A Richardsonian red-brick home on the west end of town, this B & B is all gem. Witness the turret, capped with a weather vane. True craftsmen created this 5,000-square-foot house. It shows in every enchanting nook and cranny, in the high plastered ceilings, wooden banisters and in the richly aged hardwood floors. A nostalgic funkiness blends 19th-century antiques and a wood-burning fireplace with modern pieces. Breakfast offers a range of hot selections, as well as an extensive Continental spread. It's within walking distance of High Park, Toronto's largest green space, and the eclectic residential neighborhoods of Roncesvalles and Bloor West Village.
How quaint! The house features a wrap-around porch, complete with Muskoka chairs and white columns. An historian's delight.
In keeping with the Victorian architecture, the decor is traditional. The hot water radiators are charming, as are the antique headboards and fireplaces. One room has dormer windows.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Not everyone will appreciate the bedspreads--which deviate from white duvets you usually find in hotels. They're mismatched and sometimes no coordinated with the sofas. Window air conditioning units are well intentioned, but an eyesore.
Updated and clean, the modern bathrooms feature white pedestal sinks, glass walk-in showers with gleaming white tiles. The lighting is great and all mod-cons are provided.
Sit in the parlor, admiring the woodwork, fireplace and original sconces. Guests chat amiably in the living area, enjoying the uniqueness of the residential B&B experience. In the summer, people meander out on the wrap-around front porch.
An opulent breakfast is served in the cheery dining room. Summertime quests are treated to their morning meal on the vine-covered back patio, featuring a mural of a Tuscan vineyard.
Just off the Gardiner Expressway, the Bonnevue has free parking and easy access to major arteries and streetcars (#501, #504). But you're not downtown. Know that. You're at the edge of the West End, 10 minute-drive to the city centre.
Surrounded by excellent Tibetan restaurant, guests rave about Shangrila, Om and Lhasa Kitchen (all 5 - 10 minute walk). For excellent BBQ, make a reservation at Barque Smokehouse (6-minute drive). Get the brisket or pulled pork.
The Local (8-minute drive) is a Roncesvalles institution for Ontario ale, live music and flirting on the back patio. The Lansdowne Brewery (5-minute drive) is equally fun, with regional beer and eclectic snacks.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Visiting friends in the trendy West end of Toronto? Stay here, and skip the crapshoot of an Airbnb. We love the restored architecture (circa 1880), the scalloped shingles, the custom woodwork and welcoming front porch. Sit a spell, or spend time on the back terrace--a recreated Tuscan vineyard. While some guests may be put off by the bedspreads (i.e. they're not white duvets), others will appreciate the antique headboards, original wood floors, updated bathrooms and the free parking.