Story Ideas

10 things you need to know about… Canada’s historic hotels.

Delve into our country’s history through some of its landmark hotels, ranging from grand châteaux to a castle and the world’s ‘largest log cabin.’

30 September 2015

Suggested tweet: Delve into Canada’s past via these 10 magnificent historic hotels #explorecanada

Oh, the stories these hotels could tell! Canada’s most historic properties are a way to connect with the growth of the country. Here are 10 to get you looking back to the future.

1) Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, AB: Jasper Park Lodge has its origins in the early 1900s as a “Tent City” (albeit fully stocked with luxury linens and chinaware), which catered to travellers seeking an authentic Canadian mountain wilderness experience. Just like today….

2) Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth, QC: In May 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono checked into this Montréal hotel, slipped into their jammies and stayed under the covers to make an anti-war statement at their Bed-In for Peace.

3) The Algonquin Resort, NB: For more than a century, golfers have flocked to this New Brunswick seaside castle in St-Andrews-by-the-Sea. In 1894, five dollars bought a season’s pass to the highly acclaimed golf course and clubhouse. How times have changed!

4) Hotel Georgia, BC: The history of this Vancouver hotel is intertwined with the era of jazz and big-band music. The province’s most popular radio station broadcast from a penthouse-level studio in the hotel.

5) The Fort Garry, MB: Winnipeg’s nod to a distinctly Canadian château-style architecture dates back to the early 20th century. In a recent restoration, the original brass mailbox and chutes were given a good cleanout and several letters, mailed many years before, were found stuck inside.

6) Fairmont Château Laurier, ON: Ottawa’s Château Laurier was once home to the late Yousuf Karsh, Canada’s legendary portrait photographer. The Reading Lounge displays signed originals, including Karsh’s 1941 portrait of Sir Winston Churchill, one of the most widely reproduced pictures in the history of photography.

7) Fairmont Le Château Montebello, QC: Inspired by the architecture of Switzerland’s grand châteaux, the world’s largest “log cabin” was constructed from 10,000 hand-cut, red cedar logs. The resort has played host to organizations such as the G7 and NATO.

8) King Edward Hotel, ON: Built in 1903, this was Toronto’s first luxury hotel and once one of the downtown’s tallest buildings. Canada’s who’s-who have flocked to the lavish Crystal Ballroom for many high-society events.

9) Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, QC: In 1944, Allied leaders during the Second World War gathered at this majestic venue in Québec City for a series of strategic meetings. It is still one of the world’s most photographed hotels.

10) Fairmont Banff Springs, AB: At 127 years old, this National Historic Site has long been a part of Canadian history. Nicknamed the “Castle in the Rockies,” it has hosted countless dignitaries, heads of state and celebrities.

Looking for more visual inspiration from Canada’s history? Browse our Brand Canada Library for thousands of images and videos from all over Canada.

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