It's about time squeaky-clean Toronto had a style transplant, and it's probably no surprise that this one happens to be a Québecois import. The Germain family's first Ontario outpost adds a dash of style to the theater district, in the form of this scratch-built 11-story red brick building, which hides a magnificently inviting split-level lobby (and a first-class French restaurant, Chez Victor) behind its impressive stainless-steel and glass entryway.
For too long the lobby has been about delivering a visual impact and little else, or worse, reduced to a desk crammed under a stairwell. This is a public space worth lounging in, with a library, an espresso bar, and a double-sided open fireplace surrounded with daybeds and white leather couches. Elevator walls are lined with poetry in English and French against a background of cloud imagery, which sounds terribly precious but is actually carried off with style.
Some exquisite facades hide uninspired rooms, but not so here; rooms are spacious, open-plan, with massive white Frette-dressed beds set against backgrounds of rich brown wood. Furniture is sleek and modern, as are the amenities, like flat-screen TVs and generous, functional desks. Showers are separated from the living space by glass walls—no longer the most original trick in the hotelier's handbook, but it works, and if you're feeling modest, just draw the blinds and concentrate on stuffing your suitcase with the Aveda bath products.
30 Mercer Street, Toronto, Ontario
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