Named after a downtown Toronto neighborhood, the Annex is a fresh take on the boutique hotel experience that helps guests feel like locals. In a century-old, brick-and-industrial steel building that originally housed horse stables, the Annex is a hybrid hospitality concept that is part Airbnb, part boutique hotel.

Designed by Toronto–based architecture practice StudioAC in collaboration with the Gauley Brothers and Moss, the carefully curated hotel reflects the local community: all of the spaces feature the work of hand-picked local artists, musicians, and chefs. 

Unique in layout in response to the building’s street front site, the plan runs from side to side, allowing for daylight-filled spaces with multiple windows and inventive, built-in furniture solutions. Elements in the rooms were built mostly from plywood, including a long millwork piece that extends from one side of the suite to the other, changing from an end surface to a desk, and even a washroom vanity. The minimally designed interiors respect the industrial, historic nature of the space with a contemporary aesthetic that brings new life into the building. 

Design shines at this hotel, and so do the amenities. The home-away-from-home concept does away with formalities like a front desk (you check in online, get a code to unlock your room, and text the staff), TVs (you get a 13″ iPad Pro to stream your favorite shows), or a gym (you get 24-hour access to a facility five minutes away)—in favor of tailored perks that engulf guests in the local culture. From a breakfast bar with delectable pastries to a wine bar with locally sourced shared plates, there are plenty of opportunities to engage with fellow travelers or local residents in a well-designed space.