This early hotel at the north-east corner of Front and Church was designed to resemble a moored steamboat. Located on the shoreline just west of the Market, it attract passengers getting off boats at the wharves and docks in the area. Steamboat Inn did not merely look different; it provided excellent food together with fine wines and liquors. The accommodation was elegant and extensive. Visitors could eat a meal, then visit the “upper deck,” a second- floor verandah that ran the length of the building. and watch activity in the harbour. In June 1829, the owner, Ulick Howard, leased the building to John Bradley, who advertised that he had hired Mr. Dixon as chef. Dixon had served the Governor for three years, and “other gentlemen of the first respectability in the provinces.”
As times changed, the harbour became more and more industrialized, and with infilling the shoreline moved out. The hotel found itself far from the shore. By 1852, it had become the City Hotel under a new owner.
Information from “A Glimpse of Toronto’s History.” MPLS#096