This months enRoute Magazine featured an article on the 10 Canadian Hotels that know how to get their Canadiana on. Gladstone’s Artist in Residence (room 404) was highlighted as one of the rooms that offers a thoroughly Canadian stay.
What is Canadiana? It is a caricature. It can be a little bit kitsch and endearingly romantic, hinting at epic spaces and endeavors. The aesthetic was chosen to be both specific and deliberately un-specific, relying on abstracted images, colors and shapes… A glimpse of the woods at the cottage. The hue of cedar paneling. A window that glows above CN rail lines. A slit of light through a sepia photograph. The texture of wool. The light cast through turning leaves. The room is fabricating nostalgia: a brief, whimsical fantasy of Canada.
There are half a million hotel rooms in Canada, but Room 404 at the Gladstone might just be the most Canadian of them all. I drift off to sleep beneath a chandelier made from deer antlers and surrounded by fragrant cedar-clad walls in the Canadiana Room, named by local artists Jenny Francis and the duo of Charlene and Grant Gilmour who collaborated on its design. A bold accent wall bearing a digitally manipulated photo of the forest surrounding Francis’ cottage reinforces the deep-woods feel. Morning comes too soon as gentle light streams in through local designer Bev Hisey’s die-cut wool curtains. I rummage through the wicker-basket minibar and find Square Snacks Hazelnut Cherry bar and ChocoSol chocolate, both made in the city, which provide morning nutrition and a caffeine fix – along with a bottle of spring water from northern Quebec, a bit farther afield. Thankfully, Canada is a big country. (Original text from enRoute magazine)
Jenny Francis is an architect and an interior designer, and principal of the company Jenny Francis Design. She is passionate about both disciplines, integrating them for a uniquely holistic and detailed approach to each project.
The Big Stuff is a reupholstering business run by husband and wife duo Charlene and Grant Gilmour. Charlene attended George Brown College for Furniture Production & Design, and specialized in upholstery in her second year. Grant is a former contractor whose proficient carpentry skills complement Charlene’s creative flair. Recent projects include: upholstery of furniture for the Drake Hotel, the banquettes at the Beaconsfield Lounge, and benches at Kubo Radio on Queen Street East. Together they continue to change the landscape of lounges and homes one ottoman at a time.