The iconic Toronto institution Jilly’s will have its last dance on Sunday night, before closing its doors for good. Here are a few things you may or may not know about the historic property and its most infamous tenant:
1. The “peeler” bar has been in operation at the northwest corner of Queen Street East and Broadview Avenue for more than three decades. Many say Jilly’s cannot be replaced, and they’re right in at least one sense: the city changed land-use rules in 1978 to keep new adult entertainment venues from opening.
2. There are plenty of stories and myths told about Jilly’s — but one has been verified: a tiger once patrolled the stage with a dancer … albeit a declawed jungle cat, back in 1991.
3. Streetcar Developments, a prominent condo developer, purchased the historic Broadview Hotel in May, the building in which Jilly’s is the main floor tenant.
4. The developers have been firm in their intention NOT to turn the Romanesque red brick building (originally completed in 1893) into condos, and instead have floated the idea of making it more open to the public. Speculation has swirled that a boutique hotel, not unlike the Drake Hotel on Queen Street West, is a possibility.
5. The building almost collapsed last year and needs permanent structural repairs, according to Les Mallins, president of Streetcar Developments.
You can say goodbye to the Riverdale institution on Sunday night, when the bar will try and (further) liquidate their remaining alcohol stock. Drinks are advertised for sale at $5.25.