By Lory Diaz
On October 17, 2017, Roots Ice Lounge took over the CHILL Ice House at King and Bathurst Streets to celebrate the launch of their new Down Packable Jacket. Torontonicity was invited to attend the icy cool party, and put their down-feather jacket to the test in the ice bar lounge!
The Down Packable Jacket is new to the Roots family, and meets the needs of anyone wanting warm protection without having to carry a big and bulky layer. The jacket comes with a hood that fits even my large head, including my favourite top-knot bun hairstyle. Made with traceable and ethically-sourced duck down, the jacket features a ripstop shell: specially woven nylon that makes it resistant to ripping and tearing. It comes available in grey, red, blue, and black.
The ethically-sourced down feature is incredibly important, and demonstrates Roots’ commitment to responsible garment production. Each jacket has a serial number that can be entered at Track My Down. This allows you to trace the origin and quality of down used, and features reports of the down used.
The night kicked off with everyone receiving a complimentary Roots Packable Jacket, as well as Roots wool gloves and hat in their signature salt-and-pepper colouring, then entering through an industrial fridge door to the Roots Ice Lounge!
The main ice lounge space was filled with sculptures and coy private seating areas. Sculpture artists created fantastic details throughout the bar space just out of ice, including an R2D2 and C-3PO stand with which guests could get their picture taken. The bodies of both characters appeared to be made from many layers of coloured felt, and layered in a detailed technique that made them look painted from a distance. Fantastic work for any craft, art, or Star Wars fans!
The private dens had warm blankets for guests to sit on, and colourful lights, making the areas feel separate from the rest of the event space. I loved the over-sized beaded curtain made of ice that separated the two spaces!
The ice bar itself was serving up a Whiskey Sour, with a generous sprinkle of cinnamon. The cinnamon gave the drink a warmer flavour, making it appropriately comforting for the cooler temperatures inside the Chill House.
Beyond the main ice bar space, the Roots team created a cabin-inspired bar with Canadiana décor. Guests were invited to sit and warm up in repurposed ski lift seats while enjoying a glass of wine, beer, or spirits with friends! There was also delicious food and treats courtesy of the Great Canadian Food Truck. Their team was serving up traditional poutines with both a beef and veg gravy option, cheese-crusted grilled cheese sandwich, and Roots beaver bites: deep fried maple bread pudding.
I went for a classic poutine made fresh by the food truck team, and enjoyed every bite of gooey melted cheese!
I noticed that while roaming between the Roots Ice Lounge and cabin space, I was quite comfortable in my packable jacket. The main difference was needing to remove my wool hat and gloves though, as those are definitely made for the colder temperatures. As someone always on the go, I’m excited to add the Roots Down Packable Jacket to my wardrobe to make sure I’m prepared for these fluctuating temperatures Toronto has been experiencing, without adding a lot of bulk to my bag. Thanks Roots!