The Drake Hotel in the Parkdale neighbourhood of Toronto was originally opened in 1890 as the Small’s Hotel and was reopened after World War II as the Drake. The hotel declined along with the Parkdale neighbourhood, particularly through the 1970’s and 80’s. In 2001 Jeff Stober relaunched the Drake as a bohemian hotel and nightspot. Controversially, the hotel has been both applauded and criticized for bringing the bourgeoisie back to Parkdale and its contemporaneous in and out migration of galleries and artist studios. The Drake claims to contribute to the neighbourhood by acting as a space for both artists and young professionals to interact.
|Cities in the latter part of the last century felt pressure to create initiatives to remake their images in response to forces that privileged access to flows of capital in an increasingly hierarchical and exclusive archipelago of “global cities.” Local cultures and alternative perspectives were seen to be sites of resistance to these developments, and locating art and artists in the context of their own neighbourhood and community were represented as a more authentic expression of artistic practice. However, recent urban scholarship has brought these perspectives together in an approach that frames the city as an entity extant within a network of other cities, yet also as a place embedded within its own particularity. Read more...|
The Drake Hotel
The Gladstone Hotel
The Gladstone Hotel, a formidable presence on Toronto’s Queen Street West, has a long history as the oldest continuously operating hotel in the city stretching back to the nineteenth century. The hotel was built in the medieval revivalist Richardson Romanesque style that characterizes many of Toronto’s public buildings of the nineteenth century (including Queen’s Park and Old City Hall). The watering holes of the Gladstone were long a gathering place for the working-class community in surrounding Parkdale and the hotel over years had a mix of long- and short-term residents.
Torontotroll could be thought of as research through self-reflexive activity and participation. Mercer Union, an artist-run centre for contemporary art gave a month-long residency to the Parisian collective Atelier Wundershön Peplum (AWP), who reimagine city spaces through alternative modes of transportation and conceptual art.
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