There is a beautiful old building located at King Street West and Strachan Ave in Toronto, that’s called The Palace Arms Hotel. I have never been inside, so when I say beautiful, I am talking about the outside, as I have no idea what the corridors and rooms look like.
It was built in 1890, making it more than 120 years old.
It is called a hotel but seems to be more of a rooming house where people make it their home.
I wanted to get some photographs of it as it stands today, because I suspect that it won’t be as it is for much longer. I have no reason to think that it will be changed anytime soon, except that the area it resides within is changing by the day. Also, there were two other rooming-house type of hotels in this area of Toronto, that in the past decade have been transformed into very swanky boutique hotels. They are The Drake Hotel and The Gladstone. In fact, there is an excellent documentary, called Last Call at The Gladstone that depicts, as they describe it, the change from “skid row flophouse to arts and music hotspot”.
These two places were built in the same year as The Palace Arms Hotel, and are considerably further west of the downtown core. This all leads me to think that changes at The Palace Arms are probably not far into the future.
I found this old photograph (below) of the eastern-most edge of the hotel, taken in 1916 (so, 26 years after it was built). The photo is of the construction of the streetcar tracks along King Street West, in front of the hotel. Today, I took this second photo from the very same spot, to show you how things have changed in a century. And yes, I did have to stop briefly in the middle of the road to get the shot! But it’s Saturday, so it’s not as busy as a weekday.
Thanks for reading my post. If you’re interested in seeing more of my photographs of interesting old buildings in Toronto, please take a peek at the “Interesting Buildings” category.