Drake Hotel (Toronto)

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Drake Hotel
Drake Hotel.jpg
The Drake Hotel
Former names Small's Hotel (1890-1949)
The Drake
Address 1150 Queen Street West
Toronto ON M6J 1J3
Location Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Coordinates 43°38′36″N 79°25′29″W / 43.643197°N 79.424661°W / 43.643197; -79.424661Coordinates: 43°38′36″N 79°25′29″W / 43.643197°N 79.424661°W / 43.643197; -79.424661
Owner Jeff Stober
Type Hotel, Restaurant, Café, Bar, Nightclub
Genre(s) Indie
Built 1890
Opened 2001

The Drake Hotel on Queen Street West in Toronto, Ontario, Canada near Parkdale, was opened in 1890 as "Small's Hotel". At the time, the area was a major Canadian Pacific Railway hub near what was then one of the wealthiest neighbourhoods in the city.

In 1949, the hotel was acquired by new owners, who expanded the building and renamed it the Drake. The hotel eventually fell on hard times, along with its neighbourhood. James Earl Ray described visiting a bar around the corner—likely the Drake—when he was hiding out on nearby Ossington Avenue in 1968.[1] In the 1970s, it fell into use as a flophouse like many hotels in American cities. Other uses in the 1980s, and 1990s include a punk bar, and rave den.

In 2001, the hotel was purchased by Jeff Stober, who renovated the hotel with the goal of turning it into a bohemian arts and culture mecca in the midst of the city's recently revived gallery district. After renovations were completed the Drake re-opened in 2004.[2] The hotel has subsequently become one of Toronto's most talked-about nightclubs and arts venues, as well as a popular accommodation for out-of-town visitors. The hotel contains nineteen rooms including an upstairs lounge, a dining room, a cafe, a roof top patio named the Sky Yard, and a music bar called The Drake Underground - home to William New's Elvis Mondays.

Drake also boasts a corner café which at night becomes a bistro. The café is the daytime venue for breakfast and lunch.

Drake's head chef is currently Darren Glew, a prominent chef in Toronto. He took over the position after Anthony Rose [3] departed in early 2012.[4]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ English, Kathy (June 14, 2013). "James Earl Ray and the Enduring Myth of Toronto’s Silver Dollar Room". Toronto Star. 
  2. ^ Drake Hotel[not specific enough to verify]
  3. ^ "Top Toronto chefs join CRFA Show line-up". Bakers Journal. Retrieved 2011-07-08. 
  4. ^ "Anthony Rose leaving the Drake Hotel". The Grid. Retrieved 2012-05-22. 

External links[edit]