch House in London UK (in the art/design district, London's Queen West).

A pal of mine applied for membership but was denied. Membership criteria is strict. Their goal is to attract a mix of people from media, arts, and design as well as law & finance, and also those who live physically close to the venue itself. My pal got dinged because he was a banker, which was not exactly a well thought of job title in England in 2009.

It will be interesting to see how membership is controlled at the Toronto location. If it's like their other properties, it won't be a case where anyone with $1800 can get in.
Alex / May 29, 2012 at 08:05 am
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@iSkyscraper The original is Soho, London. The houses have a very strict no banker rule, and most of them enforce a no (business) suit rule also. Makes for a much more relaxed atmosphere with practically no wannabe fat cats in pinstripes bragging about their millions.
WELL I NEVER replying to a comment from peanut gallery / May 29, 2012 at 08:28 am
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What, so any old blogger will be turned away at the door? I won't get to see any Law-reeenn and her slooty mom from Burlington getting sloppy in here? ? ?

there / May 29, 2012 at 09:19 am
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Save yourself the money and just go to the SoHo at Blue Jays Way/Wellington.
bobo / May 29, 2012 at 01:42 pm
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Thanks for the article Derek. Nice to see Toronto is becoming more cultural and cosmopolitan these days.

I don't really understand all the negative comments from people who are not interested. Your flailing about simply betrays your own insecurities.
young torontonian / May 29, 2012 at 11:53 pm
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It will do great. Soho House is the perfect place for creatives to work and hang.
iSkyscraper replying to a comment from Alex / June 3, 2012 at 12:58 pm
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Alex, I apologize. I should have said the first of the overseas "franchises" in NYC (though they won't call it that), not the original London club.

Great article today on SoHo house as it expands and tries to make its formula work all over the globe:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/03/fashion/soho-house-is-taking-the-party-global.html

K / June 17, 2012 at 07:05 pm
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I'd love to join the Soho. I'm in the arts/fashion scene but have my doubts on getting in as a successful member. Guess I'll have to just be suffice with my existing private memberships elsewhere.
elc replying to a comment from WELL I NEVER / July 3, 2012 at 05:01 pm
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show yer titz at the door, probably get in. Toronto is pretty weak-willed when it comes to local "celebritease"
him / August 31, 2012 at 02:48 pm
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BLA BLA BLA. Job Fair a month ago. VERY good peeps there. Too bad they did NOT hire the REALLY good out-there outstanding professionals. LOOKS like another "ONE"....lame staff.
All knowing / September 8, 2012 at 11:03 pm
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Sounds like someone is a bit bitter they didn't get hired. I have it on good authority that the staff are far from lame and are an outstanding group of people.
dj / September 13, 2012 at 10:19 am
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its got great staff great food and ya will be tough to get a membership.. they turn away members during tiff but they want it to be ultra exclusive
Ashleigh / February 16, 2013 at 01:18 am
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Wow that was odd. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but
after I clicked submit my comment didn't show up. Grrrr... well I'm not writing all that over again.

Regardless, just wanted to say great blog!
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