The Broadview Hotel is located at 704 Queen St E, with an entrance address of 106 Broadview Ave (on the northwest corner) in the Riverside neighbourhood of Toronto.
Originally Known as Dingman’s Hall
In 1890, Allan Dingman purchased the property from Terrance Far, which at the time had a one-storey frame building on it. That same year, Archibald Dingman, Allan’s brother, was granted a permit to construct a commercial block on the northwest corner of Queen St E and Broadview Ave. The building would cost $25,000 and house four shops, a bank and two public halls. In 1891, Allan sold the property to his brother Archibald.
The Superb Architecture
In 1891/92, the impressive Dingman’s Hall was completed. In the Romanesque Revival style, the four-storey structure is made of sandstone and red brick cladding. Architectural elements include beautifully detailed south and east façades, arched and flat-headed windows, decorative terracotta panels and a striking corner tower topped with a pyramidal roof.
While it’s not confirmed who was the architect behind what’s known today as The Broadview Hotel, it could be Robert Ogilvie. He designed buildings at 736-742 Queen St E (for Allan Dingman) and 98 Queen St E (Richard Bigley Building) with similar architectural elements.
The Hub of the Neighbourhood
Dingman’s Hall was a commercial and social heart of the then Don Mount neighbourhood. In its early years, along with its magnificent upper assembly halls, it was also home to the Canadian Bank of Commerce, a cigar maker, barristers, real estate brokers and dentists, and many social clubs like the Royal Canadian Bicycle Club and the Maids of England. The building also had a caretaker. At the time, Dingman’s Hall was the tallest building east of the Don River.
The Broadview Hotel
In 1907, Thomas J Edward purchased the property and applied for a hotel license. When neighbourhood residents heard about the application, they vigorously protested; however, it was to no avail. Converted to accommodations, the building reopened later that year as the Broadview Hotel. Rates started at $1.50 per night.
Through the Years
In 1912, JJ O’Neill purchased the hotel property and the vacant lot directly to the west for $119,200. The purchase price did not include a liquor license; however, Mr O’Neill said he would “have nothing to do with that.” At that time, the temperance movement was underway.
During the 1910s and 20s, shops and banks (including the Traders Bank and Royal Bank of Canada) came and went. By 1929, the hotel was renamed Lincoln Hotel and housed a restaurant and Warbutton’s Toggery. The City Directory listed the following: from 1937 to 1951, the Broadview Hotel and Beverage Room, then from 1952 to 1958, the Broadview House Hotel.
From 1959 to the 1980s, the hotel was called the Broadview House. Rooms were available by the week. For a time, the tavern at the hotel was called Maxi’s Lounge and later Kicker’s Lounge.
Jilly’s Strip Club
In the mid-1980s, Harold Karim, co-founder and namesake of the discount store Bargain Harold’s, purchased the 40-room hotel building. He opened Jilly’s on the main floor. In 1991, “Jane Jones Exotic Circus” performed a show at the club that featured a 204 kg declawed Siberian tiger named QeDesh as well as a boa constrictor, a python and birds. The act caused quite a stir with animal welfare groups.
At some point, a centre wall was removed so that patrons could have a better view of the stage. The removal of this support wall resulted in significant structural issues, and in 2013, the neglected and altered landmark was on the verge of collapse. Harold’s daughter, Jill, who had been running the business since he passed away in 2010, decided it was time to sell the building that was home to Jilly’s and the New Broadview Hotel.
The Broadview Hotel Today
In 2014, Streetcar Developments purchased the property, and reconstruction began a year later. The meticulous and outstanding restoration by ERA Architects included window replacement, cleaning the brick with a mild detergent and water, reinstating the entrances and storefronts, masonry repairs, increasing the floor heights and much more.
Reopening in 2017, The Broadview Hotel features 58 boutique guestrooms. The hotel’s restaurants include The Civic on the main floor, The Broadview Bistro + Bar and high above the City is the 360° glass-box Rooftop restaurant with incredible views of Toronto’s skyline. There are also five venue spaces for wedding, social and corporate events.
Who was Archibald Dingman?
Born in Ontario in 1850, Archibald Wayne Dingman was a businessman and oil-drilling entrepreneur. As a young man, he spent some time working in the oil fields of Pennsylvania. When he returned to Canada, he was involved in many businesses, including Pugsley, Dingman & Co, a soaps and blues manufacturing company. Located at 50-52 Wellington St W, it and many other downtown Toronto buildings were destroyed in the Great Fire of Toronto 1904.
Archibald Dingman moved to Alberta in the early 1900s after hearing about the appearance of oil there. He formed the Calgary Petroleum Products Company and purchased an oil-gas well in Turner Valley. His first commercial well, named Dingman #1, ignited Alberta’s first oil boom. He passed away in Calgary in 1938 and is buried in Toronto’s Mount Pleasant Cemetery.
Did You Know?
- In 1793, the land that The Broadview Hotel resides on was granted to John Scadding by Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe. The Scadding Cabin is Toronto’s oldest surviving home.
- During the 1800s, Broadview Ave north of Queen St E was known as Don Mills Rd, and Scadding south of it. In that same time period, Queen St E was known as Kingston Rd.
- Riverside was annexed to the City of Toronto in 1884.
- Pugsley, Dingman & Co often displayed their soaps at the Canadian National Exhibition. Along with models blowing bubbles into the air, their exhibit featured “electric soap,” which consisted of a massive fountain made of snowy soap suds.
- Until approximately 1913, the address for Dingman Hall/Broadview Hotel was 710-712 Queen St E. After that date, the address was adjusted to 702-704 Queen St E. Today, the address for the entrance of the hotel is 106 Broadview Ave.
- In a then-vacant lot on the west side of the Broadview Hotel, JJ O’Neill built a moving-picture and vaudeville theatre in the mid-1910s. It was called Teck Theatre.
- The building received heritage status in 1975.
- More than 20 of the decorative terracotta panels on The Broadview Hotel have a unique image on them.
- The historic gem is over 130 years old.
Broadview Hotel Photos
- City of Toronto Heritage Register: 704 Queen St E
- Ontario Heritage Trust: 704 Queen St E
- Heritage Toronto
- City of Toronto: Intention to Designate under Part IV Report with Reference Number: P:\2014\Cluster B\PLN\TEYCC\TE14057
- The Globe Newspaper Archives: Sep 11, 1886, pg 7
- The Globe Newspaper Archives: Apr 21, 1904, pg 1
- The Globe Newspaper Archives: Jul 10, 1907, pg 14
- The Globe Newspaper Archives: Oct 4, 1907, pg 10
- The Globe Newspaper Archives: Nov 28, 1912, pg 8
- The Globe and Mail Newspaper Archives: May 9, 1964, pg 8
- The Globe and Mail Newspaper Archives: Dec 19, 1991, pg A11
- The Globe and Mail Newspaper Archives: Jun 30, 2017, pg G3
- National Post: The Broadview Hotel aka Jilly’s…
- The Broadview Hotel
- ERA Architects: The Broadview Hotel
- Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame: Archibald Wayne Dingman
- Find a Grave Memorial: Archibald Wayne Dingman
- Vintage Photos: City of Toronto Archives, Toronto Public Library & City of Toronto (Heritage Preservation Services)
- Photos (6): The Broadview Hotel
- Vintage Map: Atlas of the City of Toronto 1884 by Chas E Goad from the Toronto Public Library