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  • authored by hellraiser
  • published Thu, Feb 10, 2005

Mondo Condo Tour Guide

MONDO CONDO TOUR GUIDE

As most fans are aware, the historic Triumph hotel (now Travelodge) will soon be closing its doors… again. This leaves less than two months for fans of all things criminal, kitschy and absurd, to come and experience it for themselves. A surge of interest is expected due to a combination of the upcoming local 1000A meeting, internet readers, and various media sources smelling blood. To help those that wish to visit and tour around the property we are providing a list of ‘must-see' attractions. Treat it as a scavenger hunt by crossing off each item (plus all the secondary ones) as they are spotted and laughed at. Enjoy.

Travelodge Hotel
2737 Keele St.
(Keele/401 intersection)
Toronto, ON


1. Since you are probably driving to Ron Kelly's first box, we must insist that you come in from the north side of Keele. This is so that you can see the FUCKING UGLY AND HUGE WESTMOUNT SIGN which covers the north face of the hotel (including the hallway windows). Voted by staff and local residents as the ugliest sign in Toronto, its sole purpose seems to be to drive away business (both condo and hotel). Although there are some smaller signs on the south side, and there was an original Westmount sign on the east side (which blew away), they fail to match the ridiculousness of this one.

2. Now you will have to park somewhere. Make sure it is in SATAN'S PARKING GARAGE. This garage is famed for its dim lighting, peeling, cracking and falling walls. This should be of little concern to you since the main challenge will be to find your car when you get back! As most insurance companies, police, hotel management and the city of Toronto know, the garage is a mecca for people who wish to drop off their ‘used' cars, and for them to pick up a new set of wheels. As you tour around what a city councillor once referred to as the ugliest structure in Toronto (you can disagree), please feel free to ask yourself whether the place would make for great condo parking. Because admirers of Satan's Parking Garage really want to see Westmount save this great structure and not allow the city of Toronto to heartlessly turn it into another road. Who wants that?

3. You've survived the parking garage! Exit and look to the south. You are now facing the OLD CANADIAN TIRE PROPERTY, currently being worked on illegally. It's like a mini-city coming together isn't it? Too bad that they need that garage gone. Damn hotel just keeps screwing everything up.

4. Now walk to the opposite end (north). You will find A VERY EMPTY LOT. Note how perfectly sized the lot is. It begins and ends with the parking garage. Almost as if some smart person has been saving the lot for the day that some other smart person could get rid of the garage, and then some other smart person over at the Old Canadian Tire Property could combine all three. Unfortunately the second smart person could not be found.

5. Now look to the property on the left… the CHEAP-ASS SWISS CHALET/ BURGER KING COMPLEX. Note how cheap-ass the Cheap-Ass Swiss Chalet/ Burger King Complex is. It was built a few years ago for what seems to be a less than permanent time. Even weirder is that a Burger King is located at the next major intersection over. Is it possible that some smart guy got this land and put whatever on it, another smart guy left his lot empty, another smart guy decided to get rid of a garage and a fourth smart guy waited over at the end? A fifth smart guy probably ran it all, but who give a fuck, because the third guy in this scenario didn't deliver.

6. Let's get inside the hotel. Going through the main doors, you will find the front desk to the left side. Unless you're going all-out-crazy on your tour, and are staying in-house (too many things to mention), you won't need to check in. You can walk past the front desk and continue to the end of the hall where you will be able to overlook THE WRONG SPOT POOL. This is the famous pool that was to be removed and relocated according to the Hotel Residences (a previous incarnation of Westmount). Then it became part of the plan, um, not part of the plan depending on whom you asked. The pool was to be moved to an old nightclub spot and the front of the hotel opened to Keele St. All business including the restaurant (directly to your right as you look at the pool) was to continue as if nothing was happening. I'm sorry but we cannot at this time provide the drugs that you need to try and make sense of this idea. Just stare in wonder!

