The Edgewater Hotel was once located at 14 Roncesvalles Ave (just north of The Queensway, on the west side) in the Sunnyside and Parkdale neighbourhoods of Toronto.
In June 1939, construction began on Fred Hammer’s new hotel, the Edgewater. There was fierce opposition from residents, businesspeople and clergy not only to the hotel itself but also to its liquor license. There was even a “sit-in” protest planned at the hotel’s site. Despite that, within just a few months, the Edgewater Hotel was completed, and when it opened, it featured over 40 guestrooms, was fully licensed to serve alcohol and had nightly entertainment. The hotel was also next door to the former Sunnyside Bus Terminal (today home to McDonald’s) and in close proximity to the former Sunnyside Amusement Park and the Canadian National Exhibition grounds.
The Edgewater’s iconic neon sign was later added to the building’s southeast corner, and it remained perched there until its removal in 2009 due to deterioration.
In 1946, Mr Hammer sold the hotel, and over the years, the Edgewater has had various owners. It was also the place to enjoy cheap, ice-cold draft beer. In the mid-1990s, it was renamed the Royal Princess; however, by this time, unlawful activities were taking place in the hotel, and it closed. It later became a Days Inn, then Howard Johnson’s. Since 2020, it’s been home to Hotel Shelter in partnership with the City of Toronto.
Did you know that four different streets intersect at this corner? Roncesvalles Ave to the north, Queen St W to the east, King St W to the south and The Queensway to the west.
Edgewater Hotel Photos
The Globe and Mail Newspaper Archives: Jun 17, 1939, pg 4
The Globe and Mail Newspaper Archives: Jun 19, 1939, pg 4
The Globe and Mail Newspaper Archives: Jan 6, 1947, pg 4