Celebrating Friendship at The Broadview Hotel

Hello! As mentioned in my previous post, I commemorated two “friendiversaries” with lovely lady friends recently. Today I’m writing about a celebratory outing with Julie, whom I’ve now known for 5 years.

Since I’d recently begun keeping this site when we met, (back in 2012 and depicted in this post), longtime readers will have seen our friendship unfold, from first meeting until now. When we met, (while waiting in a line-up … you never know when/where you’ll meet the people you’ll know forever!), Julie’s daughter Lila was a newborn.

Since then, she and her husband Guy have added a son, James (seen here, here and here) to their sweet family. In fact, during one of our friendiversary dates, she was weeks away from having him (seen here). He’s an active little two year old now.

Not only has she been busy with her young family, Julie is also a talented writer, who has released two very well received books since we met (which I posted about here – Tangle and here – Lady Crawford).

Also, she is one of Canada’s top knitting bloggers, with her site Knitted Bliss. (While she focuses mostly on knitting, she also includes stories about life and publishes an excellent weekly list of interesting links around the net. So, if you enjoy blogs, hers is a good one to follow.)

With all this going on, it would be understandable if making the time to bond with new friends was put on the back burner. I’m very glad to say that this has not been the case!

To celebrate our five years of friendship, Julie suggested we go to the newly restored Broadview Hotel, and I readily agreed.

Located in Toronto’s east end (at Broadview and Queen St. E), this building was erected in 1891. As long as I’ve lived in the city, I’ve known it as home of a strip club called Jilly’s. Its complete restoration began in 2016, and it reopened last summer. (There’s a good story about the details Of the work in this Toronto Star article.)

I’d seen photographs of it and had ridden by on the streetcar, however had yet to see inside.

I booked us a table for the upstairs dining room, called “The Rooftop”, and it’s a good thing I did. It was jam packed on that Thursday evening. Being winter, it was too cold to go outside, but based on the photos I’ve seen of their outside deck, it’s amazing out there.

↑ Looking westward out the window. There’s the CN Tower in red. ↑

The menu is a designed for sharing, and we selected the mixed vegetables with two dips, blistered peppers and fried chicken. The food and service were excellent, although, for us, the peppers weren’t the right choice.

We were keen to see more of the beautiful building, so after dinner we decided to head down to the main floor for a drink in another of their dining rooms, “The Civic”.

↑ Note the unique round windows. They’d been covered up for decades. Each of them is a slightly different size and shape, so the glass to restore them had to custom cut. ↑

↑ I love that they’ve chosen to use Blue Calico dishes. ↑

It was nearing their closing time, but even so, they graciously allowed us to occupy a small table and enjoy a cocktail. Julie had one called “Bring Me a Shrubbery”, which featured Gin, with pear and ginger shrub and Earl Grey tea. It was garnished with a slice of candied ginger. I had a “The Bees and the Trees”, which had Rum, Port, Honey, Maple Syrup and Coffee Bitters. It had a sweet Maple Syrup candy in it. Both were delicious.

Before leaving, we took a wee peek into the cafe/bar/lounge room …

↑ Again, note the round windows. There are nine in total, six in the restaurant and three in the cafe. ↑

↑ Here are some of the round windows, seen from the outside. These are in the restaurant. ↑

↑ The round windows that are in the cafe area are hidden by the street car in this photo. ↑

Before I go, here are a couple of historic shots of the 127 year old building (I have to say, finding good old photos of the place was a challenge!) …

What a gorgeous place this was to celebrate with a beloved friend! Thank you to the staff who made our visit to The Broadview Hotel very special.

And thank you for reading,
xo loulou