We’re thrilled to be participating in Doors Open Toronto on Saturday May 28 and Sunday May 29. Every year, we welcome hundreds of people through our doors to learn more about the history of the Gladstone and the amazing stories that lie within this 126 year old building.
The Doors Open theme this year is Re-used, Re-visited and Revised, exploring the adaptive re-use of buildings throughout Toronto’s architectural history. Jane Jacobs, Toronto’s famous urban activist, once said “New ideas must use old buildings” and we firmly believe this to be true. In fact, we’ve built it into our mandate, inviting guests to use the Victorian hotel as their backdrop for their creative passions to play out.
Tours times (More info here)
Sat May 28 and Sun May 29
12:00 pm (30 minutes)
2:00 pm (30 minutes)
3:00 pm (30 minutes)
4:00 pm (30 minutes)
Swing by and meet in the Melody Bar for 8 tours over the weekend. In the meantime, here are some fun facts about the history of the hotel:
We’re old…really old. The Gladstone was built in 1889 and is Toronto’s oldest continuously operating hotel! When the Gladstone was originally constructed, it was situated across from the then existing Parkdale railroad station–the Internet-equivalent of today–attracting travellers, artists and innovators to collide. The station is long gone, but the lovingly restored Victorian building remains, as a vibrant cultural hub in Parkdale.
On the tour, you’ll get the chance to see our restored Victorian elevator–one of the last hand-operated elevators in Toronto, installed when electricity reached Toronto in 1904.
The elevator was later named after the Gladstone Cowboy Hank Young (1941-2009) who operated the lift for many years. As detailed by the Toronto Star, riding with Hank was a truly special experience. Not only was he known for singing “Hey Good Lookin” at Karaoke and wearing all white cowboy regalia when there was a wedding, he touched travellers and locals alike with his big heart and incredible stories.
The hotel began a loving restoration in 2005 under the leadership of the Zeidler family. For the rooms, the keys were handed to an army of local artists who designed them, their individuality taking flight upon the hotel’s historic roots. We can’t wait to share some of the one-of-a-kind rooms during the tour.
See you on May 28th and 29th!