Barclay Hotel – Once at Front St W & Simcoe St

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1950 - The Barclay Hotel was once located at Front St W and Simcoe St, on the northeast corner in downtown Toronto
1950 – The Barclay Hotel was once located at Front St W and Simcoe St, on the northeast corner in downtown Toronto (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1128, Series 380, Item 290)

The Barclay Hotel, originally Grand Union and later Carls-Rite, was once located at 174-180 Front St W (at Simcoe St, on the northeast corner) in downtown Toronto.

The hotel opened as the Grand Union in 1894 and had well over 100 guestrooms. It was likely named Grand Union for its proximity to the old Union Station. In the mid-1910s, the hotel was sold to the proprietors of the Walker House and renamed Carls-Rite.

In 1946, the property changed hands and underwent an extensive interior renovation. It reopened as the Barclay Hotel in 1947, and along with its updated guestrooms, the hotel featured a dining room, a grand supper-dance hall and a cocktail lounge.

When the Barclay closed in 1965 due to financial issues, it was down to about 85 rentable guestrooms and was known for its belly dancing entertainment. The contents of the hotel were auctioned off, and the building was demolished later that year. The corner became a parking lot for several decades.

In 2019, construction began on a 46-storey office tower.

Barclay Hotel Photos

July 14, 1965 - The Barclay Hotel just before its demolition. It was located on the northeast corner of Front St W and Simcoe St in downtown Toronto. Notice the content auction signs on the hotel that closed that year. The hotel site became a parking lot for decades
July 14, 1965 – The Barclay Hotel just before its demolition. It was located on the northeast corner of Front St W and Simcoe St in downtown Toronto. Notice the content auction signs on the hotel that closed that year. The hotel site became a parking lot for decades (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 124, File 15, ID 15)
April 1953 - Looking northeast towards the Barclay Hotel, once located at Front St W and Simcoe St. The building was constructed in the mid-1890s and originally known as the Grand Union Hotel
April 1953 – Looking northeast towards the Barclay Hotel, once located at Front St W and Simcoe St. The building was constructed in the mid-1890s and originally known as the Grand Union Hotel (Toronto Public Library R-5624)
1950 - The Barclay Hotel was once located at Front St W and Simcoe St, on the northeast corner in downtown Toronto. It had been previously known as the Grand Union Hotel, then the Hotel Carls-Rite before being renamed Barclay in 1947
1950 – The Barclay Hotel was once located at Front St W and Simcoe St, on the northeast corner in downtown Toronto. It had been previously known as the Grand Union Hotel, then the Hotel Carls-Rite before being renamed Barclay in 1947 (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1128, Series 380, Item 290)
1946 – A drawn image of the Hotel Carls-Rite, looking northeast towards the corner of Front St W and Simcoe St in downtown Toronto. The hotel was built in the mid-1890s and had a few name changes during its time, originally the Grand Union, later Carls-Rite and finally, the Barclay Hotel
1946 – A drawn image of the Hotel Carls-Rite, looking northeast towards the corner of Front St W and Simcoe St in downtown Toronto. The hotel was built in the mid-1890s and had a few name changes during its time, originally the Grand Union, later Carls-Rite and finally, the Barclay Hotel (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1257, Series 1057, Item 0834)
March 2, 1928 - Looking northeast towards the Hotel Carls-Rite, once located at Front St W and Simcoe St. The hotel was built in the mid-1890s and had a few name changes during its time, originally the Grand Union, later Carls-Rite and finally Barclay
March 2, 1928 – Looking northeast towards the Hotel Carls-Rite, once located at Front St W and Simcoe St. The hotel was built in the mid-1890s and had a few name changes during its time, originally the Grand Union, later Carls-Rite and finally Barclay (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 16, Series 71, Item 5683)
January 26, 1934 – Inside the Carl-Rite Hotel, once located on the northeast corner at Front St W and Simcoe St
January 26, 1934 – Inside the Carl-Rite Hotel, once located on the northeast corner at Front St W and Simcoe St (Toronto Public Library R-6479)
1915 - Postcard of the Hotel Carls-Rite Blue Room as reproduced at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, Toronto, by Miss Percy Haswell's Company in "Mam'zelle" for the week commencing April 5th, 1915
1915 – Postcard of the Hotel Carls-Rite Blue Room as reproduced at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, Toronto, by Miss Percy Haswell’s Company in “Mam’zelle” for the week commencing April 5th, 1915 (Toronto Public Library PC-3690)
March 3, 1928 - Looking south from Simcoe St towards Front St W. Notice Hotel Carls-Rite in the foreground, on the left. In the mid-1940s, it became the Barclay Hotel. The building in the centre background was the Hotel Daly
