Branding The Metcalfe Hotel

Creating a Brand for Ottawa’s Newest Independent Boutique Hotel

Over the years we’ve created brands for a number of independent hotels in Ottawa and other parts of Canada. Working on the brand for The Metcalfe Hotel in Ottawa turned out to be one of our favourite independent hotel brands to work on.

A few years before we were asked to work on the branding of a new independent boutique hotel that was operating as Hotel Indigo Ottawa, we had rebranded, their sister property, the historic Lord Elgin Hotel.

A Building Rich in History

There was an interesting back story to the building that now houses The Metcalfe Hotel. It was originally built as a state-of-the-art YMCA. It opened, after a public fundraising campaign and to great fanfare and line-ups in 1909. At the time, Metcalfe Street looked quite different than it does today with a brand new gothic-style library funded by Andrew Carnegie across the street, and a Masonic Temple right next door.

“McGill Buckley was able to quickly capture and articulate a unique vision and exciting look for our new independent hotel brand.”

 ~ Kim Jones, General Manager, The Metcalfe Hotel


Independent in Attitude and Proudly Local

One of the first things we did was to begin work on a brand vision, positioning and messaging for the new boutique hotel. We held a brand discovery session with the management and staff, researched the century history of the building and looked at other boutique hotels in Ottawa and around the world.

We came back with recommendations that the new hotel should position itself as “independent in attitude” and “proudly local in its offerings” — suggested that staff should reflect the warmth, knowledge and helpfulness of friendly tour guides. We also suggested that products offered in the restaurant and elsewhere be sourced from local suppliers such as craft breweries, cheese makers, coffee roasters, etc.

Establishing the look, feel and personality of The Metcalfe Hotel brand

Once we had the brand positioning and messaging where we wanted it, we moved on to developing the hotel logo, marketing and in-room materials, signage and visual standards that were used to design and build the new website and set up social media profiles.

Since opening in 2018, The Metcalfe garnered rave reviews and a loyal clientele. Hopefully, they will be back to providing their special style of hospitality on the other side of the pandemic.

Need our strategic and creative expertise?