Toronto's oldest continually operating hotel is about to have new owners. That's right, the beloved Gladstone Hotel, which has been in operation since 1889, will soon join the portfolio of historic landmarks belonging to Streetcar Developments and Dream Unlimited.
Located on West Queen West, the Gladstone Hotel has been a cultural institution for years, with a strong focus on environmental performance, social responsibility, and innovation through the arts, local food and drink, and forward-thinking service and hospitality.
The hotel, which is currently owned by the Zeidler family, underwent a major renovation in 2005, led by architect Eb Zeidler, to preserve the landmark building’s historical significance. Under the vision and leadership of Christina Zeidler, the Gladstone Hotel became an internationally recognized cultural tourism destination and a hospitality industry leader.
Zeidler says selling the hotel was a "personal one" but it was time as she's ready to "move on to other creative projects."
When it came to finding a new owner, Zeidler said she wanted to find someone who had the vision to carry on the legacy of the hotel.
"Someone who understands the historic significance but also its cultural significance. It took a long time to build the culture around the Gladstone. The commitment to continue to grow this vision is a dream come true."
Streetcar Developments and Dream Unlimited fit the bill, which Zeidler described as "the best possible scenario," adding, "not just for the building but for the staff and patrons who love this property and the culture around it. I have personally known the Streetcar team for years, as neighbours to the Gladstone, but also, significantly, as city builders.”
Both Streetcar and Dream have a track record of supporting Toronto's cultural community and restoring historic landmarks. In 2012, Streetcar Crowsnest opened its doors and has since become an arts and culture hub in the city’s east end, while Dream’s Distillery District is Canada’s premier arts, culture, and entertainment destination, which also has the largest collection of Victorian architecture in North America.
"We have great respect for the West Queen West community and believe the Gladstone Hotel is a unique representation of the neighbourhood's art, culture and diversity," said Les Mallins, founder and president of Streetcar Developments.
"We look forward to amplifying the hotel's offerings with our refreshed vision, enhancing the current building while ensuring the property remains a staple within the community."
Together, Streetcar and Dream transformed The Broadview Hotel, a 127-year-old landmark, into a luxury boutique hotel, bringing a much-needed amenity to Queen Street East and its community.
Michael Cooper, chief responsible officer of Dream Unlimited, said the companies are excited to add the hotel to its portfolio of "character buildings of historical significance."
“We believe in building inclusive communities, and designing exceptional places to create, inspire, and bring the community together,” said Cooper.
Streetcar and Dream are set to take ownership of the property later this month.