Queen St. W. and Roncesvalles Ave., around 1972.

from the back of the postcard:

"THE EDGEWATER HOTEL, corner of Queen and Roncesvalles offers nightly entertainment in fully licensed rooms. Easily reached by public transit, it is within walking distance of the C.N.E. Next door is the SUNNYSIDE BUS TERMINAL, West Toronto's complete bus service, tickets available for all North American routes."

the Edgewater, 1957

The Edgewater Hotel, 1957, alongside its first mate, the bold and lovely B&G Coffee Shop and Milk Bar. A last glimpse of the good times. Photo courtesy Toronto Public Library collection S1-3861B.

THE EDGEWATER HOTEL was probably a decent place to stay, once, for about a month after it opened. Conveniently located next to the bus station, it was probably a "travelling salesman's hotel", a phrase that, to my parent's generation, was full of dark connotations.

When this postcard was taken - in the early 70s, judging by the cars - the bus station, it's second companion at the corner overlooking the lake, was still a going concern but the Edgewater had hit hard times. The whole nearby neighbourhood, Parkdale, had been slipping downhill since the Fifties, after Sunnyside, the nearby lakefront amusement park, was paved over to make way for the Gardiner Expressway. The suburbs bloomed, but Parkdale and other urban neighbourhoods had the heart ripped out of them.

A friend who frequented the hotel's bar around this time described it as a rough place for serious drinkers. Hardly a distinguished piece of architecture - a basic blockhouse with touches of moderne around the windows and brickwork - it did have a classic neon sign, added after the war, and the equal of the one gracing the bus terminal next door. The name itself is an archetype; there's an Edgewater Hotel in practically every city in the U.S. and Canada, regardless of whether there's a shoreline nearby.

Now let's skip ahead about thirty years...