History and place dictated the eclectic redesign of an East End icon

History and place dictated the eclectic redesign of an East End icon

The new Broadview Hotel has come a long way from its former lives as a factory, a boarding house and then "Jilly's" - an infamous seedy nightclub. Now, the east end landmark is a chic 58-room boutique hotel boasting a restaurant, cafe, an indoor/outdoor event space, and a rooftop bar.

Interior Designer: Allen Chan, ARIDO

Design Firm: DesignAgency

Photographer: Worker Bee Supply

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Challenges included finding space for the multiple kitchens and other ‘behind the scenes’ operational requirements and addressing instances where the new internal structure didn’t line up with its historic shell. Aesthetically, the design team wanted to retain the venue’s history and authenticity, even though the interiors had been stripped of their original features.

The building's historic architecture, its varied uses over time, and the surrounding neighbourhood character inspired the design team to explore and reference its different phases and styles. They mixed styles and periods to reinforce the eclectic layers built up over time, using an array of bespoke finishes, furniture, and lighting, mixed with a pastiche of industrial, vintage and contemporary pieces. Furniture and lighting by Canadian designers including Coolican & Company, Anony, were incorporated along with custom art from a local curator.

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A magnet for both guests and neighbours, the airy ground-floor cafe invites guests to sink into leather banquettes or gather at the white marble and brass bar under a halo of pink neon - an installation by the son of the creator of the original Jilly's sign. Custom-designed wallpaper replicates designs found during demolition, and an "eroded" floor mixing wood and tile nod to the building's history. The main-floor restaurant has the richness of a classic tavern, with surprising elements like drapery with lemurs smoking hookah pipes.

The guest rooms, the most spirited spaces of all, mix Victorian-style floral wallpaper and upholstery with deep blue ceilings, red velvet drapery, brass lighting, and even a brass rail to create a playful, modern boudoir ambiance.

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The hotel's treasure is found in the building's tower, where guests find an intimate space for private dinners. The exposed brick and wood beams of the tower's vaulted ceiling contrast with wood dining tables, leather chairs, vintage mirrors and a symphony of chandeliers - a magical space unlike any other in the city.

The hotel has won numerous awards and the seventh-floor restaurant/bar has been voted one of the top patios in Canada, delighting guests with its stunning 360-degree views. With the redesign, the hotel is now a key catalyst in Toronto's eastward expansion.

 

Allen Chan

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