The building that houses The Broadview Hotel has plenty of stories to tell: this landmark of Toronto’s east end has gone from neighbourhood gem to bawdy boarding house and back again. Don’t let the grand old dame’s Victorian façade fool you – there’s plenty of fun to be had inside. From sipping Snow Bunny cocktails at the rooftop bar to spinning vinyl in your bedroom or setting out to explore the Distillery District, you’ll never be bored at the Broadview.
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A free cocktail each on the rooftop, in the Bistro and Bar or the Civic Dining Room
Noon. Earliest check-in, 3pm. Both are flexible, subject to availability and an additional CA$30 charge.
Double rooms from £274.36 (CA$428), including tax at 17.52 per cent.
Rates don’t usually include breakfast. At the Broadview Bistro, you’ll find a full à la carte breakfast menu (prices start from about CA$15).
There’s no gym on-site but the front desk can arrange for free classes at two local fitness studios. The hotel also holds its own group yoga class every Tuesday and mats are available at the front desk for in-room downward dogs.
At the hotel
WiFi, valet parking. In rooms: TV with chromecast, minibar, turntable and selection of vinyl, organic bath products, free still and sparkling water, tea and a Bodum coffee press with locally roasted coffee.
Our favourite rooms
Thoughtful additions like minibars filled with local neighbourhood treats, a turntable with a selection of vinyl (from Tiny Record Shop on Queen Street) and smart TVs that sync with your phone make bedrooms very hard to leave. Each has its own personality, too, thanks to the building’s quirky Victorian details. If you’re staying during summer, opt for the King Terrace which has a private patio.
Sunglasses for afternoons on the rooftop and extra room in your suitcase if you plan on hitting the Distillery District’s boutiques.
All common areas and three King Traditional bedrooms are wheelchair accessible.
Small and medium sized dogs are welcome for a charge of CA$40 a booking. Beds, bowls and treats will provided and pets must not be left unattended. Coordinate housekeeping with staff in advance. See more pet-friendly hotels in Toronto.
All ages are welcome, though this bolthole is better suited to adults. Families should opt for a King Sitting room which has a sofa bed.
The hotel endeavours to reduce their carbon footprint, the hotel source all of its produce and products from local companies.
The squishy sofas at The Broadview Bistro and Bar are good spots for getting your creative juices flowing (or just tackling your inbox).
Athleisure is acceptable at the Broadview Bistro but it’s snazzier at the Civic – we’d don a velvet blazer to match the sultry mood.
Executive chef Richard Singh designed the culinary concept for the hotel’s three restaurants (you’re in safe hands – his CV includes stints at Noma, The Fat Duck and Per Se). The light-filled all-day hub is The Broadview Bistro and Bar which will take you seamlessly from croissants to cocktails. Things get taken up a notch at The Civic which serves haute Canadian cuisine in a film noir-inspired dining room that’s all walnut wood, oxblood banquettes and gleaming brass fixtures. Take the lift to The Rooftop for craft cocktails, sharing plates and 360° views of downtown.
The bistro bar has a selection of classic pre-dinner cocktails that change seasonally. On the rooftop, try the famous Ski Bunny (tequila, Aperol, carrot, orange and torched rosemary) or the Double Black Diamond (whisky, sweet vermouth, Cointreau and absinthe mist).
The bistro is open from 7am to 10pm; the Civic closes at 10pm on Wednesdays and 11pm Thursday-Saturday; the rooftop closes at 10pm weeknights and midnight on weekends.
The full Bistro menu is available as room service during opening hours. After 10pm, you can turn to your not-so-minibar – it’s full of snacks, chocolate, full size spirits, local wines and beers.
The Broadview resides between the Leslieville and Riverside neighbourhoods in Toronto’s ever-evolving east end.
Toronto’s Pearson International Airport (YYZ) is 40 minutes by car from the hotel. The airport has regular flights to most major US and international cities, and is the main hub for Air Canada.
Union Station is a 15-minute drive away with swift service to Montreal, Quebec City and Ottawa via Via Rail. Plenty of taxis wait outside.
Toronto’s streets are friendly to pedestrians so you can do without wheels. However, there’s car hire at the airport and valet parking at the hotel for $35 a day.
Purchase a Presto pass to get around the city by public transport. The 501 and 504 streetcars stop right by the hotel.
Worth getting out of bed for
In this lesser-seen side of Toronto, what you lose in classic skyline views you’ll more than make up for in food markets, green spaces and creative spirit. You don’t need to go far to find fun: bars and boutiques bloom in the surrounding streets of Riverside and Leslieville.
Walk twenty minutes to find the cobbled lanes of North America's largest Victorian industrial complex – the historic Distillery District is now a delightful pedestrianised area of warehouses converted into cute cafés, galleries and craft shops.
Stocked up on granola? Hit the hiking and biking trails of the Don River Valley Park – there’s an entrance just five minutes from the hotel’s front door. Or rent a paddleboard and hit Woodbine Beach, one of Toronto’s most popular spots along the lake.
The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) houses works that span from the classic (Rubens) to the very contemporary, with an exhaustive calendar of exhibits, talks and screenings. The building is a landmark in itself – it was revamped and expanded in 2008 by Frank Gehry.
For breakfast or brunch, Bonjour Brioche is a must. This wildly popular French bakery is known for pumping out the best baguettes, croissants and quiches in the city. The humble but heavenly White Lily Diner has classics like bagels, patty melts and a ridiculously good Reuben. The intimate Greta Solomon’s Dining Room in Leslieville has just 28 seats, but serves some of the best French food in Toronto. There’s an exclusively French wine list, too, featuring lots of small, biodynamic and organic vineyards. And for a special occasion, book ahead at Alo, one of Canada’s best restaurants for classic dishes (like Nova Scotia lobster) and masterful cocktails.
Just across from the hotel is Brickworks Ciderhouse, the city’s first cidery, perfect for either a quick can or a full, cider-sloshed feast. On Dundas Street West, Mahjong Bar is a sexy speakeasy with kitschy cocktails and Chinese bar snacks like shrimp dumplings and Shanghai beef noodles.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this sociable stay in Ontario and unpacked their vintage and vinyl, a full account of their Canadian city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside the Broadview Hotel in Toronto…
Built in 1891, the towering Romanesque building that houses the Broadview Hotel was once a gathering spot for prominent Torontonians. During the twentieth century, its fortunes waned – from the 1970s, it was home to Jilly’s, the city’s sleaziest strip club (myths abound, including one about a live tiger on stage). Now, thanks to a full-scale renovation, the Broadview has been reborn as an impeccably stylish boutique hotel with a year-round rooftop, an all-day bistro and an upscale Canadian restaurant called The Civic. The interiors mix the Victorian and the modern to great effect with playful references to the Jilly’s era (no live tigers, though – we checked). The neighbourhood is also on the up – once overlooked in favour of the statelier west side, Toronto’s east end is booming and beloved by locals as the city’s creative hotspot.