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Old Posted Sep 30, 2018, 5:59 PM
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Canada's Grand Railway Hotels

During the golden age of Canadian rail travel, the country's premier railway operators built some of the world's grandest hotels. Most could be found in our big cities, complimenting the nearby grand railroad stations, with a few built to display Canada's natural beauty. As rail travel lost favour through the mid to late 20th century, a few others were built in much more modern, utilitarian style.

As time went on, some were demolished, some were lost to fire, a few re-purposed, but many of them still stand today as an integral part of our towns, cities and National Parks.

This thread is dedicated to these grand hotels that hold a place of honour on the Canadian landscape, along with the few that were lost in history.

To get us started, here's a (likely incomplete) list of those hotels.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...railway_hotels
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Old Posted Sep 30, 2018, 8:44 PM
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The Delta Beausejour(SP?) in Moncton was originally a CN hotel.
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Old Posted Sep 30, 2018, 10:28 PM
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We no longer have a railway or a grand railway hotel, but we did for a while.



Quote:
The original Newfoundland Hotel, an 8-storey brick structure, was opened in 1926 in St. John's. The hotel was owned and operated by the Newfoundland Hotel Facilities, Ltd. Ownership of the hotel was transferred to the Canadian National Railway hotel division in 1949 following Confederation.

From 1939 to 1949, the 6th floor served as home and studios for Newfoundland Broadcasting Corporation. The current site was formerly Fort William, a British Army base in the 17th Century.

In the early 1960s the hotel was renamed Hotel Newfoundland due to CN's new policy of making names more bilingual.
It offered European and North American-style suites, but the European-style ones went out of fashion. Major renovations would've been required to bring all suites up to the modern, North American standard of size/plumbing/amenity placement/etc. so it was torn down and replaced with a modern building in the 1980s.
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Old Posted Sep 30, 2018, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PEI highway guy View Post
The Delta Beausejour(SP?) in Moncton was originally a CN hotel.
Indeed. Here's a photo:



The prestige restaurant at the Beausejour (The Windjammer) still uses CNR silverware.
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Old Posted Sep 30, 2018, 10:43 PM
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The Westin in Halifax was the CN Nova Scotian Hotel and is still connected to the VIA Rail Station
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Old Posted Sep 30, 2018, 10:43 PM
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I must say that the CN hotels for the most part are pretty boring.
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Old Posted Sep 30, 2018, 11:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghYHZ View Post
The Westin in Halifax was the CN Nova Scotian Hotel and is still connected to the VIA Rail Station
And the Lord Nelson was built by CP.


Source


Nova Scotian Hotel


Source


They are both nice but modest. The railway hotels were a bigger deal in the west, just like the major department stores.

Halifax had another group of hotels built in the steamship era starting around 1830.
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Old Posted Oct 1, 2018, 12:04 AM
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The (Third) Hotel Vancouver:


From: https://www.booking.com/hotel/ca/fai...ver.en-gb.html
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Old Posted Oct 1, 2018, 12:41 AM
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I prefer the second one:

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Old Posted Oct 1, 2018, 12:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SignalHillHiker View Post
We no longer have a railway or a grand railway hotel, but we did for a while.





It offered European and North American-style suites, but the European-style ones went out of fashion. Major renovations would've been required to bring all suites up to the modern, North American standard of size/plumbing/amenity placement/etc. so it was torn down and replaced with a modern building in the 1980s.
What's the difference between European and North American suites?
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Old Posted Oct 1, 2018, 1:37 AM
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I have no idea. The old advertisements for the hotel only described the two options positively; they promoted it as comfort and familiarity versus spacious and modern - but the newspaper articles I've read seem to suggest the showers and toilets and things were shared in the Euro parts.
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Old Posted Oct 1, 2018, 3:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SignalHillHiker View Post
We no longer have a railway or a grand railway hotel, but we did for a while.





