Posts Tagged ‘Gladstone Hotel’

About 10 years ago, I did a screen-printing course with Kingy Carpenter at Peach Berserk. Her tables were covered in industrial felt that immediately caught my attention.  My tactile sensibilities fell in love with this felt and I started thinking of things that I could make with it. I do this with a lot of materials.  Then a few years later I started to notice felt products appearing in certain stores.  That’s when my love affair was reignited.  The products I found came from a company called FELT. Kathryn Walter is FELT Studio.

When I arrived at Kathryn’s new studio, I commented on how clean it was since I was expecting to see fluff everywhere from her recent project with Johnson Chou.  But Kathryn, ever considerate, cleaned it better than I clean my house! So organized! I was shown her wall of samples.  It was amazing to see how versatile the material is.

Wall of samples


Kathryn’s Studio

Kathryn comes from a long line of felt dealers.  In fact, her great-grandfather started importing felt from Germany, which makes it a 100+-year-old family business.  As a sculptural artist, Kathryn found that using this material was a natural progression to her career.

“Felt is sustainable. It’s a renewable resource, like wood and is amazingly durable”.

Kathryn’s work has brought her all over Canada and into the US.  Her small production items can be bought at MADE, the Textile Museum and online.  She works on large-scale commercial and residential projects as well.

On now, you can see Kathryn’s work at the Bulthaup Showroom, 280 King St. E, Suite 100, and at the Gladstone Hotel, with her Patchwork Exhibit.

Bulthaup Showroom

And you can purchase her beautiful felt products on her site here.



My favourite is the Briefcase. Nah! I love them all!



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It was one of the most fun parties I had been to in a long time. Thanks to Jeremy Vandermeij, Master Curator & Media Guru and the fantastic Gladstone team, this was THE event to kick off Toronto Design Week.

From the moment my friend Kristin (My Toronto Eh!) and I entered the Gladstone for the VIP Event we were given gifts, great drinks, yummy tapas and played games.  Have you ever gone to a party that was totally ruined by a weird mix of music?  Well, this didn’t happen here. The music at this party was so perfectly selected and mixed, I urge you to hire DJ Joe Blow(416-859-5412) for your next shindig.  Every one of my senses was tingling with happiness.

Then we started to walk around and stumbled upon cutie photographer, Mike, who took our pictures for posterity.  Next, up a ladder to stick your head through the video projected wall of creatures.  Every room had something fun to do or see.  We had a sneak peak of CUMTR and artists such as David Brown and his beautiful encaustic work.  And 13  guest suites were open to view, with one being raffled off for the night.

Then at 8pm the real party started and the hotel filled up, so we headed downstairs to see the fabulously voluptuous ladies from the burlesque show.  Although the party continued until 2am, our pumpkin arrived at 11:30pm.

Check out my pics:

What a great way to kick off the year and Toronto Design Week!  Thanks Gladstone!

Starting today, TDW exhibits are open. Click here for the run down.

Hope to see you at The Department today!


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It’s time to start planning your design inspiration schedules for the new year.  Besides the big one in January, The Interior Design Show (IDS 2011) there are many other alternative design events around the same time.

My favourite is always the Gladstone Hotel’s COME UP TO MY ROOM.

CUTMR invites artists and designers to show us what goes on inside their heads. Coming together in dialogue and collaboration, participants are limited only by their imaginations, making CUTMR one of the most exciting shows in Toronto. The four-day event is in its eighth year at the Gladstone Hotel, featuring 11 room installations, 14 public space projects, and 44 artists and designers.

Check out my report on last year’s CUTMR 2010 event.

And this year the line-up is really exciting. Click here for more deets!

Regular Exhibition Hours:

Friday, January 28, 12-8pm – $10

Saturday, January 29, 12-10pm – $10

Sunday, January 30, 12-5pm – $10

Get your advanced tickets now and mark your calendars.


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Everywhere I look these days, the “cool” factor is spreading.  First it was boutique hotels like Thompson Hotels (they don’t like to be labelled “boutique”, but whatever), Le Germaine, the Gladstone and Drake Hotels in Toronto and then super cool hotel by DeNiro in New York.  All small and unique with one common theme – They’re low key and small.

Well, Alex Calderwood, creative mastermind, along with his partners, Wade Weigel and Doug Herrick have raised the cool factor by a mile and started Ace Hotels. Intending to open only one in Seattle, they saw astonishing profitability after only one year of operation.  So naturally they opened more – in Portland, Palm Springs and now New York.

