Drake Hotel (Toronto)

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Drake Hotel
Drake Hotel.jpg
The Drake Hotel in July 2007.
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 14 February 2004

The Drake Hotel is a hospitality venue on Queen Street West in Toronto, Ontario, Canada near Parkdale. In addition to a nineteen-room boutique hotel,[1] its offering includes a restaurant lounge, corner café with street-level patio, Sky Bar roof top patio, and the Drake Underground basement nightclub and live performance venue.

The Drake was purchased in 2001 by Jeff Stober, who initiated extensive renovations. The Drake features a hotel, nightclub, arts venues, and Drake General Store.[2]


The venue 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—while living as a fugitive on nearby Ossington Avenue in 1968.[3] In the 1970s, it fell into use as a flophouse like many hotels in North American cities. Other uses in the 1980s, and 1990s include a punk bar, and rave den.

In October 2001, the hotel was purchased for C$860,000 by Jeff Stober,[1] who planned a Toronto equivalent of the Hotel Chelsea where creative individuals would work and live.[1] After C$6 million in renovations[4] were completed the Drake re-opened in February 2004.[5] 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. The Drake is similar to other small concert venues in Toronto such as The Silver Dollar Room, Clinton's Tavern, Lee's Palace, and the Horseshoe Tavern.[6] The Drake Underground primarily features indie acts, though past noted performers include M.I.A..[7]

Drake's head chef is Darren Glew, who replaced chef Anthony Rose in 2012.[8][9]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c Philps, Rebecca (February 2016). "The King of Queen West". Toronto Life. 
  2. ^ Kopun, Francine (8 September 2014). "Drake Hotel brand expands". Toronto Star. 
  3. ^ English, Kathy (June 14, 2013). "James Earl Ray and the Enduring Myth of Toronto’s Silver Dollar Room". Toronto Star. 
  4. ^ "Toronto Through the Eyes of The Drake Hotel's Jeff Stober". BlogTO. 22 November 2009.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  5. ^ Drake Hotel[not specific enough to verify]
  6. ^ Edge, Citizen (27 January 2016). "Best Small Concert Venues In Toronto". 102.1 the Edge. 
  7. ^ The 15 Coolest Neighborhoods in the World in 2016, retrieved November 16, 2016 
  8. ^ "Top Toronto chefs join CRFA Show line-up". Bakers Journal. Retrieved 2011-07-08. 
  9. ^ "Anthony Rose leaving the Drake Hotel". The Grid. Retrieved 2012-05-22. 

External links[edit]