Easily outmuscling the recently shuttered Dangerous Dan's as a Queen and Broadview landmark, Toronto's former Jilly's strip club has been reintroduced to the urban fold as the new Broadview Hotel. Now a boutique inn in the mould of the west end's Drake and Gladstone hotels, the 126-year old Richardsonian Romanesque building was formally reintroduced to the city in the early evening hours of July 27th.
Led by Streetcar Developments and Dream Unlimited, the redevelopment has been in the works since 2014, when Streetcar purchased what was still an operational strip club. Once the Jilly's lease expired, however, the developers set about restoring a building that was somewhat dramatically described as being "on the verge of collapse." Initially a meeting hall, the building was retrofitted into a hotel in 1907, before becoming a strip club in the 1970s.
At the time, widespread concerns about gentrification—and condoification—prompted a dialogue about the changing Riverside community, with #jillyscondos quickly becoming a trending topic on Twitter. However, while the impeding redevelopment certainly signalled socio-economic change, condominiums weren't in the works. Instead, the redevelopment called for a 58-room hotel, along with a restaurant and a café at street level, and a showpiece seventh-floor terrace bar.
Masterminded by heritage specialists ERA Architects, the restoration plan was a good one. By the time the restored exterior of the Robert Ogilvie-designed 1891 building was lit in October of 2016, the project was already drawing plaudits for the meticulous and aesthetically sensitive approach taken with the reconstruction and expansion. Now topped by a three-storey glass addition at the building's north end, the quietly tactful combination of new and old wisely eschews a less graceful attempt to reproduce the original architectural language.
With the red ribbon now cut and the rooms beginning to take reservations, the hotel's ground floor café—located just north of Queen—has also opened, while construction continues in the restaurant space as finishing touches are added to the exterior. Upstairs, the rooftop bar is framed by an impressive terrace. Given Riverside's low-rise character, the mid-rise space opens out to panoramic views, stretching out in all directions from just above Toronto's distinctive green canopy.
As expected from a boutique hotel in a restored 19th century building, the requisite array of hipster accoutrements adorns each room. Record players are complemented by vinyl selections from the nearby Tiny Record Shop, while Graydon Skincare cosmetics—described as "plant-powered skincare"—accent the bathrooms, and local art from Tatar Art Projects and Project Gallery graces every guestroom. Starting at just over $300 per night, the rooms all feature king-size beds and luxury linens, with interiors appointed by DesignAgency.
The new hotel also introduces two event spaces to the east end. On the second floor, the 3,000 ft² Lincoln Hall emerges onto a 1,000 ft² patio, while the historic fifth floor rooftop's vaulted ceilings are now home to a one-of-a-kind event space dubbed The Tower.
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|Related Companies:||DesignAgency, Dream Unlimited, ERA Architects, Kentwood, Streetcar Developments|