It offered European and North American-style suites, but the European-style ones went out of fashion. Major renovations would've been required to bring all suites up to the modern, North American standard of size/plumbing/amenity placement/etc. so it was torn down and replaced with a modern building in the 1980s.
Built in 1926, I think it was similar to other Canadian railway hotels of this type; they just wanted a larger hotel and the site was not large enough to accommodate both the old and the new comfortably, so it was demolished and replaced by a parking lot instead of sold to competition. Perhaps by "European", you might mean smaller rooms? The 2nd Hotel Vancouver was demolished for similar reasons.
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Old Posted Oct 1, 2018, 5:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban recluse View Post
I prefer the second one:

Yeah the Italianate 2nd Hotel Vancouver was quite beautiful, and it would be pretty much completely unique in Canada.
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Old Posted Oct 1, 2018, 12:42 PM
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Back in the day, I suspect that "European-style suites" referred to rooms without private bathrooms.
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Old Posted Oct 1, 2018, 1:22 PM
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Originally Posted by kwoldtimer View Post
Back in the day, I suspect that "European-style suites" referred to rooms without private bathrooms.
If you were to ask me point blank what an American vs. a European hotel room was (plan américain vs. plan européen) my guess would have been that it's about the type of breakfast (or not) that comes with your room.
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Old Posted Oct 1, 2018, 1:23 PM
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Here's the Fort Garry, Winnipeg's classic old CNR hotel which has been independently owned since 1979.


thousandwonders.net

Winnipeg had a couple of other notable railway hotels, including the longstanding Royal Alexandra Hotel next to the CPR station. The Royal Alex had the misfortune of being located a down at the heels area a bit far from Portage and Main, in what would eventually become Winnipeg's skid row. Once the bottom fell out of intercity railway traffic, its fate was sealed and the Royal Alex was demolished in 1971.


winnipegfreepress.com

There was also the Northern Pacific's short-lived Manitoba Hotel near Portage and Main which burned down in 1899, only nine years after it was built.


mhs.mb.ca

Likely the best-known railway hotel in the province outside of Winnipeg was Brandon's Prince Edward Hotel. It was a CN hotel and there was a small railway station attached to it for local trains. It was demolished back in 1980.


ebrandon.ca
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Old Posted Oct 1, 2018, 2:40 PM
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Since it won't take long to cover the major well known railway hotels I thought we could also ad some of the smaller less known or forgotten ones.

The Highland Inn, Cache Lake, Algonquin Provincial (Ontario) Park, Owned and opperated by the Grand Trunk Railway System. The Highland Inn was purchased from Ruth Paget by the Ontario Government in 1956. In the following year, it was dismantled and burned.

1908 - 1954

source: https://static.torontopubliclibrary.ca


source: https://static.torontopubliclibrary.ca


source: https://static.torontopubliclibrary.ca


source: https://www.ontarioparks.com
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Old Posted Oct 1, 2018, 3:35 PM
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I grew up in a railway family in Moncton in the 70's. I believe my dad or grandfather told me that the Algonquin in St Andrews By The Sea NB was a CP hotel at one time.
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Old Posted Oct 1, 2018, 3:45 PM
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I will sidetrack for one post since the Royal York hasn't been done yet..


Opened on 11 June 1929, the Châteauesque-styled building is 124-metre-tall (407 ft), and contains 28 floors. It is considered one of Canada's grand railway hotels. After its completion, the building was briefly the tallest building in Toronto, as well as the tallest building in the country, and the British Empire, until the nearby Canadian Bank of Commerce Tower was built the following year. The building has undergone several extensive renovations since it first opened, with its first major renovation in 1972. An underground walkway linking the hotel with the Royal Bank Plaza and Union Station form part of the Toronto's PATH underground city system.


images from: source: https://static.torontopubliclibrary.ca

The Queens Hotel 1927 before demolition for the Royal York Hotel.













It had it's own power plant.


Love the old buses with skylights.






Just peaking out as it's prominence from east, west, and north begins to diminish.












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Old Posted Oct 1, 2018, 3:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PEI highway guy View Post
I grew up in a railway family in Moncton in the 70's. I believe my dad or grandfather told me that the Algonquin in St Andrews By The Sea NB was a CP hotel at one time.


In 1903, the Canadian Pacific Railway Company purchased The Algonquin
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