How did Alex do it?  He focused on a “personality driven” model.  That is, by engaging with the local community – vendors and artists, he’s tapped into the desire to be part of the local scene.  And each hotel is unique and each room is unique because they don’t gut the buildings but respect the character.  So, every time you check in, it’s a new experience.  For example, the New York Ace has 54 different room types!

What else makes Ace hotels unique?  The Seattle Ace is nothing like you’ve ever seen before.

“ Located in a bustling downtown bar district, the hotel has unobtrusive double glass doors that open onto a flight of stairs leading up to the front desk and narrow hallways that resemble a modern art installation. The building’s 28 uniquely decorated rooms (some share bathrooms and one boasts a revolving door and private deck) have been transformed into bright, understated spaces, with Vizio flat screen TV’s, platform beds and exposed bricks and pipes.  The shower curtain is a red recycled welding curtain, a copy of the Kama Sutra sits next to the Bible with a camouflage-style cover and the vending machine sells hangover pills, playing cards and Botan Japanese rice candies.”*

Yah baby!  This is my kind of hotel.

And they also have Brita water pitchers in each room.  Rent an LP from the front desk and listen on your own turntable.  Now this is cool.

And you’re thinking to rent a room is probably very expensive right?  Nah ah!  less than $100/night.  I’m booking my trip to New York as you’re reading this.  But there’s a waiting list of about a month, so plan ahead.


*excerpt by Jennifer Wang from Entrepreneur

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Being on the periphery of the development industry for over 20 years, I was always led to believe that no matter what type of development, no one in a community would like it and it would have to go to the OMB (the Ontario Municipal Board).  This would delay the development, costing the developer tons of lost revenue and potentially increase costs to the community.  This was unpleasantly referred to as NIMBYism (Not In My Back Yard).

It was not until a few year’s ago, when my local government decided that the top of my street would be a perfect place to build a “half-way” house of sorts for those with mental and addictive challenges, that I finally understood the outrage of a NIMBY.  It wasn’t the type of inhabitants, per se, that were a concern, but more how the building would look like and if there were any plans for monitoring and integration into our community.  Also, the fact that the community wasn’t consulted about these issues brought the community’s back up!

Well it takes the foresight of innovative collaborative thinkers to start looking at this process differently.  So I give you the 4th annual YIMBY(Yes In My Back Yard) Festival.  Held at the Gladstone Hotel on Oct. 16.

Here’s what it’s all about:

The focus of the YIMBY festival (Yes, In My Backyard) is to provide an easy-going event where people working in or interested in citizen based community development and/or neighbourhood  associations can gather and exchange ideas, strategies and celebrate the achievements of their organizations in a relaxed fair-like atmosphere. The one-day event invites groups to “turn the tables” on policy makers and invite them to see the work that we do outside of the antagonistic dynamics of official meetings.

Christina Zeidler and Magdalena Olszanowski of The Gladstone Hotel started the festival in 2006 as a result of working with neighbourhood groups who were responding to wide spread unchecked development in the Queen West Triangle. They realized that many groups are unfairly labeled NIMBY when so often they were the ones networking, sharing information and making sure that people did not get left behind in the city building process.

This October, The Gladstone Hotel with the help of Ryerson University is presenting the 4th ANNUAL YIMBY FESTIVAL and invite your group to “show and tell” what you do. We are looking for groups who want to share strategies and information with other groups and want to educate the general public, Councillors, MP and MPP’s about the issues that face your community.

Why YES?

Your group can make a difference. The focus of this festival is on positive and decisive change. The last YIMBY Festival was attended by over 45 associations and hundreds of visitors including policy makers, city councilors, MP’s and MPP’s who came to listen to YOU.

As Toronto continues to densify, as our neighbourhoods get larger and more complex, how does the citizen express hope, dreams and new ideas for the city?

Why participate in YIMBY at The Gladstone Hotel?

Broaden Awareness of Your Group: A chance to inform the general public about the issues that face your community.

Present your group’s platform to policy makers: Invitations sent to all GTA councillor nominees, MP & MPPs.

Network and Share strategies: Invitations sent to Neighbourhood groups, BIAs and Urban Issue Advocacy  groups and associations.

The Gladstone will publish participating groups on the Gladstone Website.

Event will be publicized in listings in NOW and EYE.

Table Rates very reasonable, $25 + http://gladstonehotel.comper table.

Press from the Toronto dailies, Radio and Television will be sent press releases.

Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and showcase your group in the bright and beautiful spaces of the historic Gladstone.

Participant quick FACTS:

Participation is easy!

Pre-register by contacting : yimbytoronto@gmail.com

All we need is your group’s name , contact and a brief description of your group’s mission

Attend the one-hour pre-event meeting on Oct. 5th 2010 at 7pm (Gladstone Hotel 2nd floor)


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