Photos: Worker Bee Supply
Move over, Queen West; it’s time for the east end to have its moment.
Since I moved here, Toronto’s Leslieville neighbourhood has slowly been evolving with the opening of great restaurants, new bars and trendy boutiques. But it seems like the tipping point that has really put this side of the town on the map is the new Broadview Hotel, which officially opened its doors this past summer.
The former hotel-turned-strip-club-turned hotel is easily identifiable by its iconic 126-year old façade, behind which lies 58 guestrooms, a lively lobby Café + Bar, a striking Rooftop lounge, and 4,000-plus square feet of event space.
Why do I love it? Here are a few reasons this new-kid-on-the-block has earned its place as my favourite place to hang out in Toronto, whether you live in the city or are just visiting for a few days:
1. The rooftop offers great views and awesome weekend vibes.
Just like throughout the property, the colour and design of the space are cool and casual. For warm weather days, plenty of outdoor seating is available, but if you want the views without bearing the heat, the indoor restaurant is just as appealing. Overlooking the city in every direction, this rooftop oasis is a great place to meet with friends, colleagues, or just show up for a drink. It’s laid-back, yet sophisticated, with awesome flavours to be tested in both culinary and drink. Beware though: Since opening, lines have extended out the door for Friday and Saturday evening access. Show up early to get your spot.
2. The atmosphere in the Café + Bar is ideal for brunch, a cocktail or an afternoon workspace with service.
The east end is not lacking in cool brunch venues, with hotspots like Lady Marmalade and Skin & Bones just down the street. But the Broadview’s lobby-level Café + Bar is an equally appealing place to settle in for brunch, an afternoon tea, or evening cocktail. Beautifully appointed with the bar as its centrepiece, this space makes for a relaxed hang-out during the day, or lively choice in the evenings. Locally roasted coffee, and a wide selection of pastries and confections are served here to start the day, with flavourful salads and other light options served for lunch. As evening falls, the café transitions into an elegant bar, offering a raw bar and a tempting menu of sparkling wines and cocktails.
3. Rooms are well-appointed, but even better, amenities are locally-sourced.
The eclectic design of its guestrooms make The Broadview a great choice for travellers seeking an out-of-the-ordinary stay, each with a king-size bed (topped with luxury linens), and donned in pieces created by local artists. Keeping things in the community, the mini bars are equipped with locally-sourced goods curated by local coolhunter, Good Neighbour, and amenities are from the local, luxury, plant-powered skincare brand, Graydon Skincare.
4. There are constantly fun and creative events taking place on-property.
Karaoke with a live band, anyone? Now you can, Toronto, thanks to karaoke nights at The Broadview. From musical events to comedy shows to weekend flea markets, this property is positioning itself as a go-to destination any day of the week. Guests looking for something to do need not look any further than within the hotel, while locals seeking a fun evening out know where to find it. Wondering what’s coming up? Follow The Broadview on Facebook.
5. It has been positioned as a community hub, and a welcoming gathering spot for locals and visitors alike.
Because of its awesome social spaces – The Rooftop and The Café (a new restaurant is opening soon, too!) – not to mention the variety of events taking place through the week, and the way creators have been working with local artists and suppliers, this place is truly the community hub Leslieville has been lacking. Service is friendly, the vibe is cool and for those just seeking a place to chill over dinner and drinks, the price is right, too.
Visit TheBroadviewHotel.ca for more information.
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