Toronto, Ontario

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The Drake Hotel on Queen Street West in Toronto, Ontario, Canada near Parkdale, was opened in 1890 as "Small's Hotel". At the time, the area was a major Canadian Pacific Railway hub near what was then one of the wealthiest neighbourhoods in the city..In 1949, the hotel was acquired by new owners, who expanded the building and renamed it the Drake. The hotel eventually fell on hard times, along with its neighbourhood. In the 1970s, it fell into use as a flophouse like many hotels in American cities. Other uses in the in the 1980s, and 1990s include a punk bar, and rave den..In 2001, the hotel was purchased by Jeff Stober, who renovated the hotel with the goal of turning it into a bohemian arts and culture mecca in the midst of the city's recently revived  gallery district. After renovations were completed the Drake re-opened in 2004. The hotel has subsequently become one of Toronto's most talked-about nightclubs and arts venues, as well as a popular accommodation for out-of-town visitors. The hotel contains nineteen rooms including an upstairs lounge, a dining room, a cafe, a roof top patio named the Sky Yard. Drake also boasts a corner café which at night becomes a bistro. The café is the daytime venue for breakfast and lunch.  Pictured here is the rooftop bar, the Sky Yard.