Broadview Hotel – An Architectural Anchor in Toronto’s Riverside Area

1945 - The Broadview Hotel at Queen St E and Broadview Ave, northwest corner
1945 – The Broadview Hotel at Queen St E and Broadview Ave, northwest corner (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1257, Series 1057, Item 518)

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.

1977 - Looking southwest from Broadview Ave towards The Broadview House and Queen St E
1977 – Looking southwest from Broadview Ave towards The Broadview House and Queen St E (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 7, Item 146)

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 had been renamed Lincoln Hotel and also 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.

2014 - Jilly's on the main floor of the New Broadview Hotel
2014 – Jilly’s on the main floor of the New Broadview Hotel (City of Toronto – Heritage Preservation Services)

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.

2021 - The Broadview Hotel at 106 Broadview Ave
2021 – The Broadview Hotel at 106 Broadview Ave

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.

1920/26 - Looking east along Queen St E towards the Broadview Hotel
1920/26 – Looking east along Queen St E towards the Broadview Hotel (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1488, Series 1230, Item 2515)

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 south of it was Scadding. 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 130 years old.

Broadview Hotel Photos

1945 - The Broadview Hotel at Queen St E and Broadview Ave, northwest corner
1945 – The Broadview Hotel at Queen St E and Broadview Ave, northwest corner (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1257, Series 1057, Item 518)
2021 - The Broadview Hotel at 106 Broadview Ave
2021 – The Broadview Hotel at 106 Broadview Ave
2014 - Jilly's on the main floor of the New Broadview Hotel
2014 – Jilly’s on the main floor of the New Broadview Hotel (City of Toronto – Heritage Preservation Services)
1945 - Looking southwest from Broadview Ave towards Queen St E and the Broadview Hotel
1945 – Looking southwest from Broadview Ave towards Queen St E and the Broadview Hotel (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1257, Series 1057, Item 519)
1977 - Looking southwest from Broadview Ave towards The Broadview House and Queen St E
1977 – Looking southwest from Broadview Ave towards The Broadview House and Queen St E (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 7, Item 146)
2014 - Notice the workmanship and quality of the joints, headers and curved brick of The Broadview Hotel - looking south along Broadview Ave from the fourth floor of the hotel
2014 – Notice the workmanship and quality of the joints, headers and curved brick of The Broadview Hotel – looking south along Broadview Ave from the fourth floor of the hotel (City of Toronto – Heritage Preservation Services)
2020 - The Broadview Hotel at night, on the northwest corner of Queen St E and Broadview Ave
2020 – The Broadview Hotel at night, on the northwest corner of Queen St E and Broadview Ave
1972 - The Broadview House at Queen St E and Broadview Ave, looking northwest
1972 – The Broadview House at Queen St E and Broadview Ave, looking northwest (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 2032, Series 841, File 25, Item 18)
1954 - The Broadview House, looking northwest from Broadview Ave towards Queen St E
1954 – The Broadview House, looking northwest from Broadview Ave towards Queen St E (Toronto Public Library r-5860)
1983 - Looking west along Queen St E towards the Broadview House Hotel
1983 – Looking west along Queen St E towards the Broadview House Hotel (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 75, Item 76)
2019 - The 504 streetcar passing by The Broadview Hotel along Queen St E, looking northwest
2019 – The 504 streetcar passing by The Broadview Hotel along Queen St E, looking northwest
1983 - Kicker's and the Broadview House Hotel, looking northwest at Broadview Ave and Queen St E
1983 – Kicker’s and the Broadview House Hotel, looking northwest at Broadview Ave and Queen St E (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 71, Item 18)
2014 - Two of the beautiful terracotta panels on Dingman's Hall/The Broadview Hotel building
2014 – Two of the beautiful terracotta panels on Dingman’s Hall/The Broadview Hotel building (City of Toronto – Heritage Preservation Services)