7. We mentioned that to your right is the café. The café is somewhat interesting and if you find it open, please say hello to the staff. But since the coffee is expensive and tastes like shit, let's just move on to the room we passed on the way to the pool. Right beside the café is a RESTAURANT CURRENTLY NOT IN USE. But it has major history. This is the place where all those great 70s and 80s mob and business deals took place. It was a darkened steakhouse/lounge for the wheeler-dealers. When Ron Kelly first bought the place, this room became his fetish. He tried to recreate the glory days with plush seating and very discreet booths. No matter how many drunken union boys threw money into the place, it didn't work out. For some reason, a Howard Johnson clientele looked at that room, and thought it would cost a fortune to step in there. Smart people, those HoJo clients. If you sneak inside (very easy) and look at the walls, you will see the frosted glass panes that once separated the booths. They were removed in order to try and make the room a little less ‘gotta-be-a-mobster-to-eat-here'. Sit in plush red and imagine the good old days.

8. We now continue past the Restaurant Currently Not In Use and come to the ALL THINGS EVENTUALLY COME BACK BAR. This is the main lounge bar located across from the front doors. Stepping into it, you will be transported into a 1970s atmosphere with a square bar (a la Cheers). The must see is the shag carpeting that still surrounds the bar. It is so cool. Guaranteed not to be found in any other bar, since only this place never renovates. But it does get guest approval. Walking around the bar, one must pay homage at the wall of signed hockey player pics. The interesting thing is that they are all signed to HoJo (now a competing banner), but nobody cares. On the back empty wall, you will notice where the plasma screen TV has been removed. We're not sure who did it and why. But surprisingly they left the ultra-cheesy-retro-woman-playing-pool picture on the opposite side of the bar. See if they made a mistake.

9. Exiting the bar, you will find the elevators to the original 10 storey wing of the hotel. Please step on the elevator, say a prayer that it moves, and then press floor 3. Exit on 3. You are now on the WE KNOW YOU'RE A HOOKER FLOOR. There was a point in time where the need for business made this hotel a haven for very friendly ladies and their boyfriends. Usually coming in for a standard 2-3 week cycle, these people were easily flagged and identifiable. So hotel policy was to group them (a lot of them) on the 3rd floor. Watching incoming guests from the bar or front desk was a fun pastime! 'That guy's 3rd floor half an hour for sure'! If you really feel like you missed out, rent a room on this floor and lie on the bed. Think about your union bosses being there. Now throw up.

10. After your needed puke, go around the corner and try to find the 24th room as in 324 or 524. Right across from it should be a NO ICE MACHINE. Each floor had one, although some have since been removed. Now imagine 9 floors without a working ice machine and you're on the 9th floor. You start heading down checking each machine. By the time you've given up and decided to go ask the bartender, you're ready to go kill someone. This hotel is probably responsible for more killings around the world than any other. That's not even including the mob-related ones!

11. Now I'm sure you're pissed about the No Ice Machines. Who wouldn't be? Let's take that anger back to the elevator and press 10. You are now in the ANGELIC WESTMOUNT PENTHOUSE. Please kneel once you exit on this floor. It'll feel like religious anger. Guaranteed. You are about to walk into Joe Ieradi's pit! We advise you to try as hard as possible to locate Joe and get an autograph on your printed tour guide. Ebay will reward you handsomely! Now hopefully the sales office is open, because you are there to buy a condo! Of course, because there are no others available in Toronto and this is the place to be! Ask questions, bring in some articles, enjoy the total nervousness of the sales people. Try asking the same question twice just to confuse ‘em.

12. After your 10th floor religious experience, you can head back down to the lobby and go right. This leads to the banquet room at the top of the stairs (this room was built in the 80's at a huge cost). You're here to see the NO LONGER A DANCE FLOOR FLOOR. When you book a wedding type event, you expect to dance. But in our favourite hotel, you receive a floor totally warped by water damage from burst pipes. Try to do a few steps and then run to the sales office to book the room. You're running low on time!