March 3, 1928 – Looking south from Simcoe St towards Front St W. Notice Hotel Carls-Rite in the foreground, on the left. In the mid-1940s, it became the Barclay Hotel. The building in the centre background was the Hotel Daly (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 16, Series 71, Item 5693)
1928 - Looking east from Simcoe St towards traffic along Front St W. Notice Hotel Carls-Rite on the left, the Hotel Daly on the right, and old Union Station in the background on the right
1928 – Looking east from Simcoe St towards traffic along Front St W. Notice Hotel Carls-Rite on the left, the Hotel Daly on the right, and old Union Station in the background on the right (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 16, Series 71, Item 5701)
Circa 1930 - Mayor Samuel McBride (the 41st mayor of Toronto) with his wife Frances Jane outside the Hotel Carls-Rite, which later became the Barclay Hotel
Circa 1930 – Mayor Samuel McBride (the 41st mayor of Toronto) with his wife Frances Jane outside the Hotel Carls-Rite, which later became the Barclay Hotel (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1257, Series 1057, Item 3515)
Circa 1912 - Postcard of the Grand Union Hotel. Built in the mid-1890s, the hotel was located on the northeast corner of Front St W and Simcoe St. It was named Grand Union for its proximity to the old Union Station
Circa 1912 – Postcard of the Grand Union Hotel. Built in the mid-1890s, the hotel was located on the northeast corner of Front St W and Simcoe St. It was named Grand Union for its proximity to the old Union Station (Toronto Public Library PC3682)
Circa 1910 - Postcard showing a guestroom at the Grand Union Hotel
Circa 1910 – Postcard showing a guestroom at the Grand Union Hotel (Toronto Public Library PC3683)
Circa 1905 – Looking east along Front St W from Simcoe St. Notice the Grand Union Hotel on the left and old Union Station tower on the right
Circa 1905 – Looking east along Front St W from Simcoe St. Notice the Grand Union Hotel on the left and old Union Station tower on the right (Toronto Public Library 2015-2-1-5)
Circa 1895 - Looking east along Front St W from just west of Simcoe St. Notice Grand Union Hotel on the left, the Daly House on the right, and old Union Station in the background on the right
Circa 1895 – Looking east along Front St W from just west of Simcoe St. Notice Grand Union Hotel on the left, the Daly House on the right, and old Union Station in the background on the right (Toronto Public Library E9-91)
Between 1931 and 1935 – Advertising for the Hotel Carls-Rite (later the Barclay Hotel), Walker House Hotel, Petrie's Garage & Parking Place near Union Station
Between 1931 and 1935 – Advertising for the Hotel Carls-Rite (later the Barclay Hotel), Walker House Hotel, Petrie’s Garage & Parking Place near Union Station (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1488, Series 1230, Item 73)
2023 - Looking east along Front St W from just west of Simcoe St in downtown Toronto
2023 – Looking east along Front St W from just west of Simcoe St in downtown Toronto
2015 - Looking northeast towards Front St W and Simcoe St in downtown Toronto. The corner was once home to Barclay’s Hotel. It was torn down in 1965 and became a parking lot for several decades. Notice the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in the distance, on the right
2015 – Looking northeast towards Front St W and Simcoe St in downtown Toronto. The corner was once home to Barclay’s Hotel. It was torn down in 1965 and became a parking lot for several decades. Notice the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in the distance, on the right (Google Maps)
2020 - Looking northeast towards Front St W and Simcoe St. The corner was once home to Barclay’s Hotel. It was torn down in 1965 and became a parking lot for several decades. In 2019, construction began on a 46-storey office tower
2020 – Looking northeast towards Front St W and Simcoe St. The corner was once home to Barclay’s Hotel. It was torn down in 1965 and became a parking lot for several decades. In 2019, construction began on a 46-storey office tower
2023 – Nearing completion of an office tower at the northeast corner of Front St W and Simcoe St. The site was once home to Barclay’s Hotel, which was torn down in 1965 and later became a parking lot
2023 – Nearing completion of an office tower at the northeast corner of Front St W and Simcoe St. The site was once home to Barclay’s Hotel, which was torn down in 1965 and later became a parking lot
1965 - The Toronto City Directory showing the address of the Barclay Hotel
1965 – The Toronto City Directory showing the address of the Barclay Hotel (Toronto Public Library)
1945 - The Toronto City Directory showing the address and phone number of Hotel Carls-Rite
1945 – The Toronto City Directory showing the address and phone number of Hotel Carls-Rite (Toronto Public Library)
1895 - The Toronto City Directory showing the address of Grand Union Hotel
1895 – The Toronto City Directory showing the address of Grand Union Hotel (Toronto Public Library)
1910 - Goads Map showing the location of the Grand Union Hotel, later the Carl-Rite Hotel and then Barclay Hotel
1910 – Goads Map showing the location of the Grand Union Hotel, later the Carl-Rite Hotel and then Barclay Hotel (Toronto Public Library)
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