A Former Strip Club Transforms Into a Snazzy Boutique Hotel

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By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo
An iconic 19th-century building welcomes a new form of entertainment as it gets converted into a stylish 58-room boutique hotel.

Located on the corner of Queen and Broadview in Toronto, Ontario, the red-brick, Romanesque Revival-style structure has underwent numerous names since it was originally built in 1891. From its time serving as the headquarters for a soap factory, to the years it was infamously known as Jilly's Strip Club, this historic architectural landmark has now been revamped into the swanky Broadview Hotel.  

Although it took several years of renovation, Toronto–based firm ERA Architects beautifully restored many of the building's existing exterior details, while the creative team at DesignAgency reimagined the interiors.

Keep scrolling for a look at the remarkable revamp.

The cafe is designed with plush leather benches and marble tables around its perimeter, as well as black pendant lights hanging above. The flooring marks the separation between the cafe seating and the center bar. 

The cafe is designed with plush leather benches and marble tables around its perimeter, as well as black pendant lights hanging above. The flooring marks the separation between the cafe seating and the center bar. 

There's no doubt the teams had their work cut out for them, as the building had been steadily declining since the '70s. Yet, after looking to the building’s storied past and the neighborhood’s current youthful vibe for inspiration, they were able to create a new authentic atmosphere that simultaneously combines historic details with contemporary style. 

The ground-floor cafe features large street-facing windows and plenty of natural light. 

The ground-floor cafe features large street-facing windows and plenty of natural light. 

"Through the transformation of the hotel, we embraced a building that had been unseen for a long time and made it visible with a layering of design elements inspired by its own history, " explains Matt Davis, co-founding partner at DesignAgency.

Both the cafe and bar were envisioned to serve as a social hub for hotel guests, as well as the surrounding community. 

Both the cafe and bar were envisioned to serve as a social hub for hotel guests, as well as the surrounding community. 

The lobby now houses a vibrant mix of granite and gold. 

The lobby now houses a vibrant mix of granite and gold. 

Vintage details—like the antique phone above—herald back to the building's past lives. 

Vintage details—like the antique phone above—herald back to the building's past lives. 

The dark velvet floor-to-ceiling curtains paired against the bronze lighting and wooden floors define the vintage vibe in the guest rooms. 

The dark velvet floor-to-ceiling curtains paired against the bronze lighting and wooden floors define the vintage vibe in the guest rooms. 

A detail of the patterned wallpaper in the bedroom.

A detail of the patterned wallpaper in the bedroom.

The seventh floor is home to The Rooftop, a lounge and bar, set in a glass box adjacent to the buildings' rooftop terrace and historic tower. 

The seventh floor is home to The Rooftop, a lounge and bar, set in a glass box adjacent to the buildings' rooftop terrace and historic tower. 

A glass volume was inserted on the roof to host the lounge and bar. Blue walls and brass pendant lighting in the area are juxtaposed against the bright and airy dining space. 

A glass volume was inserted on the roof to host the lounge and bar. Blue walls and brass pendant lighting in the area are juxtaposed against the bright and airy dining space. 

 The dining area enjoys elevated panoramic views of the city. 

 The dining area enjoys elevated panoramic views of the city. 

Guests can also dine al fresco on the terrace at wooden tables. The "No Vacancy" sign alludes to the building's boarding-house past. 

Guests can also dine al fresco on the terrace at wooden tables. The "No Vacancy" sign alludes to the building's boarding-house past. 

Rooms at The Broadview start at $309 CAD and can be booked here

Project Credits: 

Architect of Record: ERA Architects

Builder / General Contractor: Streetcar Developments Inc. 

Structural Engineer: Atkins + Von Groll , Raymond Von Groll

Interior Design: DesignAgency , Matt Davis

Cabinetry Design / Installation: CCW Inc., Ian Scanling