A champagne bar. A caviar bar. The chicest vodka martinis (housed in mini Ketel One bottles served with a straw!) amidst an Instagram-worthy ice display. A Bellini bar by Cipriani NYC. A mojito bar. A rooftop patio overlooking the city’s skyline. And the likes of supermodel Coco Rocha fluttering about the four-floor, 70,000-square-foot space.
You’d think the scene I’m describing — which drew the likes of the city’s most notable names in arts, fashion, business and philanthropy — would be a lavish party in a hotel, but in actuality it was the grand opening fête to launch RH Toronto, The Gallery at Yorkdale.
That’s right. A next-generation design gallery from the folks at Restoration Hardware, right in Yorkdale Shopping Centre.
You’d never know you were in a mall. From the inside/outside decor, the skylit courtyard cafe with Venetian plaster walls, heritage olive trees, a trickling fountain, and various floors of installations and interiors, the surroundings were extravagant, yet I don’t think anyone was surprised with just how remarkable the space was, or how it reflected a sense of home luxury to the extreme.
When invites fluttered around recently for the private party, it wasn’t simply the intrigue of such a large design space, especially to those continually looking for the latest and greatest for our homes. It was the boldface names of the host committee that told guests this party was in good hands. The committee included Rocha, Ben and Jessica Mulroney, National Post writer Amoryn Engel, architect Alex Josephson, real estate maven Krystal Koo, clothing designer Christie Smyth, and interior designer Colette van den Thillart.
The design, the drinks, the fashion — the party was sensory overload in all the right ways, with music by New York DJ Chris Malinchak punctuating the scene. Gourmet bites were sent around by RH Café, done up by celebrated restaurateur Brendan Sodikoff, who will lead an “integrated culinary experience” for famished shoppers, the first store in Canada to host a restaurant.
A selection of the city’s prettiest people — who also snacked on mini doughnuts by Sodikoff’s famed Doughnut Vault in Chicago — made the gallery their home for the night, some photographed by famed photog George Pimentel, others shamelessly shooting Instagram stories and photos, cozying up on beds and couches.
At one point, the rooftop patio was the place to be, offering up gorgeous views of the Toronto skyline. I ran into fashion lawyer Anjli Patel, who said she was happy hanging out on the top floor first. “It’s so lush and serene!”
This large-scale Restoration Hardware gallery concept is the first of its kind in Canada. RH Toronto marks Chairman and CEO Gary Friedman’s ongoing collaboration with James Gillam of Backen, Gillam & Kroeger, a firm recognized by Architectural Digest in its Top 100 architect and design firms in the world.
The event was in conjunction with Breakfast of Champions, an annual fundraiser organized by a group of young professionals in Toronto to support and bring awareness to underfunded priority areas at The Hospital for Sick Children.