1 Hotel Toronto : a Biophilic Hotel in the City

1 Hotel Toronto : a Biophilic Hotel in the City

1 Hotel Toronto is a biophilic hotel that celebrates the beauty of Toronto’s natural environment

Look at this! The biophilic hotel of dreams. I don’t think I could have imagined a more perfect hotel if I had tried. All of you who know my love of biophilic design will recognise that this is my idea of heaven. If my home could look like this I would never leave.

This is 1 Hotel in Toronto which was designed by leading New York architecture and design studio The Rockwell Group. It is Canada’s first mission-driven hotel that celebrates the beauty of Toronto’s natural environment. The concept for the hotel is to turn urbanism inside out by creating an oasis in the heart of the city. This inviting portal to the natural world is a new standard in sustainable luxury experiences.

The outside of 1 Hotel Toronto

“We have long admired 1 Hotels’ sustainable and eco-friendly ethos, and we are thrilled to have been given the opportunity to design the new 1 Hotel Toronto with a biophilic emphasis. Our vision for the hotel invites guests to celebrate Toronto’s ecology through materiality and locally-made artwork.”

David Rockwell, Founder, Rockwell Group

The lobby of 1 Hotel Toronto, a biophilic hotel that celebrates the beauty of Toronto’s natural environment

Lake Ontario and the passing of the seasons provided the inspiration for the material palette and muted colours that feature in this biophilic hotel. Clever use of reclaimed timber, native plants, board-formed concrete, and local marble all add to the biophilic credentials of 1 Hotel.

The stunning lobby area is a warm and welcoming space and the floor-to-ceiling windows create a seamless transition between the outdoors and the inside. The reclaimed Elmwood flooring and shelving have been sourced from a
dismantled barn in Ontario. The 4.5 metre-high ceilings provide a feeling of spaciousness and the entrance to the hotel features a mix of granite and limestone boulders, maple trees, local plants, warm wood, and a trailing green canopy, all reminiscent of Canada’s natural landscape.

The living wall at 1 Hotel Toronto, a biophilic hotel that celebrates the beauty of Toronto’s natural environment

Other sustainable design details in this biophilic hotel include a living green wall, found objects, local stone and reclaimed furnishings from materials such as elmwood and teak root.

The check-in area where guests are welcomed by hotel staff features an impressive stone wall carved out of glacial activity along the Eramosa River. The wood-like striations of the wall provide a perfect backdrop to an art installation designed by Toronto-based artists Moss & Lam.

The check-in desk at at 1 Hotel Toronto

1 Hotel is not short of places to dine and drink as it boasts two restaurants and two bars. 1 Kitchen is located in a glass-walled conservatory-like space that is flooded with light and filled with greenery that is hung from the carved trusses of the vaulted ceiling.

The restaurant at 1 Hotel Toronto, a biophilic hotel that celebrates the beauty of Toronto’s natural environment

Madera is the other restaurant on-site and is an organic Mexican restaurant. It has a much more elegant and grown-up feel to it although it does follow the design cues of the hotel. Sand-blasted textured wood, greenery, wooden dining chairs crafted by Benchmark, reclaimed live edge wood tabletops, artistic handmade vessels, and modern, vibrant lighting all enhance the feeling of being close to nature.

The restaurant at 1 Hotel Toronto

Harriet’s is an open concept rooftop sushi bar with sliding glass walls and a retractable roof. It has breathtaking city and lake views. The woven rope ceiling interspersed between wood beams, reclaimed Elmwood flooring and leather and lambskin accents recall Toronto’s flora and fauna.

The rooftop sushi bar at 1 Hotel Toronto

One of my favourite areas of the hotel is the Garden pavilion which provides a private outdoor seating area partitioned from the outdoors with a graphic pergola-like structure that is again adorned with hanging greenery and flanked with wooden boxes full of fresh herbs.

The garden pavillion at 1 Hotel Toronto, a biophilic hotel that celebrates the beauty of Toronto’s natural environment

The guest rooms at 1 Hotel are calming and serene spaces that act as relaxing sanctuaries. The light and airy rooms feature sliding barn wood doors that divide the bedroom from the bathroom. Behind the bed, a natural wood accent wall acts as a backdrop to the leather headboard.

The guestroom at 1 Hotel Toronto
The guestroom at 1 Hotel Toronto
The bathroom at 1 Hotel Toronto
The bathroom at 1 Hotel Toronto, a biophilic hotel that celebrates the beauty of Toronto’s natural environment
The apartment at 1 Hotel Toronto, a biophilic hotel that celebrates the beauty of Toronto’s natural environment
The balcony at 1 Hotel Toronto
The rooftop pool at 1 Hotel Toronto

Travelling may still be a little tricky at the moment, but once restrictions ease and things become more straightforward, how nice would it be to visit this beautiful Canadian biophilic hotel?

