Known as the oldest continuously operating hotel in Toronto, the Gladstone Hotel has evolved into a desirable and sustainable stay for travelers. While it’s received much international recognition as a favourite Boutique Art Hotel — its beauty is also in the hotel’s environmental and community focus.

Set on a corner across from the old Parkdale railroad, the Gladstone Hotel is a gorgeous mix of Victorian architecture and authentic contemporary downtown Toronto — with an awesome green roof on top!

There’s a reason, after all, it made the list as one of National Geographic Traveler’s most loved hotels and won a Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor this year.

Why their green efforts deserve some limelight

While the Gladstone Hotel is popular amongst the artists of the world for their unique rooms, more than 70 art exhibitions a year and delicious restaurants — there is also success in the sustainability practices this hotel makes.

Let’s talk about their green policy:

“The Gladstone Hotel aims to be an industry leader in sustainable hotel practices, creating a new norm for environmental hotel practices through commitment to using sustainable products, dramatically reducing consumption, recycling and composting our waste,” they say on their website.

The best part? They mean it. Along with their boycott of the plastic bottle, they stock and supply the hotel with local goods (whenever possible). Their soaps and shampoos are made by a local farmer in Prince Edward County and if they’re gently used and left behind — they are donated to the homeless.

Each room has heating and cooling systems controlled by the guest. This means energy is not wasted on vacancies and in general — but can cater to the comfort of guests in an energy-efficient fashion.

The staff is educated and trained in their sustainability initiatives and understand their green policy. Even their laundry is done through a green program!

Let’s talk about the green roof and wall

Oh, and it’s not just a green roof — there are two.  Installed by xeroflor and with some help from the City of Toronto, the Gladstone Hotel has two of these energy-efficient, aesthetically pleasing tops to their building. Aside from the fact that storms and flooding have been better managed, diverting water that would otherwise end up in the sewage — thanks to the green roof, heating and cooling costs have also been reduced.

In fact, the green roof tops may be the most energy-efficient element of the Gladstone Hotel. It also provides a lovely habitat for urban birds and butterflies on the eco-friendly roof. After all, a green roof is the most optimal type of roofing when it comes to energy efficiency in commercial buildings.

This extensive green roof also has “the potential to save between 4 and 20 kWh of energy per square metre of green roof coverage per year, depending on the age of the building,” according to an ECOroof case study on the Gladstone Hotel.

By the main stairwell, inside the Gladstone Hotel, is a green wall that was installed back in 2010. Recently upgraded by a Toronto company, this green wall is a breath of fresh air — but actually — it provides both an excellent source of oxygen in the building as well as a positive emotional impact on the indoor environment.

There’s also the Melody Bar

It’s been booming since 1889 and while it’s a sweet feature for travelers, locals often frequent it. With reasonably priced beverages, talented DJs, sweet live music and karaoke nights — it’s a happening place to be.

During the day, the Gladstone’s Café offers a delicious variety of options — with a preferred supply from local farmers, fair trade and organic goods.

The Gladstone Hotel has been receiving Green Audits by Green Shift since 2003. This small hotel will always leave a big, sustainable impression.

For businesses interested in a free Energy Audit, click here.


Image credit: Gladstone Hotel