The Annex


The Annex isn’t your typical hotel in Toronto but is instead designed in service and amenities to feel like a home away from home. In addition to a coffee shop/bar and a restaurant on-site, this hotel’s modern set up is meant to encourage travelers to live like locals in one of Canada’s most vibrant cities.


BY: Alex Temblador Contributing writer

We call a city “home” when we’ve become ingrained in the culture, the lifestyle, know the lingo, and have our favorite barista or bartender at a local spot. It’s not too often that we visit another place and truly feel “at home,” as the modern hotel generally disconnects us from the community.

That’s not the case at The Annex.

This Toronto hotel trims down the excess found at most hotels and integrates its guests into Toronto from the get-go.

The Annex forces guests to get out and become a Toronto local, and that’s an experience you’ll want to have.

At The Annex, there’s no front desk, no bellhop, no phones, and no parking. For that matter, if you need an extra towel or a Grown Alchemist toiletry for the room, you get it from the self-serve closet. You check into your room online and text staff when you’re in need; they’re even there to have a drink in the lobby with you as they share where and what to do in Toronto – like a local.

If you didn’t know you were at a hotel, you’d think you were in your home city, grabbing what you need from your own personal cabinets or just having a drink with a friend in the lobby who knows the best scoop when it comes to restaurants, bars, and activities.

The one thing that may not be the same at home is the style of The Annex. Their spaces are light and airy, filled with local ware, top-notch bedding, and art and music derived from local artists and musicians. The rooms are comfy with free Wi-Fi, but you won’t find flat-screen TVs or cable. Instead, each room is given a 13” iPad Pro with streaming apps like Netflix and YouTube.

There is also no gym on-site, so guests are given 24-hour access to a fitness facility five minutes away, where you can work out with those who live in Toronto.

Unlike your own home, The Annex does have a café that hooks up guests with Reunion Island Coffee and breakfast bites, and then turns into a wine and cocktail bar at night that serves shareable plates. And if you get hungrier for something more than a snack, there is the Annex Commons, a pizza and taco joint with a casual setting on-site.

The Annex isn’t your typical hotel but slimmed down to provide travelers with an opportunity to feel at home in Toronto without the distractions of things like flat-screen TVs or a front desk. The Annex forces guests to get out and become a Toronto local, and that’s an experience you’ll want to have.


BMV Books is a 2-minute walk from this Toronto shelter, grab a coffee from the hotel’s shop, and get lost in some black and white print from Kerouac

The Annex Lobby changes with the sun. Stop by during the day for a light bite, and come back in the evening for a taste quenching cocktail

Sonic Boom records is a 27-minute walk. It’s worth the trek to check out one of the raddest vinyl shops in The Six—toss a new vinyl on the record player in your room

The rooms in The Annex make the stay feel more like a home away from home with a slimmed-down hotel approach, forcing guests to get out and become a Toronto local

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