13. Number 13 is dedicated to a Mr. Finnamore, who pointed out the must-see POTHEAD TUNNEL. This is a tricky one to get to. But if you can manage it (convince an employee who doesn't give a damn to help-show the tour guide), it is well worth it. The Pothead Tunnel was used as a way for the nite-club patrons to get into the place. Older readers might remember 'LA Hollywood' in the early Ron Kelly days and the famous 'Canary Cottage' of the Triumph days. The Pothead Tunnel has unfortunately had its rings of neon lighting removed but still serves as a great spot to 'burn one down'. On a side note, the nite-club (ruined by hotel idiots pouring concrete into the sunken dance floor), was supposed to be the spot for the relocated Wrong Spot Pool (why fill in the dance floor then you knobs- just put some water in there). So the Westmount version of the Pothead Tunnel would have led to the pool room and you'd still be miles away from your condo. Maybe they were going to make it 3 times longer and bring back the neon, so give 'em the benefit of the doubt as you blaze away.

14. We're at 14! Wow, lots of ‘must-see' action. But we might have missed some, as there is always a story to tell at this famed laundry machine. So please, if you stumble into a 14th ‘must see' let us know.

Enjoy yourselves… as much as possible.

Brought to you by your friends at the…
International Shit Disturbers Union
ISDU Local 666

  • posted by HJFinnamore
  • Thu, Feb 10, 2005 6:56am

In reference to Item 2 - Parking Garage:

Yes it is a very scary place (and smelly too). The rebar is exposed and severely corroded. The concrete is in extremely poor shape. Only a structural engineer could verify its safety as a standing structure.

That being said, the nice salesman told me that the garage was going to be closed in and would sport a Tuscan Villa facade. As well, I noticed that condos were planned for the very spot that the parking garage sits on. I was told, "Oh, ah, ah, ya, they are going to built on top of the garage.'

I asked about how a condo owner would get his or her groceries across the 100 or so yards from the parking garage to the main condo buildings. I was told that there was a tunnel that was going to be built.

I went to the planning department ( they didn't know shit about any condo conversion at the Travellodge) and they showed me that there was already an existing tunnel, but that it wasn't up to code, so a conversion of that might not be possible.

Now the City insists that a road will have to run across the tunnel ( and the Travellodge owners will have to give the land to the city for free if they ever want to redevelop the property.

Yes, the parking garage is little more than a drunk's urinal and a car thieves' paradise. Living atop it would be a dream. Making five trips totalling hundreds of yards to haul your groceries in to the main building must be what was meant by "The Fitness Club".

  • posted by hellraiser
  • Thu, Feb 10, 2005 12:03pm

Thanks Hugh. I edited in a #13 'must-see' and dedicated it to you.

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Thu, Feb 10, 2005 12:24pm

Potentate, no tour of the infamous pile on Keele would be complete without a chance to check out the breathtaking views that you get from the upper floors.

When I was up there on the 10th floor a while ago, checking out the model suites, I was spellbound by the views from all four directions. I don't know which one I liked the best: The expressway to the south, the parking lot at the Ontario goverment complex to the west, the shabby retail plaza to the north or the ready mix yard to the east. Craptacular!

Damn, I'd have a hard time making up my mind which one of those I'd like if I was going to be laying out anywhere from 100K to 440K for a condo in TO (where, as you said, there are no other condos to choose from).

As an added bonus, I discovered that if you pull open the sliding doors, you get a continuous deafening roar from the traffic on the 401. And the sliding doors got stuck and wouldn't close! You could pitch a body over the railing and nobody would hear it hit the ground. Maybe we could call that the "accidental death suite - with a great view".

  • posted by hellraiser
  • Fri, Feb 11, 2005 1:38am

quote:


posted by remote viewer:
Damn, I'd have a hard time making up my mind which one of those I'd like if I was going to be laying out anywhere from 100K to 440K for a condo in TO (where, as you said, there are no other condos to choose from).


