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Five Ways to Stay at the Gladstone Hotel

September 23, 2019
23 Sep 2019

Over the next few months we’ll be featuring all the different ways to stay at the Gladstone Hotel! To kick things off we’re going to show you how to experience Toronto’s vibrant art scene.

The Art Stay

Attention gallery goers! Staying at the Gladstone is the perfect way to experience Toronto’s art scene. Whether you’re staying for a day or a week, this list of local galleries will have more than enough to keep you fascinated. 

Choose an artist-designed hotel room

With 37 artist-designed hotel rooms, we’ve got a room for every artistic taste. Whether your style is modernist, surrealist, minimalist or contemporary, our rooms are as varied and unique as the artists who created them!

Explore the Gladstone Hotel’s Galleries

Pictured above: Images from the Trinity Series by Mary Kavanagh. Photo by Gabby Frank

Start by browsing three floors of curated local exhibitions right outside your hotel room door! We have rotating exhibitions every day of the year featuring local and international talent.

Discover local galleries as part of our curated Art Crawl

Click here to download the map.

Participate in a Get School’d Workshop

Feeling inspired to create? Art travellers will love the chance to make some work of their own at one of our Get School’d workshops! Instructors cover everything from henna to wreath making to garment mending. Make sure to ask us for insider hotel-guest perks.

Don’t forget to check out our Special Events

Every month brings an exciting new art exhibition or festival to the city, From the expansive Toronto Biennial of Art (Sep 21 – Dec 1) to Nuit Blanche (Oct 5), make sure to ask our staff what’s happening around town during your stay. 

Top banner image of Tommy Smythe, designer of Room 303, Lucky Stryke.
Photo by Ryan Bolton.

“An Art Museum In Your Hotel Lobby” – New York Times

August 27, 2019
27 Aug 2019

Art hotels are popping up all over the world and have become a trend in the travel industry. The New York Times published an article this past August highlighting some of the most original Art Hotels in the world, featuring yours truly!

Work pictured: Primavera In Sospeso by Jennie Suddick & Anna Rose and Missisquoi Room by Simon Johns.

Below is sourced from the New York Times. Written by by Charu Suri.

Procuring and exhibiting art in all forms has been synonymous with the hotel experience for several decades now, with both luxury and midlevel brands highlighting local artwork and museum-quality pieces rather than predictable poster reprints.

Guests like it: In a 2018 survey conducted by the nonprofit organization, Americans for the Arts, 72 percent of respondents said they enjoyed the arts in “non-arts” venues including hotels.

Art-centric hotels are popping up in many cities, including the ART in Denver and the upcoming Hall Arts Hotel in Dallas, hoping to attract a new breed of clients who want to be surrounded by sculptures, video installations, paintings and mixed media.

But of late, some properties have begun to push the boundaries of what it means to be a hotel with great art.

After the film and video artist Christina Zeidler took over the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto, Canada, the 37-room boutique hotel began holding rotating exhibits annually as well as live events. Artists also helped with the interior design of the rooms.

“Artists are given free rein to think about the design of the furniture, window coverings, wallpaper or wall treatment,’ said the Exhibitions Director Lee Petrie, who explains that apart from the permanent room art, the hotel shies away from commissioning anything. They believe continuously changing exhibits are draws for repeat visits.”

Read The Full New York Times Article

The LGBTQ History in Room 303: Lucky Stryke

May 29, 2019
29 May 2019

Last year HGTV’s Tommy Smythe came on board to design a brand new Gladstone Hotel room, appropriately named Lucky Stryke.

Smythe’s Lucky Stryke Room is inspired by the history of Toronto’s queer culture as traced through a collection of matchbooks from queer bars and restaurants. According to Smythe matchbooksespecially those provided by LGBTQ establishmentsare like little maps to secret places. Some of the bars and clubs of Toronto’s past didn’t even post signage outside. The addresses and phone numbers printed on matchbooks handed out inside might have been the only clue to the promise of adventure and connection for the curious outsider.

Alongside longtime Gladstone staff member (and artist behind the Gladstone Hotel’s Today Room) Suanne McGregor, Tommy spent hours at Toronto’s Gay and Lesbian archives digging up matchbooks from decades past – a laborious pursuit that was worth it! Finding gems along the way – Tommy traced and recreated each matchbook using bold colours.

“At the time, these establishments were the only safe gathering places for LGBTQ locals as well as visitors,” says Smythe. In the spirit of that hospitality, and in the ongoing spirit of the Gladstone and all it stands for, we celebrate these long lost watering holes and dancefloors. Just like the matchbooks; there was fire inside.”

Smythe joined the ranks of TV personality Bob Blumer and award-winning artists Bruno Billio and Allison Mitchell who have all designed rooms at the hotel.

Tommy Smythe’s contagious enthusiasm and fun loving approach to decor and renovating have made him an international design world favorite. A career spanning more than 18 years has left no stone unturned in getting the message of good, practical and beautiful design to his many followers through television, print media, social media and popular speaking engagements. Known for his warm and personal mixture of fine art, vintage, antique and modern furnishings pulled together with a cutting edge color sense, Tommy never lets it all feel too serious.

Book Room 303 or one of our other artist-designed hotel rooms for Pride 2019.

See Pride Packages

Can We Give Your Our Number? 5 Benefits To Booking Direct

July 4, 2018
04 Jul 2018

When it comes to picking a hotel for your next vacation, it can feel like there are as many ways to book as there are places to stay.  Indeed, there’s no doubt that third party sites that aggregate hotel options have changed the game in travel over the last decade, but that doesn’t mean that booking direct is a thing of the past.  While you may love your Expedias and Booking.coms, there are some definite perks to booking through a hotel’s website or, if you’re feeling extra nostalgic, via phone.  In fact, here at the Gladstone, we get tonnes of direct bookings, and there are some pretty good reasons for that.

