In the sometimes friendly, mostly fierce competition between Montreal and Toronto it seems that no stone is left unturned in the war of oneupsmanship. The latest battlefield? Ice castles.
More specifically, entirely frozen establishments. While Montreal has long had a seasonal Ice Hotel as part of their winter Snow Village in Parc Jean-Drapeau, Toronto is about to up the stakes by making things permanent. Anticipated to open this March (if everything goes according to plan), the Chill Ice House is going to bring King West the world’s largest year-round ice lounge. Within the 1,300 square-feet of frozen fabulousness will be a bar featuring tables, chairs, and glassware all made of ice. Don’t worry… guests will be provided with parkas so that they don’t catch Belvedere-induced hypothermia in the perpetually -5C to -10C lounge.
The brains behind the brrrs, entrepreneur Gresham Bayley, has opened up ice lounges around the world with his company Iceculture Inc. though the upcoming location at King and Bathurst will be his largest endeavor yet. Bayley is in talks to partner up with King West staple Rodney’s Oyster House to bring a Canadian tapas-style menu to a non-frozen events space adjacent to the frozen fun. Cool? Ice cold.