Photo credit: William Jess Laird

TORONTO — Ace Hotel Toronto, located in the city’s historic Garment District, has opened its doors.

The 123-room hotel and its public spaces were designed by Toronto-based Shim-Sutcliffe Architects and Atelier Ace. The building’s red brick facade recalls the important role bricks pressed from Don Valley clay played in forming the city’s visual identity, and guests entering the lobby catch a glimpse of Horizon Line, a three-storey site-specific art installation abstractly representing Lake Ontario’s waters, designed by A. Howard Sutcliffe. The Lobby, clad in red oak lining and inspired in form by a wooden tray, is suspended by slender steel rods from these massive supports and offers guests a variety of viewpoints. Additionally, the hotel’s interiors take their cues from the city’s legacy of manufacturing and textiles as well as Ontario’s landscape of dense forests and river ways.

Chef-partner Patrick Kriss, who holds the title of “Outstanding Chef” by Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants consecutively from 2017 to 2020, oversees all dining menus at Ace Hotel Toronto. He works alongside executive chef Devin Murphy, who runs daily kitchen operations, and pastry chef Victoria Ammendolia. Anchoring the building is Alder, a seasonal wood-fired restaurant slated to open on August 9. For the menu, chef Kriss draws inspiration from traditions and techniques in and around the Mediterranean. Standouts include Half Grilled Chicken with harissa jus; Grilled Red Pepper Carpaccio with garlic olive; anchovy and paprika; and for dessert, gluten-free Coconut Cream Pie and Dark Chocolate and Peanut Mille-Feuille. Its bar program is overseen by beverage manager James Park and sommelier Arashasp Shroff curates the wines.

Additionally, The Lobby offers a menu of pastries and locally roasted Sam James Coffee in the morning, followed by craft cocktails, wine by the glass, beers, snacks and shareable small plates at night. Menu highlights include Grilled Octopus with romesco and shishito peppers; Alder Burger with griddled smoked Havarti, bomba mayo and pickles; Avocado Flatbread with pickled red onions and charred pepitas; an Everything Bagel Croissant; a Miso, Sesame and Ginger Cookie and more. The Lobby also features a robust calendar of music, arts and cultural programming.

Atop of the hotel is Evangeline, an 80-seat rooftop bar and lounge spread across a cozy indoor area and an open-air patio. Expected to open later this year, Evangeline will serve finger foods and small plates, along with beer, cocktails and wine.

“Long a leading global light for its forward-thinking approach to city-making and design, Toronto is a city that embraces originality and is rooted in the same open-to-all philosophy that founded Ace,” says Brad Wilson, CEO of Atelier Ace / Ace Hotel Group. “We could not be more proud to open Ace Hotel Toronto — the architectural magnificence of Shim-Sutcliffe Architects’ work has created a bonafide wonder. They have built an inherently civic space that respects the neighbourhood’s storied past while nurturing its future. Likewise, chef Patrick Kriss has worked in tandem with our team to create something exceptional at Alder, a restaurant with an honest reverence of seasons and quality. It is with great gratitude to the gifts of friends near and far that we welcome all to finally fill this remarkable space.”


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