Toronto’s Soho House: a five-point primer
By Anna Silman
An artist's rendering of our new home away from home (Image: Soho House Group)
Members of Toronto’s artsy elite are finally being offered a taste of international exclusivity. Come September, there’ll be no more need to slum it in public venues or to rub shoulders with the plebs. Why? Because Toronto is finally getting its very own Soho House, timed perfectly to coincide with this year’s TIFF festivities.
Soho House, for the uninitiated, is a ritzy members-only club catering to various creative types. When Toronto gets one, it’ll join an impressive roster of cities that already play host to Soho House’s glamorous vision. There are currently 10 locations worldwide, with five more in the works, including Toronto’s.
But what does this really mean for Toronto’s cool-quotient, and how will Toronto’s Soho House measure up against its international counterparts? We give you a five-point run-down of what to expect from Soho House’s new Toronto digs.
Size doesn’t matter, right? The Manhattan Soho House takes up 45,000 square feet, while the forthcoming Istanbul location will be the largest Soho House ever, spanning three buildings. Yet plans for the Toronto location are substantially less ambitious, consisting of a fairly humble 10,000 square foot space. But as the old adage goes, it’s not the size that matters — it’s how you use it.
No slumber parties. Soho House’s focus on accommodation seems to be ever-widening, with the new Barcelona location slated to feature 60 bedrooms and a whopping 88 rooms for the proposed Istanbul digs. Yet Torontonians looking to spend a night away from home will find themselves sadly out of luck, as there are apparently no plans for bedrooms. Still, enough strategically-directed flirting could produce an invite home with one of the club’s well-to-do members — and if you’re lucky, maybe even breakfast the next morning.
Pretzels are sweet. While it may not be on par with Miami’s vast hedonistic pleasure-kingdom, the facilities at the Toronto Soho House are nothing to scoff at. The space will feature a rooftop bar, a library, a house kitchen and a pantry bar, but the big draw comes from a lounge area entitled Pretzel Bell Bar Lounge.
If you get in, you are cool by definition. With other Soho Houses having played host to A-Listers such as Jude Law and Nicole Kidman, the new Soho House looks like it might be your best bet if you’re looking to spot some celebs at TIFF come September. Here’s the bad news: to be considered for membership, one has to be recommended by a Soho House committee member, followed by a rigorous screening process.
Toronto is less sucky now than it was last week. While Soho House has held pop-up houses in Toronto for the past three years (with a string of fabulous parties to boot), the announcement of a permanent Toronto location is a major ego-boost for a city grappling with a chronic case of low self-esteem.
Soho House, 192 Adelaide St. W.