Conroy Hotel – Once a Favourite Hangout for Sports Stars

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1960s - The Conroy Hotel was once located on the west side of Dufferin St, just north of Lawrence Ave W in the Yorkdale area of Toronto. The owners of the hotel, NHL hockey players Charlie Conacher and Roy Worters, combined their names to create the hotel's charismatic name. The Conroy featured nightly entertainment and was where regular people could mingle with sports legends that frequented the bar
1960s – The Conroy Hotel was once located on the west side of Dufferin St, just north of Lawrence Ave W in the Yorkdale area of Toronto (TorontoJourney416.com postcard collection)

The Conroy Hotel was once located at 3080 Dufferin St (just north of Lawrence Ave W, on the west side) in the Yorkdale area of Toronto.

“The Conroy”

In 1955, former NHL hockey players Charlie Conacher and Roy Worters went into partnership and opened the Conroy Hotel. The two Toronto-born men came up with the charismatic name by blending their names. The hotel’s location was strategically chosen. It was on the edge of the dry, no-booze areas of North Park and Weston on a site that had previously been farmland.

The Conroy Hotel had 75 air-conditioned guestrooms, a 120-seat dining room, a 250-seat hall, lots of free parking and could host weddings, banquets and meetings. However, it was the hotel’s two lounges that could pack in the crowds with seating for 755 patrons.

The Conroy was a happening place, and customers lined up to get inside. It featured nightly entertainment and was where regular people could rub elbows with sports legends that frequented the bar, like boxer Rocky Marciano and jockey Eddie Arcaro. Former Argo’s quarterback Norbert “Nobby” Wirkowski said, “They (Conacher and Worters) were good hosts… they were there all the time… and there were no shenanigans.” The upstairs bar had photos of sports greats in action, like the Leafs’ goalie Johnny Bower and the Black Hawks’ Bobby Hull.

Back then, if you were heading north, it was the last spot that served alcohol since the next nearest tavern was the Jolly Miller in Hogg’s Hollow on Yonge St.

When Roy Worters passed away just two years after the hotel opened, Charlie Conacher bought his partner’s share of the Conroy for $160,000.

The Largest Beer Sales in Ontario

By 1966, The Conroy was selling more draft beer than any other hotel in the province – 30 barrels or 8,500 glasses per day, to be exact. That same year, Charlie Conacher sold the hotel for $1.3 million to his friend Dr John Egan, who owned three other Southern Ontario hotels.

In the years to follow, the busy hotel had various owners, and along with featuring music, it also had adult entertainment. The lounges had undergone a few name changes, including Whiskers, York, Shooters and Cheers.

The Yorkdale Inn

In the late 1980s, the Conroy Hotel was renamed the Yorkdale Inn, which featured the Scoozi restaurant and the Lipstick executive lounge. While the hotel was no longer a celebrity magnet, it did not lack character.

Last Call

In March 1999, the hotel closed. Amongst other issues, high taxes made it difficult to keep things going. Everything in the hotel was auctioned off, from old photos to bedding.

The hotel has since been torn down, and today a car dealership is located on the site.

Did You Know?

  • Charlie “The Big Bomber” Conacher (1909-1967) was a legendary right winger with a powerful shot. He played 12 seasons in the NHL, including 9 with Toronto Maple Leafs. Mr Conacher is considered one of the top 100 greatest NHL players.
  • Roy “Shrimp” Worters (1900-1957) was the shortest player in NHL history at 5′ 3″, but he was a giant when it came to goaltending. Ten of his 14 seasons playing in the NHL were with the New York Americans (Rangers). Mr Worters was the first goalie to win the Hart Trophy.
  • Crooner Bing Crosby was said to have enjoyed playing the odd poker game on the Conroy’s second floor.

Conroy Hotel Photos 

1955 - The Conroy Hotel was once located at 3080 Dufferin St, just north of Lawrence Ave W on the west side in Toronto's Yorkdale area. The hotel had 75 air-conditioned guestrooms, a 120-seat dining room, a 250-seat hall and seating for 755 patrons in the lounges
1955 – The Conroy Hotel was once located at 3080 Dufferin St, just north of Lawrence Ave W on the west side in Toronto’s Yorkdale area. The hotel had 75 air-conditioned guestrooms, a 120-seat dining room, a 250-seat hall and seating for 755 patrons in the lounges (City of Toronto Archives, Series 65, File 148, Item 80)
1955 - Looking northwest toward the Shell gas station and the Conroy Hotel at Dufferin St and Lawrence Ave W in the Yorkdale area of Toronto. The hotel was opened by former NHL hockey players Charlie Conacher and Roy Worters in 1955. It became a favourite spot for sports stars. While the hotel has since been torn down, the Shell gas station is still at the corner
1955 – Looking northwest toward the Shell gas station and the Conroy Hotel at Dufferin St and Lawrence Ave W in the Yorkdale area of Toronto. The hotel was opened by former NHL hockey players Charlie Conacher and Roy Worters in 1955. It became a favourite spot for sports stars. While the hotel has since been torn down, the Shell gas station is still at the corner (City of Toronto Archives, Series 65, File 148, Item 21)
1960s - The Conroy Hotel was once located on the west side of Dufferin St, just north of Lawrence Ave W. The owners of the hotel, former NHL hockey players Charlie Conacher and Roy Worters, combined their names to create the hotel's charismatic name. The Conroy featured nightly entertainment and was where regular people could mingle with sports legends that frequented the bar
1960s – The Conroy Hotel was once located on the west side of Dufferin St, just north of Lawrence Ave W. The owners of the hotel, former NHL hockey players Charlie Conacher and Roy Worters, combined their names to create the hotel’s charismatic name. The Conroy featured nightly entertainment and was where regular people could mingle with sports legends that frequented the bar (TorontoJourney416.com postcard collection)
1936 - Toronto Maple Leafs, led by Charlie Conacher, pushing through the crowd at Boston Garden. Mr Conacher and NHL goalie Roy Worters opened the Conroy Hotel in 1955
1936 – Toronto Maple Leafs, led by Charlie Conacher, pushing through the crowd at Boston Garden. Mr Conacher and NHL goalie Roy Worters opened the Conroy Hotel in 1955 (Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection)
2021 - Looking northwest toward the corner of Dufferin St and Lawrence Ave W in the Yorkdale area of Toronto. The Conroy Hotel was once just north of the Shell gas station, where the car dealership stands today
2021 – Looking northwest toward the corner of Dufferin St and Lawrence Ave W in the Yorkdale area of Toronto. The Conroy Hotel was once just north of the Shell gas station, where the car dealership stands today
1954 - Looking towards the northwest corner of Dufferin St and Lawrence Ave W when the area was farm country. By the following year, the Shell gas station and the Conroy Hotel had been built on the site
1954 – Looking towards the northwest corner of Dufferin St and Lawrence Ave W when the area was farm country. By the following year, the Shell gas station and the Conroy Hotel had been built on the site (Toronto Public Library R-6376)
1959 - The Toronto City Directory showing the address of the Conroy Hotel
1959 – The Toronto City Directory showing the address of the Conroy Hotel (Toronto Public Library)
1977 - The Toronto Yellow Pages showing an ad for the Conroy Hotel
1977 – The Toronto Yellow Pages showing an ad for the Conroy Hotel (Toronto Public Library)
1988 - The Toronto Yellow Pages showing an ad for The Yorkdale Inn, originally the Conroy Hotel
1988 – The Toronto Yellow Pages showing an ad for The Yorkdale Inn, originally the Conroy Hotel (Toronto Public Library)
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