As new walkable neighbourhoods and parks, artisanal shops and restaurants emerge as part of Toronto’s rapid eastward expansion, The Broadview Hotel’s owners, Streetcar and Dream Unlimited, have established the property as a key landmark. 

Built in 1891 as the offices for Dingman’s soap factory, the Romanesque building at Queen and Broadview was converted a few years later into the Broadview Hotel, but in the 1970s slid into steady decline as a boarding house and the infamous Jilly’s Strip Club.Despite its somewhat seedy appearance, the building remained an important architectural gateway and anchor to the Riverdale community.

Toronto-based design firm, DesignAgency worked closely with the owners to create the interior, and has created numerous bespoke furniture and lighting pieces throughout the hotel. 

While ERA Architects was able to restore the building’s rich architectural character, the interior features had been all but completely erased. DesignAgency looked to the building’s storied past and the neighbourhood’s youthful vibe to create an authentic atmosphere that is at once historic and contemporary, thoughtful and playful, and as laid-back and comfortable as the east-end itself.

“We are excited to be part of a movement that has taken shape over the last decade to return the Riverside neighbourhood to its original greatness,” comments Matt Davis, co-founding partner at DesignAgency.

“Through the transformation of the hotel, we embraced a building that had been unseen for a long time, and made it visible with a layering of design elements inspired by its own history. We look forward to seeing how the Broadview Hotel matures over time.”

The communal areas at the Broadview Hotel include a ground floor lobby with a light-filled café and bar – envisioned as a social hub for hotel guests as well as the surrounding community.

As a counterpoint to the other interior spaces within The Broadview Hotel, The Civic restaurant has a warmer, moodier ambiance. A palette of deep colours and materials, including green and oxblood leathers, and a walnut bar with antique brass accents infuse the space with the character of an aged tavern, also balanced by quirky twists such vintage-style floral chairs and drapery patterned with lemurs smoking hookah pipes.

The seventh floor is home to The Rooftop – a lounge and bar set in a glass box adjoined with the buildings roof terrace and historic tower. Within the building’s tower, which rises up from the corner of Queen East and Broadview, there is a private dining room with capacity for 20. Exposed brick and wood beams, and a grand vaulted ceiling contrast with a symphony of chandeliers, establishing a magical space unlike any other in the city.