It took three years, a lot of heavy lifting and no doubt much sweat dripped over details, but the grand ol' Romanesque Revival building has been restored to its former glory as Broadview Hotel.
The 125-year-old landmark of Toronto's east end has been transformed from the ground up inside and out, and is now welcoming guests as a boutique hotel and event venue.
With that, the last tenant of its down-at-heel state — Jilly's strip club — has all but vanished into memory. The inside look and feel channels the building's past and is reminiscent of the elegant decor of grand hotels of the early to mid-20th century. Brass fittings are standard, rotary telephones adorn hallways and the cafe's Victorian-era wallpaper design, replicated to match the original buried beneath years of paper jobs and uncovered during the renovation process. Let's just say Don Draper, classic cocktail in hand, wouldn't look out of place in this place.
The Broadview Hotel includes 58 guest rooms, a lobby cafe and bar, a ground-floor restaurant and a 360-degree rooftop lounge and more than 4,000 square feet of event space.
The hotel's food and drink program — conceptualized by east end restaurateurs Erik Joyal and John Sinopoli of Ascari Enoteca and Gare de l'Est — is showcased in four venues from the main floor to the rooftop. The bright lobby Cafe + Bar is open for dinner and drinks, and also makes for a pleasant spot for coffee. Later this summer, the still-under-wraps The Civiccalled The Civic (opening late summer),
The seventh floor rooftop is the real star of the show at the Broadview, offering panoramic views of the city skyline and Riverside neighbourhood. The airy interior features floor-to-ceiling windows and is well-appointed with sophisticated mid-century furnishings, all set beneath a stunning pyramidal skylight.
A rooftop bar is backed by folding doors that open onto a swanky outdoor terrace with eastern and western exposure. The patio is way out in the lead as this summer's it spot.
It all culminates in The Tower, a private dining space inside the building's original turret with finial. The crown jewel, which looms above the Queen and Broadview intersection, has seating for 20 and features a vaulted ceiling, a raw brick and wood interior with a collection of hanging vintage chandeliers that all make for an intimate atmosphere.
All of this before even entering the rooms, which blend classic and eclectic elements with nods to the past. King-sized beds are a feature in every room, as is a nightly turndown service. Guests will enjoy a variety of carefully selected amenities including a mini bar equipped with locally sourced goods curated by Good Neighbour. There's also in-room turntables, complete with a curated album selection featuring a variety of genres from jazz to hip hop provided by Tiny Record Shop. Another local partnership with luxury, plant-powered skincare brand, Graydon Skincare will allow guests to pamper themselves from head to toe during their stay.
We're heard rumours there's a stripper pole in one of the rooms, but we'll have to find out for ourselves.
The Broadview Hotel will operate in soft-launch mode over the summer until the full offering is rolled out. Rooms start at $309 and can be booked at thebroadviewhotel.ca.