Toronto Design Week gets underway next week, so before we head over, we thought of asking a few Torontonians in the know about how to make the most of Toronto during our visit. First up Jeremy Vandermeij, one of the co-curators of the Come Up To My Room exhibition at the Gladstone Hotel.
Vandermeij, a designer and creative generalist who is also part of the grassroots design organization Public Displays of Affection, is involved in his second year of curation for this popular exhibition.
West is BEST!
The Beaver - 1192 Queen St W (Google map)
The Beaver knows its music, its drinks, its performers and its art. Show up after 10:30pm for a look at the underbelly of the Toronto alternative arts and music community. Go for the drinks and stay for the dancing. Watch out because the sign is just the letter "B".
The Henhouse - 1532 Dundas Street West (Google map)
Another off-the-beaten-path Queen West local that most people in Toronto don't even know about. They have a grandma-kitchen, nostalgic design aesthetic and a killer jukebox. Show up after 11pm and don't be scared by the local artists; they are friendlier than they look. In the morning hit the Hen up for brunch.
OddFellows - 936 Queen Street West (Google map)
The food is excellent and the decor is even better. Owned and operated by Toronto designers Castor, this place has all the fun, rough and sexy Canadian chic the firm is known for. To top it all off, they designed the food too.
MADE - 867 Dundas Street West (Google map)
Shaun Moore and Julie Nicholson are the ultimate Toronto design facilitators, bringing thoughtful locally designed products into their showroom and exhibitions for the past four years. From cutesy to crazy, and everything in-between, MADE has got it covered.
The Gladstone Hotel - 1214 Queen St West (Google map)
Any place that inspires fierce loyalty from its mostly artist employees has my vote. The Gladstone Hotel is an arts and design incubator that really helps the burgeoning talent of Toronto to bloom, while providing a sexy and inspiring place to stay for creative-minded travelers. Stay in one of their 30 artist design hotel rooms and check out their many cultural events; including the best Karaoke night in the city!
View Jeremy Vandermeij's Toronto in a larger map