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2005 04 01
The Drake - Sirens
Sirens and lights outside the hotel. Fourteen fire trucks total! A house seems to be burning down the street. Everyone in the crowd speculates.

Break-dancers preceded this in the lounge in front of the fireplace while DJ Gus played some Malcolm McLaren.
I had started the day the same way every weekday begins - A walk down my beautiful alley that takes me from my backyard directly to The Drake. I love the alleys in Toronto. Everyone is different. This one starts with a backyard barn and ends with some Graffiti. Tonight police tell me that I can’t go home via the alley.

The Drake like a microcosm of the city itself is full of the one thing that makes me love Toronto wonderful people with beautiful souls.
The morning café blasts funk while people sip lattes under a sculpture of bicycles. I spend some time there talking to Colin, Chris and Ashley. Jessica comes in to tell me she has not finished writing the March 30th installment of “Reading Toronto”.

I leave the Drake for an early meeting at 99 Sudbury St. Only a block away it is an old warehouse that contains everything you need to make a movie. I am meeting there to discuss plans with Mikhel (who owns the warehouse) and Rob about our next project. A movie called Suck. The meeting goes well but it has started to pour rain. Rob drives me the block back up to the Drake. I see Jeff Stober (owner of The Drake Hotel) and we discuss music in the lounge. He turns up the volume and we plot what we want programmed for the crowd’s listening enjoyment. Jeff wants the music to be as wonderful as the renovation of the hotel. He worked with Third Uncle to create what has become somewhat of an intentional community. A beautiful place that you don’t want to leave full of the most incredible people. I spent the rest of the day running back and forth to the Drake and various meetings. The end of the day I find myself in a packed lounge, again with Jeff, talking music and sipping a glass of Pinot Grigio. I have a box of delicious deserts from the café under my arm for dinner back at Mihkel’s house, which is inside of his movie studio-warehouse. Steak and potatoes and Churchill port passes the early evening too quickly. Mihkel’s incredible vegetarian wife grill’s the steak while I play with their very special baby – Hannah. Matt leaves for home and I head back up the block to The Drake. In the Underground (our basement performance space) we have two bands: Manervous Beat and The Quartertones. I get there in time to catch Bill Simpson (General Manager of the Drake) and we head to the Underground to enjoy some music.
Bill is always there, it is something you can count on.

The Quartertones are about to play some turntabley-jazzy-funky-soulful sounds but we catch sultry vocalist Catherine to say hi before the show. George drops in he tells us that his 96 year old grandfather died this week which makes him conflicted about traveling to an awards show where he is nominated for a Juno Award (best director for the Feist video) and they will be playing footage he shot while pinned down in the Congo with the Warchild crew and Sum 41. Also in the room are Emily from Metric and Richie Cureton. The band is great but I have seen them before I need to get home and see my girl. That brings me back to 1:27am and the fire trucks.

[email this story] Posted by The Drake Hotel on 04/01 at 11:07 PM

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