The Goal-Setting Session I Hold With Friends Four Times a Year

The Goal-Setting Session I Hold With Friends Four Times a Year

Every January, I sit down with three of my girlfriends for a goal-setting session that’s going on its fourth annual iteration. We held our inaugural session in 2019 after attending a vision board workshop with a local creative entrepreneur — we took what we learned and molded it into our own tradition to develop goals across our personal lives, careers, and passions. We write down abstract visions and action steps. We discuss how we want to feel in our future. And, each quarter, we meet to discuss how we’ve progressed.

Last year, the goals among our group included buying a home, launching a rental property, getting into the dating world, and having a baby. While not everything was totally in our control, by Dec. 31, we’d put those goals into the world and all of us had achieved (or were on the way to achieving) them. 

It’s incredible that we all saw success with our goals in 2021. That won’t happen every year. But by meeting four times a year to discuss progress and plans, it helps us celebrate the wins big and small and reroute as needed. 

Here’s how we do it. Note: The first two sections are typically done only in January, and the last two are revisited quarterly. 

20 Minutes to Brain-Dump Keywords Across Personal, Career, and Passion

Our first exercise is designed to brain-dump the keywords, concepts, and ideas that you want to bring into your life over the next year. These don’t need to be concrete goals yet. Split these into three categories: personal, career, and passion. 

Under personal, you might write “save more, text a friend whenever I think of her, redecorate my apartment in a way that feels less Insta-inspired and more me.” Career could include “meet peers in my industry, ask for a raise.” You could jot down “paint more, pursue hobbies without monetization, focus on vulnerability” under passion.

Then, take just a minute or two to create a “no thank you” list where you’ll toss away all the things you want to leave behind, like toxic relationships, saying yes to everything, wasted time scrolling through Instagram, or too much alcohol.

10 Minutes to Write Down Your Holistic Vision 

This is where things get abstract before they get back on track toward the actionable. Take 10 minutes to think deeply about what you want your life to look like in a year. Reflect on how you feel now and how you want that to change in the next 365 days — or whether you would be happy to bring in more of what you have in the current moment. If you do a word of the year, set that now.

Write down the feelings, emotions, landscapes, achievements, experiences, and people that surround you in your ideal future. Maybe you want to feel curious, loved, and at peace in a cottage in the country. Perhaps you want to feel settled, successful, and with your closest friends at a raucous party. These are in-the-clouds concepts. Once you’ve tackled one year, take a few more minutes to go even bigger. Write down how you want to feel in 10 years.

20 Minutes to Break Down Step One Into Specific Goals

Now it’s time to buckle down. Go through the items you wrote down in the first step and choose which you want to prioritize over the next year. Break those down into specific goals and steps. 

If one of your personal goals is to walk more, your steps could look like “take two 20-minute walks a day. If an errand is within a one-mile radius, walk instead of rideshare.” If your career goal is to meet others in your industry, write down, “Once a month, reach out to someone I would like to know for a virtual coffee. Organize a once-a-quarter professional dinner with people I’d like to connect with.” 

10 Minutes to Wrap Up With Immediate Action Items

With specific goals in mind, the last step is to look at which ones you want to tackle in this quarter and put immediate and short-term action items down on paper. Write down the moves you can make starting today and through the rest of the quarter. 

Revisiting the “walk more” goal, your immediate action items could be “block twice-daily walks in my Outlook calendar” and “make sure my Apple Watch is synced,” and your short-term goal before the end of the quarter could be “hit 10K steps five days a week.” For the career networking goal, consider: “Write down a list of 12 people for the monthly coffee dates” or “join Bumble Bizz” in the immediate and “schedule the first professional dinner” in the short term.

Every three months, come back to your goals as a group. Look at which ones are still priorities in your life and how you can shift your actions to get closer to them. Set new immediate and short-term action items for new quarterly goals, and reassess as needed. 

Remember this is a fluid process and you can adjust throughout the year. But the importance of coming back quarterly is to refocus and maintain sight of the bigger picture.

Step Up Your Seating with These Stylish Sofas and Accent Chairs from Grandin Road

Step Up Your Seating with These Stylish Sofas and Accent Chairs from Grandin Road

Grandin Road

$2699.00

Few pieces are as stylish (and timeless!) as a leather Chesterfield-style sofa. This structured, polished piece touts the trademark tufting, curved arms, and rich leather finish typically associated with the style, bringing a stately feel to any room. Leather not your thing? The silhouette also comes in a slew of velvet hues (like blush, olive, navy, and cream) too.