For thirty years, the story of Toronto’s once-proud strip-club scene has been one of continual decline, and today it seems as though another one will be joining its departed friends in that big VIP room in the sky. Streetcar Developments, a condo company, announced via press release earlier today that it has purchased Jilly’s, the Queen and Broadview landmark known for its imposing Romanesque presence (the four-storey building was, according to its listing on the city’s heritage inventory, built in 1891), its windows plastered over with pictures of sultry women, and the motto on its sign (“The Finest in Adult Entertainment”).
The release says Jilly’s will be closing down, and that residents of the hotel rooms above the bar will be forced to vacate. In late 2013, the city issued an emergency work order in an attempt to get the building’s owner to address structural problems, leading to an initial flurry of speculation about the club’s fate. Streetcar says it will be making the necessary repairs.
Streetcar’s release says the company is in the early stages of planning, and that it “does not see this building as a residential condominium project.” Jilly’s seems more suited to a Gladstone-style hotel makeover, but we’ll see.
UPDATE: Hilariously, the Post reports that the building’s structural problems were the result of the former owners tearing down a load-bearing wall so people could see the strippers better.