Celebs may have had star treatment at hotels such as the swanky Ritz-Carlton during TIFF, but a few Canadian media types had a unique experience courtesy of Target Canada. In a broad, bright red stroke of promotional genius, the company took over a downtown boutique hotel, dressed it in bullseye hues and motifs, and invited people to stay at the Target Hotel. Er -- you know Target is opening its first Canadian stores next year, yes?
Underneath its traffic-stopping swaths of red, the Target pop-up hotel is really The Templar, a new 27-room boutique hotel in downtown Toronto at 348 Adelaide St. W. A beautiful modern space designed by Del Terrelonge, The Templar opened for business a few months ago. A spa is coming soon. (Photo courtesy of Veritas Communications.)
Door-dude was handsome in his red-velveteen suit. And perhaps a little toasty -- it was still summer.
The task of turning The Templar's elegant, eclectic interior into a cheerful, cheeky ode to Target was handled by corporate event planner Jeffry Roick of McNabb Roick Events. Below: the elevator was dressed in its own Target rug.
Snacks were thoughtfully provided in this mirrored box.
This powerstick comes in handy now that my Samsung Galaxy (first model) runs out of juice in about half a day (no, it's not because I have too many programs and apps open).
I had roommates.
They slept in the tub.
There was no room service menu. Guests could order whatever they wanted; the chef would make it. I can't work like that -- I need guidelines. So I ordered off The Templar's lounge menu. Two thumbs up for the three dishes I tried during my stay: pulled-pork tacos with taro shells, gnocchi, and steamed pork buns.
Coffee at midnight -- I don't need a room-service menu for that. And yes, I snagged a mug, although not this one (#housekeeping).
At lunch, you might say I drank the Target Hotel water.
The hotel was brilliantly within walking distance of various TIFF appointments I'd made. But even more brilliant was complementary shuttle service via vehicles such as the one above and nice people such as John (and Ryan, not shown) with much better driving skills than mine. Traffic was hellish, though. Couldn't help that.
Even rainy days had a kind of Target charm. This is Matt, a good sport for standing in the drizzle so I could snap an Instacrutch photo. He's part of The Templar staff, I think -- all super nice, capable and amused at everything happening around them.
Passersby couldn't stay at the Target Hotel, but they could enjoy free coffee and chocolate from the Airstream trailer parked out front. I happened upon Dean and his co-hort I want to call Sara (her name's somewhere in my head, but stuck under something) when he was enthusiastically sweeping debris from the sidewalk.
Inside the trailer, a toy Bullseye mascot looked comfy on the banquette.
This is Bullseye for real -- she arrived in time to take part in the Target/CBC Q After Dark shindig to celebrate Q host Jian Ghomeshi's new book, 1982. (Photo pre-Instagram courtesy of Veritas Communications.)
So how does the Target pillow look in the back of a Beck Taxi?
Red side or white?
No seriously, which side looks better?
And yes, I asked when we might know what beauty brands Target might bring over the border; no news yet.