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A three-stage exhibition, THEN | NOW | NEXT shares stories of the past through voices of the present while looking towards the hotel’s future.

Curator Britt Welter-Nolan explores the past through photography, historical artifacts, and stories for THEN, part of Gladstone 125’s programming. Art lovers, historians, and the public alike will toast to the hotel’s past while learning about the vibrantly rich history of the 125-year-old hotel.

For NOW, Gladstone is inviting everyone to share their unique stories about how the hotel has impacted their lives, whether via celebrations, love, special memories, or the like. These stories can be submitted online via social media or on-site in the exhibition space, allowing patrons to shape the evolution of the exhibition.

NEXT represents propositions for the future. Coinciding with Nuit Blanche, artists will take over the second floor of the hotel with their propositional pieces for the space, helping to predict the future of the institution while saluting to its past. Featured artists include Andrew Choptiany, Ivan Buenader (Stolen Portraits), Adam Bialo (Death of Queen West), Apollonia Vanova (The Magic Carpet), and Mary Dyja (Fungal Overtake).

“I’m particularly excited to see what the public brings forward, in terms of stories involving this historic building,” says Exhibition Curator Britt Welter-Nolan. “Thus far they have been so fascinating!”

Gladstone Hotel was built in 1889 by local architect G. M. Miller in the Romanesque Revival style. It has a storied and eclectic history, having served as a beacon of urbanity for early attendees of the Canadian National Exhibition round the turn of the 20th century to a worn-down haven for “undesirables” before the Parkdale renaissance of the early oughts.

In 2002, with the hotel in a state of near-condemnation, the Zeidler family took possession and began one of the most impressive revitalizations Toronto has ever seen. Spearheaded by Christina Zeidler, the renovation and resurgence of Gladstone Hotel has been an active force in shaping the West Queen West community over the past decade.

Gladstone Hotel now stands as an epicentre of cultural incubation in Toronto’s west end, fostering creativity and community in everything it does. Renowned for twisting perceptions and giving canvas to underrepresented and marginalized groups, Gladstone Hotel aims to raise the profile of subcultures and subvert the mainstream, creating a unique and open-armed narrative around its historic stature.

Everyone is important. Everyone is equal. Everyone is welcome at Gladstone Hotel.