ACE Hotel Toronto welcomes its first guests

"The architectural magnificence of Shim- Sutcliffe Architects’ work has created a bona fide wonder"

by Archilovers
2 Love 1748 Visits

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ACE Hotel Toronto — the brand’s inaugural home in Canada — opened its doors on 26th July.

The 123- room ground-up project was designed by revered Toronto firm Shim-Sutcliffe Architects, led by Brigitte Shim and Howard Sutcliffe, recipients of numerous awards including the 2021 Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Gold Medal, the nation’s highest honor for architecture.
Anchoring the ground floor is Alder, a seasonal wood- fired restaurant from critically acclaimed chef Patrick Kriss, which will open for dinner service on August 9. Chef Patrick also helms the menus for The Lobby, as well as the hotel’s rooftop bar and lounge, Evangeline, opening later this year.

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Ace Hotel Toronto stands in the city’s historic Garment District, a neighborhood ignited by innovation and industry at the start of the 20th century, once a manufacturing center that grew into an influential artistic hub. At a nexus of neighborhoods including Queen West, Downtown and Chinatown, and within walking distance of famed music venues, galleries, bars and restaurants, the hotel joins an area long defined by many of the independently minded and community-focused institutions that form the city’s cultural backbone.

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“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. We could not be more proud to open Ace Hotel Toronto — the architectural magnificence of Shim- Sutcliffe Architects’ work has created a bona fide wonder. They have built an inherently civic space that respects the neighborhood’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.”
– Brad Wilson, CEO, Atelier Ace / Ace Hotel Group

Although a new building, the robust, solid architecture of Ace Hotel Toronto was designed to convey timelessness, and feels effortlessly at home among its surroundings. Shim-Sutcliffe Architects’ work — imbued with modesty, honesty, and an appreciation of place, as exemplified by the studio’s famed Integral House — evokes a particularly Canadian spirit and feeling. 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-story site-specific art installation abstractly representing Lake Ontario’s glittering waters, designed by A. Howard Sutcliffe.

A rhythmic series of soaring, poured-in-place, concrete structural arches rise from the semi-subterranean restaurant to a level above.

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 and scales within the impressive space. With a sun-dappled seating area replete with vintage and custom Atelier Ace furnishings, and views overlooking the neighborhood green space St. Andrew’s Playground Park, The Lobby is rich with texture and warmth, offering space for life to take place.

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At its heart, Ace Toronto is a civic space built for gathering and trading in words, intimacies and bright ideas. A meeting of rough-hewn textures and sleek comforts, the hotel’s interiors, designed by Atelier Ace, take their cues from the city’s legacy of manufacturing and textiles as well as Ontario’s landscape of dense forests and looping riverways. Ace Toronto’s original art program features pieces by nearly 40 artists, the majority of whom share ties to the city. The far-reaching works enrich the hotel’s public and private spaces and glow of humanity.

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Guest suites are conceived as restful urban cabins, with Douglas fir paneling, copper accents, custom Shim- Sutcliffe lighting and side tables, and deep-set window benches built into the structure offering connection to the city’s shifting seasons and light. Considered material, constructed time, tremendous shifts of scale and sensitivity to place coalesce at Ace Hotel Toronto, bringing a future-facing structure and unprecedented creative center to the city.


Photos ©William Jess Laird

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ACE Hotel Toronto 43

ACE Hotel Toronto

Toronto / Canada / 2022