Oh RV, it is tough but you have to go with the NORTH VIEW. South is definitely unacceptable for both noise and highway traffic (triggers depression).

The NORTH VIEW will allow you a glimspe of the newly refurbished Downsview Memorial Parkette. Last year it wasn't much (an unkempt garden)...

quote:


that the Commissioner of Economic Development, Culture and Tourism be requested to expedite the archaeological assessment of Downsview Memorial Parkette and remove the crumbling concrete structure at that site forthwith


To avoid confusion they weren't speaking about Satan's Parking Garage. This spot is just across the street. The little corner has been cleared and is ready for a city sponsored sculpture to go up (they are down to five choices).

So NORTH is the best view. Westmount might already be charging more for this side based on the view of the Beer Store (euphoric for many). If they become aware of the added sure-to-be-crap sculpture, it might put the condo price out of our reach. Unfortunate.

And I like the catchy tune. The Golden Boys!

  • posted by siggy
  • Fri, Feb 11, 2005 5:41am

Oh yes I really want to go there! The internet is an amazing thing - it's almost like being there and seeing is believing isn't it?

Thank-you for being my frien-end - cliff evans is a good friend of mine - travelling down the road and back again - which cliff evans - you're a friend and a confident. - I don't know any cliff evans - thank you for being my friend - tra-la-la - that is one catchy tune.

  • posted by hellraiser
  • Fri, Feb 11, 2005 7:40am

quote:


posted by siggy:
Oh yes I really want to go there! The internet is an amazing thing - it's almost like being there and seeing is believing isn't it?


Yup, you gotta love the internet. Makes everyone a neighbour... or friend (in the Cliff/Joe case).

If you really want to get more of a feel for, and see the city's fascination with this Toronto site, scroll through this document... Wilson Ave. urban design

You'll find pictures of the area and sketch designs of the 'vision'. For some reason it's hard to figure out how the current southeast corner fits into this beautiful vision. Take for example this statement...

quote:


Wherever possible, development will be considered on a comprehensive basis in association with abutting lands with consideration given to consolidating access points as well as shared parking.


Consolidated access?? Shared parking?? Um, what type of megacomplex do these city drug smokers think will end up on the corner? One with a road? Joe and his neighbours think small. Don't confuse 'em. No grand scale planning ever happens when a city wants to skyrocket the property value of an area. Man, they even take a cheap shot at the fronting ugly facade of the poor Cheap-Ass Swiss Chalet/ Burger King Complex. Maybe all those planted trees will act as a pimple concealer and let the place survive.

Please city people, let Joe and his neighbours continue with their dreams! It would be sad for them to vanish and give up their precious land with an "I have no idea and have never met the person I am giving up my land to- infact I signed the docs on their behalf because I have no idea who the guy or guys are- even if it was Cliff, I wouldn't know because I don't want to know- I just want to help a friend- I mean a business friend- I mean another person in the same business as me- you know what I mean- I got no use for this land- I forgot about that road thing like all us neighbours did- so don't say we're all stupid- we can't all be stupid if we all forgot about it- that's stupid to say so don't say it!"

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Fri, Feb 11, 2005 2:07pm

quote:


So NORTH is the best view. Westmount might already be charging more for this side based on the view of the Beer Store (euphoric for many). If they become aware of the added sure-to-be-crap sculpture, it might put the condo price out of our reach. Unfortunate.


I dunno. I really have to say that I was leaning towards the expressway view. There was just something about those 16 lanes of exhaust-spewing, horn honking, gasoline guzzling metal and plastic boxes, flowing by - slowly, always slowly - like a giant river of ugliness. Every mile is one more mile closer to the great scrap heap.

I felt a connection between this visual and the whole CCWIPP-UFCW drama. Something toxic, something slow, inevitable ruin.

Hmmm... I wonder what kind of financing they're offering. I'd like to get one of those loans that you never have to pay back - like Ron Kelly got.

Maybe we could all buy a place then. We could get another loan that you never have to pay back and use it to renovate the place.

