This is what Toronto's newest boutique hotel will look like
A 24-room boutique hotel is about to open up in the Annex this fall, and with it comes a mini food hall—they're all the rage these days—and collaborations with a number of local brands.
Set to open officially on Sept. 27, The Annex Hotel channels its best New York vibes with a pared-down, urban-traveller ambiance that capitalizes on the hottest food trends that Toronto has to offer.
It's been well over a year since the landlord began construction on the 100-year-old building at 296 Brunswick, which once housed The Green Room, Tilt Arcade Bar, and 15 longtime low-income residents.
Despite a highly-publicized legal fallout with the arcade bar, and the process of what owners describe as relocating nearly all the residents to alternative housing, the hotel has moved forward at full speed with its transformation of the aging building into a modern lodging.
Once it opens, you can expect an establishment that eschews all the standard accoutrements of luxury hotel stays. The Annex has opted out of providing features as common as room service, TVs, phones, a parking lot, elevator, gym, or even a front desk.
Instead, it hopes to win guests over with super fast WiFi, allowing for functions like online check-in and text communications with staff, along with homey-yet-swanky rooms equipped with iPads.
The 6000-square-foot first floor of the hotel will be home to The Lobby Bar, offering three meals throughout the day including breakfast by the Parkdale bakery The Tempered Room.
The Lobby will also feature a curved marble bar serving natural, organic wines from a list curated by Ben Dalton of Kensington's Grey Gardens.
The second and third floors will hold 12 naturally-lit rooms each, with four sizes of rooms that range as small as 200 square-feet (starting at around $200) to the 330-square-foot extra large rooms ($300).
Nearly everything design-wise is the result of a local collaboration—though my favourite (albeit unintentional) collab is the view of the parking lot mural by Elicser, if you happen to score a room facing west.
Mattresses come from the same supplier that decks out the Ritz-Carlton, and bedding comes by way of Merchant Sons. Wall art is commissioned work by a handful of Canadian artists.
The majority of rooms (save for the extra large one) have a sink placed outside the tiled 'wet rooms' where shower and toilet share the same space.
The overall vibe is minimal and admittedly cozy, despite the fact some rooms face directly into the balconies of neighbouring residences (a big downside for guests and even moreso for homeowners).
If you haven't scored the greatest view, you can opt to entertain yourself with the record player that accompanies each room (joining a list of happenin' American hotels to do so) along with a collection of vinyl courtesy of Sonic Boom.
Back downstairs, a communal garden is set to open next spring, and on the other side of the public living room space will be one of the hotel's most anticipated features: The Annex Commons, a food hall which will be even larger than the Lobby.
Still under construction, it might give The Annex Food Hall—which will be opening up around the same time just ten minutes away—a run for its money, with a liquor license and two permanent vendors that are sure to draw out-of-towners and locals alike after it opens at 5 p.m.
While The Annex Hotel runs a risk of being solely reliant on WiFi and texts (apparently Luddites aren't welcome here) it's definitely a hotel of the future without being overly streamlined—autonomous A.I.-style.
Focusing on recognizable brand partnerships and reliance on some local commodities, the boutique hotel is positioning itself as the forerunner for a Toronto staycation, or at the very least, a night out.
Join the conversation Load comments