By Caitlyn Robison
TORONTO — Streetcar Developments and Dream Unlimited Corp. have announced the next phase in the evolution of the Gladstone Hotel — Toronto’s historic boutique hotel operated by Crescent Hotels & Resorts Latitudes division — now aptly re-named Gladstone House.
Set to officially re-open to the public in September 2021, the new name pays homage to the original “Gladstone House” engravings on the stone exterior of the building, adding a slice of history to the modern re-invention of the space.
For more than 130 years, Gladstone House has been a community hotspot for art, culture and gathering, and is recognized and valued as a staple of Toronto’s west side. Situated in West Queen West, one of Toronto’s most creative neighbourhoods, the re-imagined landmark will maintain its emphasis on culture, art and diversity.
“As one of the oldest operating hotels in Toronto,we’re dedicated to paying homage to Gladstone’s rich history in the city and maintaining its status as a celebration of diversity in the West-Queen-West neighbourhood,” says Les Mallins, founder and president of Streetcar Developments. “We’ve worked hard to ensure that we’re telling the stories of the past and creating new one-of-a-kind experiences for the future as written by our guests.”
Aiming to modernize and improve its offerings without losing its connection to the community, the property has undergone changes that include lower-lobby renovations; a new fitness centre; additional guestrooms with upgrades made to existing ones; and developments made to its kitchen facilities enabling the hotel to service more events at once. Gladstone House will also be launching three new studios, featuring lifestyle, fitness and art programs. Melody Bar, home to the beloved Drag Brunch, and the Bistro and Bar will re-open their doors later this fall.
“The most important thing to ensure is the community knows all of the things they loved about the Gladstone aren’t going away,” says Tony Cohen, executive vice-president and partner, Crescent Hotels & Resorts Canada. “It’s taking something that was just fantastic and really making it better on every level.”
Designed by internationally acclaimed Elastic Interiors, the original architecture has been preserved and is now contrasted with colourful contemporary artwork that aims to embrace the Gladstone’s heritage, thoughtful building restoration, cultural and social community foundation.
As a platform to engage local artists, the hotel initiated a “Call for Submissions,” which attracted more than 500 entries. A panel of jurors selected more than 50 works, which will be part of an art installation in each of the hotel’s 55 guestrooms and surrounding public spaces.
The new Gladstone House serves as a sister property to The Broadview Hotel, a popular, historical landmark and anchor of Toronto’s east side. “They’re the mirror images of each other,” explains Cohen. “Both have around 50 guestrooms, feature a bistro type offering, have a great, flexible event space and are in the centre of the community in which they are each located.”
“We feel like we’re uniquely positioned with these two hotels that are firmly entrenched in the city’s history and are locally driven but are also representative of the communities that they are in,” adds Cohen. “Especially now, people are looking for an experience at a hotel that is unique to the city in which they visit. You will get all the amenities and services that you would expect in a lifestyle hotel, but you are getting it within a community of the West-Queen-West area, an offering you really can’t get anywhere else in the city.”