The Broadview Hotel
After several years of restoration and renovation, The Broadview Hotel in Toronto has re-emerged as a 58 room boutique hotel with an array of hospitality spaces including The Broadview Café, The Civic Restaurant, the Lincoln Hall and Lincoln Terrace event spaces and The Rooftop restaurant and terrace with a private dining room in the Tower. Owners Streetcar Developments and Dream Unlimited have restored the property as a key landmark in the city’s rapid eastward expansion, which includes new walkable neighbourhoods and parks, artisanal shops and restaurants and distinctive arts organisations.
Working closely with the owners, DesignAgency was responsible for the interior design, which takes its cues from the flair and rustic glamour of film noir, as well as creating numerous bespoke furniture and lighting pieces throughout the hotel. While ERA Architects were able to restore the building’s rich architectural character, the interior features had been almost completely erased. DesignAgency looked to the building’s storied past and neighbourhood’s youthful vibe to create an authentic atmosphere that is historic, contemporary, thoughtful and playful and as laid-back and comfortable as the east end itself.
Communal areas at The Broadview Hotel include the ground floor lobby with a light-filled café and bar, envisioned as a social hub for the hotel’s guests as well as the surrounding community. Serving early morning coffee, fresh juices and late-night cocktails, the sun-soaked Broadview Café and Bar is bright and airy. The design team created custom wallpaper after discovering earlier wall coverings during the renovations. The interrupted end grain wood and over-sized hexagonal tile flooring nods to the property’s layers of history as well as the east ends informal and artistic culture. Above, a pink of a neon light softly glows setting a feminine tone. The fixture was co-created by DesignAgency and artist Erik Petersen along with local fabricator Dan Raljic.
In the lobby, a seemingly ad-hoc play of industrial, retro and contemporary pieces come together to present The Broadview Hotel’s mixing styles. Common local materials such as brick, metalwork and frosted glazing underscore the neighbourhood feeling, inviting the language of the nearby factories.
As a counterpoint to the other interior spaces within the hotel, The Civic Restaurant has a warmer, moodier ambiance. A palette of deep colours and materials, including green and oxblood leathers and walnut bar with antique brass accents infuse the space with character of an aged tavern, also balanced by quirky twists such as vintage-style floral chairs and drapery patterns with lemurs smoking hookah pipes.
The dining room aesthetic is comprised of dark and moody tones and a mix of new and vintage pieces which infuse the space with character and authenticity, all seemingly glamorous and aged.
The seventh floor is home to The Rooftop, a lounge and bar set in a glass box adjoined with the building’s roof terrace and historic tower. The hotel’s treasure is found in the building’s tower, which rises up from the corner of Queen East and Broadview. Guests enter below a custom designed neon ‘No Vacancy’ sign to find the space furnished with wood dining tables, leather chairs and vintage mirrors. Exposed brick, wood beams and a grand vaulted ceiling contrast with a symphony of chandeliers to establish a magical space unlike any other in the city.
The Rooftop restaurant greets guests with spectacular 360-degree views of the whole city from an east end perspective through expansive glazed walls and views of the stars in the night sky. Fluidly merging indoor and outdoor spaces with soothing, botanical vibes, the space offers a variety of seating options including soft banquette, lounge, table and bar seating.
All around plants add to the greenhouse inspired vibe. During the day, the bright and airy atrium – filled with jewel-toned furnishings – offers the perfect space for a sunny brunch or lunch, while in the evening, the room will blend in with the inky blackness of the night to create an intimate and elegant place to enjoy tapas and cocktails. Windows fold away to open the bar to the roof terrace, blurring the boundaries between what is inside and what is open air.
The aim for the guest rooms was to create a feminine boudoir – inspired feeling including Victorian-inspired wallpaper and upholstery by House of Hackney, dark ceilings, white marble bathrooms and brass touches for a little glamour. DesignAgency custom designed the beds, dressing tables and wet bars. White stone and glass bathrooms with gilded details establish a luminous contrast to the sultry bedrooms.
According to Matt Davis, co-founding partner at DesignAgency: “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. Through its transformation of the hotel, we embraced a building that had been unseen for a long time and made it visible with a layering design of elements inspired by its own history. We look forward to seeing how The Broadview Hotel matures over time.”