1920/26 - Looking east along Queen St E towards the Broadview Hotel
1920/26 – Looking east along Queen St E towards the Broadview Hotel (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1488, Series 1230, Item 2515)
1981 - Looking east along Queen St E towards The Broadview House and Broadview Ave
1981 – Looking east along Queen St E towards The Broadview House and Broadview Ave (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 75, Item 72)
1932 - The Teck Theatre and the Broadview Hotel, looking northeast from Queen St E towards Broadview Ave - notice Warbutton’s Toggery occupying the corner shop
1932 – The Teck Theatre and the Broadview Hotel, looking northeast from Queen St E towards Broadview Ave – notice Warbutton’s Toggery occupying the corner shop (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1231, Item 641)
1918 - Looking north up Broadview Ave from Queen St E - notice the Royal Bank of Canada branch occupying the corner space in the Broadview Hotel, on the left
1918 – Looking north up Broadview Ave from Queen St E – notice the Royal Bank of Canada branch occupying the corner space in the Broadview Hotel, on the left (City of Toronto Archives, Series 372, Sub Series 58, Item 750)
2021 - The Broadview Hotel, looking northeast from Queen St E towards Broadview Ave
2021 – The Broadview Hotel, looking northeast from Queen St E towards Broadview Ave
2017 - Just above Queen St E is the Lincoln Terrace - notice the neon sign from the building when it was the New Broadview Hotel
2017 – Just above Queen St E is the Lincoln Terrace – notice the neon sign from the building when it was the New Broadview Hotel (courtesy of The Broadview Hotel)
2017 - The New Broadview Hotel neon sign in the Lincoln Terrace - the vintage sign was originally over the entrance on the hotel's east side
2017 – The New Broadview Hotel neon sign in the Lincoln Terrace – the vintage sign was originally over the entrance on the hotel’s east side (courtesy of The Broadview Hotel)
2017 - The Rooftop Patio on the 7th floor features incredible views of Toronto
2017 – The Rooftop Patio on the 7th floor features incredible views of Toronto (courtesy of The Broadview Hotel)
2017 - The Tower is the hotel's stunning showpiece on the 7th floor
2017 – The Tower is the hotel’s stunning showpiece on the 7th floor (courtesy of The Broadview Hotel)
2017 - The Civic restaurant features views of the original brick facade and factory glass windows
2017 – The Civic restaurant features views of the original brick facade and factory glass windows (courtesy of The Broadview Hotel)
2017 - The King Corner guestroom fills the room with natural light
2017 – The King Corner guestroom fills the room with natural light (courtesy of The Broadview Hotel)
2014 - Demising wall on the first floor of Dingmans's Hall - notice the diagonal evidence of a former staircase and possible remnants of the stair stringer
2014 – Demising wall on the first floor of Dingmans’s Hall – notice the diagonal evidence of a former staircase and possible remnants of the stair stringer (City of Toronto – Heritage Preservation Services)
2021 - Dingman's Hall/Broadview Hotel heritage plaque
2021 – Dingman’s Hall/Broadview Hotel heritage plaque
1908 - The Toronto City Directory showing the address and tenant of the Broadview Hotel
1908 – The Toronto City Directory showing the address and tenant of the Broadview Hotel (Toronto Public Library)
1897 - The Toronto City Directory showing the address and tenants of Dingman's Hall
1897 – The Toronto City Directory showing the address and tenants of Dingman’s Hall (Toronto Public Library)
1884 - Goads Map showing the future location of Dingman's Hall/Broadview Hotel - notice the previous names of Queen St E and Broadview Ave
1884 – Goads Map showing the future location of Dingman’s Hall/Broadview Hotel – notice the previous names of Queen St E and Broadview Ave (Toronto Public Library)
Circa 1900 - Dingman's "Electric Soap" card - Pugsley, Dingman & Co. soap manufacturing business was located at 50-52 Wellington St W, it and many other downtown Toronto buildings was destroyed in the Great Fire of Toronto 1904
Circa 1900 – Dingman’s “Electric Soap” card – Pugsley, Dingman & Co. soap manufacturing business was located at 50-52 Wellington St W, it and many other downtown Toronto buildings was destroyed in the Great Fire of Toronto 1904 (Toronto Public Library NDTRADECARDSP-PUGSLEY2)
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