Inside Toronto’s Hip New Hotel, The Kimpton Saint George
Like New York’s West Village or London’s Notting Hill, the real charm of Toronto’s mid-town Annex area is found along its tree-lined residential streets. Around the corner from Chanel and Gucci boutiques, world-class museums and swish open-air restaurants is block after quiet block of Edwardian and Victorian homes that fuel dreams of 14-foot-high ceilings and original crown moldings set off by fine, contemporary furniture. It’s a vibrant, historic mix that captures the city past and present, and also inspired the neighborhood’s latest resident, the new Kimpton Saint George hotel.
The 14-storey boutique hotel welcomed its first guests in June following the top-to-bottom renovation of a former Holiday Inn. Local design firm Mason Studio worked with the Kimpton to give the 188 pet-friendly guest rooms (including 20 suites) the warm, collected feel of a thoughtfully-appointed apartment. Almost all of the art pieces are original, and the palette combines soothing on-trend shades of dusky blue, green, rust and blush pink with natural wood and stone surfaces. The result is soulful and sophisticated — a true reflection of Toronto itself.
A hand-painted mural by renowned Toronto street artist BirdO decorates the exterior brick. BirdO’s graphic works are earning attention and accolades, and this mural hints at the kind of cool, irreverent details served up at Kimpton Saint George.
The check-in area pairs a front desk made of rough natural stone with an original hand-painted mural by artist Tisha Myles that depicts a misty Toronto-inspired scene.
The reception area flows into a cozy gathering zone, appropriately dubbed the living room. Like the historic homes that surround the hotel, it’s a central place to relax and reconnect.
“The guestrooms bring together custom and found furniture, materials, interior detailing and a diverse art collection that reference various styles, but work together harmoniously as though they have evolved over time,” says Mason Studio partner and co-founder Ashley Rumsey.
Curated groupings of furniture, objects and lighting created a comfortable, lived-in feel, like staying at a stylish friend’s apartment. “Where possible, we commissioned local designers to inject Toronto’s contemporary art and design talent into the property. This also allowed us to work closely with collaborators to create a cohesive statement,” says Ashley.
Guestrooms feature at least half a dozen unique pieces of art. Ottawa artist and designer Laura Langford’s one-of-a-kind, hand-dipped, metal wall piece ‘Marble Moon’, seen here above the bench, was created for all guest rooms.
A color palette of warm earth tones ranging from deep blues to rich greens, paired with browns, rust and red hues ties together every space in the hotel. Custom carpets with an integrated diamond herringbone pattern and a backdrop of architectural wall moldings add richness to the rooms, which feel spacious and bright.
The corridors feature custom wall coverings with the same warm herringbone pattern that can be found in the meeting space and guestrooms. Warm brass accents further animate the space.
Bathrooms boast walk-in showers and bath products by Atelier Bloem.
Caned oak armoires open to reveal a white squirrel sculpture by Toronto art toy company Greatbeard, a humorous reference to the city’s famous albino squirrels that are found in Trinity Bellwoods Park. “The white squirrel represents how the experience of the hotel stay provides an insider’s view of the city,” says Ashley.