CHILL Ice House in Toronto is the first permanent ice lounge in Canada and it joins 20 others that are operating in countries around the world. I had the opportunity to check it out last week during a media event to celebrate Reyka Vodka, the Icelandic vodka which made its way into the LCBO earlier this summer. The PR event of Iceland meets Ice House made a lot of sense and certainly was a lot of fun.
With all of the ice crafted by hand and Gatsby’s Tale speakeasy in the back room, this venue provides a unique experience perfect for parties, VIP events, and large groups. It’s $20.00 for an adult entry, although they also offer student, senior and children discounts, as well as group discounts.
According to CHILL’s website, the idea for the CHILL Ice House in Toronto originated with Gresham Bayley who spent his free time during his university years working with Iceculture, one of the world’s leading ice sculpture companies.
Upon entering, guests are provided with designer capes and gloves to help handle the -5-degree chill of an environment constructed of ice, including the walls, bar, furniture, curtains and the glasses. CHILL also has a variety of ice sculptures that change throughout the year based on a specific theme being celebrated. During Been Here Done That’s visit, they still had ice sculptures on display that had been designed for the Olympics. Their website states that the venue uses airlock rooms, LED lighting, natural light, and recycled and reclaimed materials to assist CHILL in using less energy.
The ability to brand the ice room and interior around an event or party is just one of the unique experiences that CHILL offers. They host many events throughout the year as they partner with various brands; Reyka Vodka, as mentioned, on the night we were there. After spending 15-20 minutes in the ‘ice lounge’ (which is recommended) we were invited to warm up in Gatsby’s Tale speakeasy, which has a pub feel to it. Equipped with a bar and comfy chairs, it’s a very casual space that could be used for a variety of functions.
The Reyka Vodka event included speciality drinks: we tried the ‘Chill & Fresh‘ and a watermelon flavored vodka shot, super yummy appetizers including Reyka Soaked Sour Cherry Nitrogen Ice Cream and delicious sliders. CHILL even sculpted the Reyka logo into their ice bar.
We had such an awesome time at CHILL Ice House for the Reyka Vodka launch party. The staff is warm and friendly, and the ambience is chill. It’s hard to believe this venue is an ice house considering its so hot!
By Kat Harlton
Photos by Tiffany Shum