One of Toronto's iconic heritage buildings is finally being revitalized as work is underway at the New Broadview Hotel on the corner of Queen Street and Broadview Avenue in Toronto's Riverside District. The former site of Jilly's has been a hot topic since it was announced that Streetcar Developments purchased the site last year, later revealing that the Victorian-era building would be restored and returned to its former function as a boutique hotel. A recent visit to the site reveals scaffolding covering the main south and east facades as restoration and demolition work have begun. The new hotel will feature a restored historic facade, refurbished interiors, and a new addition on the north side, designed by heritage specialists ERA Architects.

View of the Broadview Hotel under construction, image courtesy of Craig White.

The Broadview Hotel was constructed in 1891, originally functioning as a public hall and office building. Sixteen years later, it was transformed into a hotel which lasted until the 1970s, when it was converted into a boarding house with Jilly's strip club on the main floor, for which it is most famously known. In 2014, the tenants were evicted when Streetcar Developments purchased the building, and plans were announced to revitalize the deteriorating structure.

View of the Broadview Hotel under construction, image courtesy of Craig White

The new hotel will feature 57 rooms, with a rooftop bar and an executive suite in the southeast tower, overlooking the intersection of Queen and Broadview. The three-storey section on the northern end will be retrofitted to accommodate a new guest entrance, with a glass-clad addition constructed on top. Steel beams and columns can already be seen rising from the roof, as a probable elevator core pokes out on the western side of the building. A ground-floor restaurant will complete the transformation of the building and add to the ambiance and street life of the bustling neighbourhood.

Steel columns and beams can be seen rising from the northen end of the Broadview Hotel, image courtesy of Craig White

Along with necessary structural repairs, the red brick exterior of the building will be meticulously restored in the development. The Romanesque-style building features sweeping arches and intricate stone and brick detailing throughout its two main street facades. The developer and architects have ensured that the historic features of the iconic building will be preserved.

Some close-up details of the intricate red brick facade which will be fully restored, image courtesy of Craig White

The New Broadview Hotel is just a small, yet exciting hint at the changes in store for the Riverside neighbourhood. Streetcar Developments is also in the process of designing its nearby Riverside Square project, which will see some underutilized lands along the Don River between Queen Street and Eastern Avenue redeveloped into a mixed-use residential and commercial complex. The project, designed by RAW Design and Giannone Petricone Associates, is comprised of four buildings varying in height, rising from a four-storey front on Queen Street to a 24-storey tower at the rear centre of the property. The development will feature 894 condominium units, with plenty of retail and additional services, including a new woonerf street cutting through the property. Streetcar Developments has already made themsleves known on Queen Street East, with their recent condo projects in the area, Edge Lofts and Sync Lofts, and several other projects in the adjacent neighbourhoods. As we watch with anticipation for the opening of the New Broadview Hotel, the transformation in Riverside is only just beginning.

Rendering of the proposed Riverside Square development, image courtesy of Streetcar Developments

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