Designer Destination: Drake Devonshire
A cool outpost of downtown Toronto’s Drake Hotel, the Drake Devonshire in picturesque Prince Edward Country has earned some major design kudos since it opened in 2014. This hipster take on rustic, lakeside living, designed by John Tong of +tongtong was recently nominated for best restaurant design in North America by the James Beard Awards. At Drake-by-the-lake, the natural beauty of the lakeside setting is matched by an impressive art collection and playful decor. Click through for a tour of the beautifully designed space.
Framed by large panels of sliding glass, the A-frame dining room is built from Douglas fir, reinforced with steel and cantilevered over the bank of Lane Creek. Mismatched dining chairs hand-picked from antique and thrift stores, weathered white wood flooring, and workbench-inspired dining tables lends a campy vibe.
In the bar area of the restaurant, large windows give a panoramic view of Lake Ontario while custom lamps with industrial glass domes are a riff on the nautical look.
Old-school shutters block some of the rays on the deck, but a firepit below on the beach beckons during the day or night.
The pavilion is dominated by a floor-to-ceiling mural by Brooklyn-based duo Faile that’s inspired by billboards and advertising posters.
Tongue-in-groove paneling and rustic cross taps give the bathrooms a country feel, but the marble showers are state-of-the-art.
The Glass Box games room is a throwback to the family rec room, complete with a ping pong table and TV. Floor-to-ceiling windows overlook Lane Creek on one side and the hotel grounds on the other.
Brick and battered flooring gives the lobby a decidedly urban, former-factory look to the hotel, while tiles add plenty of pattern. Jennifer Murphy’s large-scale Bird collage is an amalgam of old nature magazines and text books.
Prince Edward County is an important area for migrating birds and a Great Blue Heron often visits the Devonshire’s shore line. Artist Gillian Goerz creates an illustrated homage to the heron for Notebook, her gallery-style wall installation in the upstairs hallway of the Drake.
A private patio with sweeping views of Lake Ontario is part of the allure of booking the Owner’s Suite, which is kitted out like a giant treehouse for adults. The brick fireplace and furniture by +tongtong lends a mid-century vibe.
At night the A-frame suite takes on the air of a glam teepee. The wall of windows and glass railings enhance the seamless connection between the glowing interior and starry night.