Skip to main content

F is for Fanfare: A Stay at the Target Pop-Up Hotel (You Know Target is Canada-Bound, Right?)

How do you continue to build awareness around the opening of your first retail locations in Canada when ribbon-cutting won't happen for another few months? If you're Target, you take over a swish boutique hotel for TIFF and invite local types to stay. (One local type has a new Instagram habit.)
  • Author:
  • Updated:
Target Hotel_roomkey

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?

Target Hotel_front view

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.)

Target Hotel_front

Door-dude was handsome in his red-velveteen suit. And perhaps a little toasty -- it was still summer.

Target Hotel_lounge

Target Hotel_screen divider

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.

Target Hotel_elevator

Target Hotel_bed

Target Hotel_bedside

Target Hotel_room chair

Target Hotel_mirrored snack box

Snacks were thoughtfully provided in this mirrored box.

Target Hotel_powerstick

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).

Target Hotel_duckies

I had roommates.

Target Hotel_duckies close

They slept in the tub.

Target Hotel_pulled pork tacos

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.

Target Hotel_mug

Coffee at midnight -- I don't need a room-service menu for that. And yes, I snagged a mug, although not this one (#housekeeping).

Target Hotel_glass

At lunch, you might say I drank the Target Hotel water.

Target Hotel_John

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.

Target Hotel_Matt

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.

Target Hotel_Dean and Saramaybe

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.

Target Hotel_Airstream and Bullseye mascot toy

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.)

Target Hotel_Beck Taxi red

So how does the Target pillow look in the back of a Beck Taxi?

Target Hotel_Beck Taxi white

Red side or white?

Target Hotel_red or white in the back of a Beck Taxi

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.