It's way more than a hotel. In fact, it's almost an entire neighborhood - and, in truth, the Gladstone Hotel has been instrumental in putting Toronto's Queen West neighborhood on the lips of hipsters everywhere.
As idiosyncratic as an Allen Ginsberg poem and defiantly iconoclastic, the Gladstone Hotel represents a philosophy built around the "social alchemy" that happens when you integrate one of the most vibrant arts and design communities in Canada with guests and artists from around the world.
At the Gladstone Hotel, art is pervasive, with 37 artist-designed hotel rooms that run the gamut from Seventies kitsch to High Victoriana. A wide variety of art is also displayed in the hotel's exhibition spaces, artists' studios, and a ballroom that hosts everything from readings and lectures to burlesque shows.
Gladstone guests have access to two green roof terraces and complimentary Gallant Bicycles. There are also weekly drawing classes, trivia nights, and neighborhood walking tours.
The two restaurants at the Gladstone, the Melody Bar and the Café, helmed by Chef Michael G. Smith, are reason enough to hang around what is also Toronto's oldest continuously operating hotel - and once you witness the creativity that buzzes throughout the Gladstone's historic walls, you'll want to be a part of it, night after night.
As the Gladstone tagline asserts, "Where the he[art] is" - and ever since the hotel's regeneration in 2005, the hotel has worn its aesthetics on its sleeve loud and proud. "Pride at the Gladstone" is a ten-day celebration that coincides with the hotel's annual art exhibition, "That's So Gay."
Plus there's killer banana bread French toast.