Come Up to My Room

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Slideshow: the Gladstone Hotel’s weird makeover for Come Up To My Room 2014

Weird interior design takes over the Gladstone Hotel at Come Up To My Room 2014

Each year, for its annual Come Up To My Room event, the Gladstone Hotel temporarily transforms itself into a kind of art-world funhouse. Many parts of the building, but especially the rooms on the second floor, get sublimely strange makeovers by different designers, and visitors are free to wander through. It’s like exploring a series of walk-in dioramas—some lovely, others totally demented. The experience is worthwhile in itself, but it also works as counterprogramming for the annual Interior Design Show, which is as businesslike as Come Up to My Room is dark and mysterious.

Here are some photos of this year’s Come Up To My Room installations. The event runs until Sunday, January 26, and admission costs $10.

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The Weekender: Come Up To My Room, The Stop’s Beer Garden and four other events on our to-do list

Toronto Life online editor talks about the weekend’s top events on The Morning Show

1. COME UP TO MY ROOM (FREE!)
Each year, the Gladstone Hotel opens up its rooms and public spaces to artists and designers who dutifully transform them into site-specific art projects. For this tenth anniversary edition of the alt-design event, 40 artists will create 25 installations ranging from a collection of 15,000 hand-made rosaries to a full-scale playground covered in fur. January 24–27. Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W., 416-531-4635, comeuptomyroom.com

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The Weekender: Winterlicious, Come Up To My Room and six other items on our to-do list

The Weekender: Goya and Gillray, Interior Design Show 2012 and Come Up To My Room

1. WINTERLICIOUS
It seems like every culinary event these days has “licious” tacked onto the end, but it’s this semi-annual fest that started it all. Back in the tourism-light days of 2003 (thank SARS, bird flu and 9/11), the city wrangled 36 restaurants into offering up super-affordable prix fixe lunch and dinner menus. It was enough to get even the city’s non-foodies to surrender to alimentary obsession every now and again—“now” being the next two weeks for Winterlicious and “again” being another two weeks in July for the summertime version. Cue the competitive reservation making, complaints about tipping and overtired kitchen staff. Check out this year’s best bets here. Jan. 27 to Feb. 9. toronto.ca/winterlicious.

2. GOYA AND GILLRAY: HUMOUR THAT BITES
Poking fun at the ruling elite is a favourite pastime for smart alecks across the world—it has been for centuries and continues unabated to this day (see exhibit A). But it hasn’t always been easy to mock our elected leaders—take Spanish painter Francisco de Goya, for example, who produced a series of satirical miniatures, Los Caprichos, only to be forced into removing them from the public eye after threats of arrest. In this AGO exhibit, Goya’s paintings are on display alongside prints by an English contemporary, James Gillray. Unlike Goya, the English enthusiastically took to Gillray’s work (they’re so snarky), so it’s interesting to note the similarities between works created in two completely different political landscapes. To April 15. $19.50. Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St. W., 416-979-6648, ago.net.

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Come Up to My Room preview: get a sneak peek of the Gladstone Hotel’s annual design show

“Dollar Store Triptych” by Mark McLean (All images: Stefania Yarhi)

We were lucky enough to get an advance look at some of the work being set up at the Gladstone Hotel for Come Up to My Room. Some of the artists and designers have taken more radical approaches than in previous years, including the erection of huge installation pieces and maybe a little social commentary on the Dollar Store. Check out some of the exhibitions here, with our slide show »

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