The 123-room Ace Hotel Toronto, the brand’s inaugural home in Canada, has opened this month. The ground-up project was designed by the 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 honour for architecture. The ground floor will be anchored by Alder, a seasonal wood-fired restaurant from the 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.
Ace Hotel Toronto was designed by Shim-Sutcliffe Architects to look like a timeless building that fits in well with its surroundings. The building’s red brick facade is similar to many other buildings in Toronto, and guests entering the lobby can see Horizon Line, a three-story art installation representing Lake Ontario. The Lobby is made of red oak and is suspended by steel rods from the concrete structural arches. It has a sun-dappled seating area with vintage and custom Atelier Ace furnishings and views of St. Andrew’s Playground Park.
The hotel was designed for people to gather and share ideas. The hotel’s interior was designed to be comfortable and take inspiration from the manufacturing and textile history of the city as well as the landscape of Ontario. The hotel has an art program that features pieces from nearly 40 artists, most of whom have a connection to the city. The art is spread throughout the hotel, in both public and private spaces. The guest suites are designed to be restful and have features like Douglas fir panelling, copper accents, and custom lighting. The hotel was designed with consideration for the materials used, the construction process, and the place it is located.
All photography by William Jess Laird
Patrick Kriss is a partner chef at Ace Hotel Toronto and oversees all the dining menus. He works with the executive chef Devin Murphy, who manages the daily kitchen operations, and pastry chef Victoria Ammendolia. Chef Patrick is highly regarded as one of the top culinary talents in the world and has been consecutively awarded the title of “Outstanding Chef” by Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants from 2017-2020. His flagship Toronto restaurant, Alo, has a rare four-star rating from The Globe & Mail. In addition to Alo, Chef Patrick and his Alo Food Group own the popular local restaurants, Aloette, Salon and Alobar Yorkville, which are all critically acclaimed.
The hotel’s restaurant aims to be a welcoming and relaxing respite for both neighbours and visitors. The signature wood-fired hearth and grill is used to cook seasonal ingredients. The menu is inspired by gastronomic traditions and techniques from the Mediterranean. Highlights from the dinner menu 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. A full bar is available with classically inspired cocktails, local craft beers, and an eclectic selection of wines. Alder’s house red and white wines are specially blended and bottled for the restaurant by Canadian winery Pearl Morissette.
Evangeline the property’s rooftop bar and lounge is located 14 stories high and offers sweeping views of the surrounding cityscape. The 80-seat lounge is spread across a cosy indoor area and an open-air patio. DJs take to Evangeline’s decks every weekend. Evangeline serves snackable finger foods and small plates, along with beer, cocktails and wines by the glass. Evangeline is open late night year-round.
Reservations are available for booking at acehotel.com/toronto.