Here are the top 5 reasons to book direct with us:

1] More flexibility and ease on changes to reservations

It’s all in the fine print. Booking through third parties often means more rules and regulations, especially when it comes to changing your reservation.  When you need to make a change to your booking, it’s probably because something came up last minute. The last thing you need to add to the chaos is reading the fine print. Thankfully when you book direct you can just give our front desk staff a call and they’ll help with any unexpected changes due to emergencies that might come up.

2] Higher chances of a complimentary upgrade

Ever experienced the feeling of joy when an airline bumps you up to first class? It’s pretty exciting, but it’s also a low-odds game of chance. There’s not much you can do to increase your chances of upgrades at airports, but when it comes to hotels you can bump those odds up by booking direct. While we can’t make any promises on upgrades—it depends on how busy things are on any given day—we do our best to give this perk for anyone who books direct.

Tommy Smythe Jumping for Joy in His Recently Designed Room | Lucky Stryke | Room 303

3] Complimentary Welcome Cocktails (they’re getting rave reviews!)

After a long day of travelling, nothing hits the spot more than a refreshing cocktail… except for a refreshingly complimentary cocktail! We’ve recently added this perk for guests who book direct, and it’s been a smashing success. Launched just last year, our Signature 6 cocktail menu is thoughtfully designed to reflect the history of our historic building and neighbourhood.

Veteran Bartender Stephen Stirring Up A “Best Laid Plans.”

4]  Selection of your favourite artist-designed room

Travellers love having options and when it comes to hotel rooms, and we’ve got you covered. No two of the Gladstone’s 37 artist-designed hotel rooms are alike.  Each one is specifically designed by a different artist or designer, and each guest gets to pick one that suits their aesthetic.  Room selection is dependant on availability, but there are a couple of things guests can do to increase their options. One is booking in advance. The other is… you guessed it: book direct! We’re able to offer more room options through our in-house reservation system than we do on third party sites, so get on over to our website and start browsing!

Room 405 | Parlour of Twilight | Designed by Simone Moir Corwyn Lund

Room 318 | Blue Line Room

5] Get connected with local knowledge

When it comes to discovering new cities there really is no substitute for local knowledge, and our friendly staff have that in spades. Sure, the internet can tell you a lot, from directions to helpful restaurant reviews, but—if we may brag for a second—there are a lot of things our staff can do even better.  Many of our front line staff are artists and musicians who know the ins and outs of Toronto’s galleries and bars: they’ve got all the up-to-date information on our lovely West Queen West neighbourhood and are eager to share.  They’re also seasoned Toronto drivers who can offer the best tips and tricks for navigating our busy streets and parking lots.  The Gladstone Hotel hosts a lot of public events as well, and our staff can help you pick one for your ideal night out (in the same building!) Not to mention we can help with all these things in Spanish & French as well. Just leave us a message and we’ll get back to you!

Say Hello to Porter Rob and Floor Manager Denise!

And if all that hasn’t convinced you to book direct yet, give us a call and we’ll talk you through it. Here’s our number: +1.416.531.4635


Got Bikes?

June 24, 2013
24 Jun 2013
got bikes1 We do!

We are happy to be celebrating Toronto’s Bike Month with a regular bike-commuting staff–but what about our hotel guests? It’s this cycling question that prompted us to get together with Toronto’s newest, locally-focused bike company, Gallant Bicycles and gear up for something big.

Window display and custom colour swatches at Gallant Bicycles Bloor Street store.

Window display and custom colour swatches at Gallant Bicycles Bloor Street store.

As of July 1st, Gladstone Hotel guests will have the ability to borrow one of our two new, stunning, custom, single speed, cruiser-style bikes (pictured above) built by Gallant Bicycles. With their storefront location at 678 Bloor Street West and a mandate to design, paint, and assemble their bikes right here in downtown Toronto, we are excited to have new bikes-to-borrow at the hotel that are  just as locally-aligned as our arts projects, room amenities and restaurant.

photo 5

Gallant Bikes-to-Borrow:

A truly Toronto mode of transportation, biking in the city is fast, adventurous and best of all, it’s free.  Starting July 1st, hotel guests can simply sign out their own Gallant bike-to-borrow at the Front Desk (bike lock, basket, helmet and Toronto City bike map included), and put the pedal to the metal–or whatever the bicycle-equivalent term is for that.

Whether it’s to explore the Waterfront Trail, check out the scene at Trinity Bellwoods Park or just load up on ravishing retail finds, there’s no better way to get around Toronto than on a Gladstone Gallant.

photo 1

About Gallant Bicycles:

Launched in March 2013, Gallant Bicycles is located at 678 Bloor Street West in Toronto.  Offering a very unique custom bike shopping experience, where you choose everything from your frame type and colour (of which they have so many good options, this step can be harder than passing a rollerblader in the bike lane), right down to your gears and pedals, Gallant’s impressive portfolio of custom options is only surpassed by their innovative and welcoming store layout.  But where Gallant really ride ahead of the pack, is by sourcing all their design, painting and assembly right here in downtown Toronto!

Gallant also offers Canada’s largest selection of Canadian-made cycling accessories including local brands like YNOT Cycle, Orontas, OOQI grips, and 2 Doggies (dog collars & leashes made from bicycle tubes).

kaleb 2

Sleek, local and ready to ride! We’re popping a wheelie with excitement over the new addition of Gallant bikes-to-borrow and we think you will too.

If you want to get a sneak peek of our new Gallant bikes-to-borrow or just check out some of Gallant’s other custom bike set-ups and riding accessories, come by the Art Bar tomorrow night any time after 5pm and visit the Gallant booth set up for Cycle Toronto’s  Bike Month Wrap Party.