We could get still another loan and pay the City to take another look at the need for a road. Hell, we could say we're going to build the road ourselves and just take our time about it.

I don't want to knock down Satan's Garage. We could turn it into a tourist attraction and make even more money that we get to keep. Think about it: Park At Satan's. A different car every day. And that pothead tunnel sounds intriguing. I mean for staying out of the rain of course.

We'd have tons of business. We'd need to reserve a whole floor for motorcycles and you can really pack those in.

  • posted by hellraiser
  • Sat, Feb 12, 2005 12:40am

I regret to inform Mondo Condo Tour takers that the ultra-cheesy-retro-woman-playing-pool picture found in the All Things Eventually Come Back Bar is there no more.

Some lucky hotel fan now has that memento to always remember their Travelodge.

But all you scavenger hunters will be pleased to know that many more 'must sees' are being heard and will be piling in over the next few days. Seems to me that employees getting shafted on their severance and on the termination itself, aren't too worried about...

being dooced (thanks atu)

  • posted by Richard
  • Sat, Feb 12, 2005 2:36pm

Is the duck still in the lobby? I'm not riding for an hour to take a tour if the duck is gone.

 -

  • posted by hellraiser
  • Sat, Feb 12, 2005 3:43pm

quote:


posted by Richard:
Is the duck still in the lobby? I'm not riding for an hour to take a tour if the duck is gone.


Richard, you're responsible for a bunch of staff each ROTFLMFAO (rolling on the floor laughing my fucking ass off)!!

The duck is missing and everyone is on a search. The lobby looks a bit different but who took the duck???

Richard, the duck will be found for you!!



Edit side note- That pic is at least 10 years old. Royal Host cheapest ass on the planet bastards just kept the age old pic. Pay for some updated shots without the duck false advertising, ya dicks.

  • posted by hellraiser
  • Sat, Feb 12, 2005 4:05pm

Richard, just received word that the duck was stolen from the lobby by some guest or guests.

It happens. I apologize. Unfortunately, no manager tried to tackle the culprit.

  • posted by Duffbeer
  • Sat, Feb 12, 2005 5:02pm

These reviews are the subjective opinions of TripAdvisor members and not of TripAdvisor, Inc.

Texas Tourist "Enters The Lobby" (7/7/04)

quote:


The only redeeming thing about this hotel is this wall of mirrors in the lobby which harkened to the last fight scene in Bruce Lee's Enter The Dragon (hall of mirrors) which was kinda cool and I took pictures there. That was about it.


 -

Everybody Out Of The Pool! (3/13/04)

quote:


The only drawback, was the pool. I was really looking forward to utilizing the facilities, but didn't know that the pool is in a glassed in enclosure, situated off a main street, and "The Cafe". I'm a private person, and felt that the pools location was not good. Anyone can watch you, and I don't want people seeing me swim...I'm rather self-conscious. I almost didn't use the pool because of this.


 -

  • posted by hellraiser
  • Sat, Feb 12, 2005 5:54pm

Wow, sparkling pics. Age them by a decade to get a better feel.

Duff, are those the best quotes you could find? lol Almost too PG compared to what's out there.

As for the 'exposed' pool... hmmmm... never thought about it that way. Just figured that when a good looking girl gets in there and 10 staff members crowd around the restaurant windows to ogle, it's not offensive. You mean other pools don't have this perk?

  • posted by hellraiser
  • Sun, Feb 13, 2005 9:14pm

I'm getting really nervous about Westmount. A couple weeks back, they pulled down their really cool website and put an 'under construction' sign up... Westmount site

They must be planning to suprise us with an even better super-mega-spectacular site! The last one probably contained too much of the 'wrong' info and those little TV spots just never seemed to work.

But it was still better than the one they were using for way too long a time (til some bad people advised that a location and a few details would help)... The original long time site

On another note, it seems that management, security and the rest of the staff are working under the impression that everything in the hotel belongs to Joe Ieradi. Royal Host's respect is hovering at 0%, Joe's is much, much lower.

It's gonna make for some interesting last few days.

Oh and guess what event is coming up in a couple weeks??!!... Forensic Conference

Maybe they'll get lucky, a wall will crumble and Hoffa will turn up! The dates just keep fitting in to this place.

  • posted by hellraiser
  • Sun, Feb 13, 2005 9:29pm

quote:


posted by ISDU Potentate:
Maybe they'll get lucky, a wall will crumble and Hoffa will turn up! The dates just keep fitting in to this place.


I'm replying to myself. Ya know, this would give the tour a lot more exposure and make it really fun! We might get thousands of international crime fans in to the hotel. Spread the word...

WE FOUND JIMMY!!!!!!!! Where??

Travelodge Hotel
2737 Keele St.
(Keele/401 intersection)
Toronto, ON

Bring a sledge hammer with you.

  • posted by hellraiser
  • Sun, Feb 13, 2005 9:52pm

quote:


posted by ISDU Potentate:
WE FOUND JIMMY!!!!!!!! Where??

Travelodge Hotel
2737 Keele St.
(Keele/401 intersection)
Toronto, ON


Another response to myself, but that's 'normal' for those that are not.

I'm running with this...

quote:


As a construction labourer, Joe Ieradi helped build the Triumph Hotel on Keele St. at Wilson Ave. in North York in 1975.


...

Hmmmmm...

quote:


Jimmy Hoffa, president of the Teamster's Union, disappeared without a trace on July 30, 1975.


Koinky dink??

Hmmmmm... 1991 Ron Kelly's buds desperately want this hotel and only a 'legitimate' pedophile priest will do.

Koinky dink??

Hmmmmm... 2001/2 Joe Ieradi comes out of nowhere and desperately wants to buy the place.

Koinky dink??

Hmmmmm... Joe's plan is to 'convert' the building and not have to knock it down (the foundation needs no exposure).

Koinky dink??

Up to you tourists to decide.

  • posted by Duffbeer
  • Sun, Feb 13, 2005 11:44pm

Looks like a job for Geraldo Rivera!

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Tue, Feb 15, 2005 6:44am

I was driving north up Keele St. yesterday and happened to notice the humungous sign on south-facing side of the building.

COME SLEEP WITH US

The huge sign is an ad for a $99 per night room special that the hotel is advertising but what a choice of words!

It brought to mind all kinds of associations...come sleep with the fishes...come get er, shafted by us...come let us lull you into a semi-comatose state...

It's the strangest ad I've ever seen for a hotel (and $99 a nite isn't any bargain for this pile either). It seems to me like the guys running this place have been doing their damnedest to run it into the ground.

  • posted by hellraiser
  • Sat, Feb 19, 2005 11:43am

REASON TO HATE JOE IERADI #3,026,559,612

The lobby birds and fishies: It seems that Joe feels the Travelodge will shut its doors the day after the Police Forensic Services conference. Then his 'auction' can begin. Outside motel people get first dibs and then we believe staff might get a shot at the crappiest of the crap.

The lobby has two glass/wood displays housing 16 little birds (palm size). One tank of larger size fish. A couple staff members have been taking care of and feeding them as a wilfully accepted part of their job. Now they've asked management if they can take some of the birds home as their own pets. These birds aren't worth that much so price is not an issue.

Management response- Nope, they're Joe's and he's gonna auction them

Betting has begun on how fast Joe kills the birds. This guy can barely take care of himself, let alone birds and fish. We can picture Joe taking the fish tank down to his niteclub-auction room sideways. Oops... thought that fuckin' water was solid... ya mean those fish and birds ain't plastic?

On another funny note, a guest fled in fury because there was no hot-tub/whirlpool. There hasn't been one since last summer, but all travel sites still list it. There are always complaints but this one was the funniest. Hope he sues for false advertising.

Travelodge is a running joke that keeps tripping over it's own feet.

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