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Old 01-12-2023, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Toronto
15,102 posts, read 15,862,695 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natnasci View Post
The hotel is wonderful. We stayed in basic room for the night few arrived, since we were leaving the next morning for a few days.

When we came back we had booked a nicer room, much larger, had a fireplace and was on a corner overlooking Union Station. I love history, so of course we went down to the mezzanine to look at the display of the hotels history. Besides the photos of royalty and famous entertainers, there was a photo of a room, from the 1920's that looked a lot like ours. I took a photo of the photo, and compared the marble surround on the fireplace to see if it matched. It did. That and the room number which had been renumbered since then, but still basically matched, clinched it. Our room had formally been the living room of a larger suite as the old photo showed. Love stuff like that.

It was the convenience of just walking across to Union Station to catch the UP to Pearson which first attracted us to the hotel, plus car rental just in the next block.
Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for sharing the experience. Great to hear they are preserving it on the inside as well!
I love historical pieces that I can reference to a story in the past. A pair of Napolean's black silk socks is part of the Bata Shoe Museum display and just fascinating seeing something real in front of you connected with something familiar in the past

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
Thanks to you guys for bringing these up!

Ironically, Montreal was Canada's original railway capital where everything started from, but it doesn't really have a grand railway hotel in the heart of the city.

It used to have two.

The Windsor Hotel, which was partly demolished though some parts of it still survive as offices and ballrooms.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windsor_Hotel_(Montreal)

And the Place Viger, which is like a mini-Château Frontenac. It sat abandoned for quite some time but was renovated and repurposed a few years ago, with almost the entire structure retained.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Place_Viger

What would effectively become Montreal's lasting grand railway hotel is The Queen Elizabeth (Le Reine Elizabeth) which was built around 1960 in a more brutalist style. It was I think the last of Canada's grand railway hotels to be built and its style is quite different from the others. Its claim to fame is for being home to John Lennon' and Yoko Ono's bed-in for peace, and where the song "Give Peace a Chance" was recorded.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_Elizabeth_Hotel
Speaking of Montreal being the original railway capital, it also didn't construct a railway station with the grandeur of Toronto's Union Station. Montreal Central Station is ok but i'm just surprised since Montreal at the time was still the largest and most important city in the country.

My personal fav of all the railroad hotels is the Chateau Frontenac. It is my favourite single piece of architecture in the whole country. Place Viger is mint though. I prefer it to the Queen Elizabeth.

Last edited by fusion2; 01-12-2023 at 02:17 PM..
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Old 01-12-2023, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
18,504 posts, read 15,536,880 times
Reputation: 11937
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
Thanks to you guys for bringing these up!

Ironically, Montreal was Canada's original railway capital where everything started from, but it doesn't really have a grand railway hotel in the heart of the city.

It used to have two.

The Windsor Hotel, which was partly demolished though some parts of it still survive as offices and ballrooms.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windsor_Hotel_(Montreal)

And the Place Viger, which is like a mini-Château Frontenac. It sat abandoned for quite some time but was renovated and repurposed a few years ago, with almost the entire structure retained.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Place_Viger

What would effectively become Montreal's lasting grand railway hotel is The Queen Elizabeth (Le Reine Elizabeth) which was built around 1960 in a more brutalist style. It was I think the last of Canada's grand railway hotels to be built and its style is quite different from the others. Its claim to fame is for being home to John Lennon' and Yoko Ono's bed-in for peace, and where the song "Give Peace a Chance" was recorded.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_Elizabeth_Hotel
How did I miss Place Viger? I didn't know about that one, and somehow missed it while in Montreal. Looks very much like a lot of it's " Sisters" .
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Old 01-12-2023, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
26,872 posts, read 37,997,315 times
Reputation: 11635
Quote:
Originally Posted by fusion2 View Post


Speaking of Montreal being the original railway capital, it also didn't construct a railway station with the grandeur of Toronto's Union Station. Montreal Central Station is ok but i'm just surprised since Montreal at the time was still the largest and most important city in the country.
.
Montreal's Gare Centrale is OK on the inside, but you can barely see it from the street even though it's on a major downtown boulevard.

Nothing like Union Station in Toronto which has a grand and imposing presence on Front St. in one of the busiest quadrants of the city.
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Old 01-12-2023, 02:29 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
26,872 posts, read 37,997,315 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natnasci View Post
The hotel is wonderful. We stayed in basic room for the night few arrived, since we were leaving the next morning for a few days.

When we came back we had booked a nicer room, much larger, had a fireplace and was on a corner overlooking Union Station. I love history, so of course we went down to the mezzanine to look at the display of the hotels history. Besides the photos of royalty and famous entertainers, there was a photo of a room, from the 1920's that looked a lot like ours. I took a photo of the photo, and compared the marble surround on the fireplace to see if it matched. It did. That and the room number which had been renumbered since then, but still basically matched, clinched it. Our room had formally been the living room of a larger suite as the old photo showed. Love stuff like that.

It was the convenience of just walking across to Union Station to catch the UP to Pearson which first attracted us to the hotel, plus car rental just in the next block.
These hotels are still prized places to stay, but to some degree they've fallen a bit behind the times in terms of modern creature comforts and amenities. They're generally the most famous hotel in town but it's ironic that they're often four-star properties instead of five-star.

Of course, there is only so much you can do to upgrade historic properties due to architectural limitations, and unfortunately the rooms, corridors and other spaces often feel very cramped to 21st century people like us.
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Old 01-12-2023, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
18,504 posts, read 15,536,880 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
These hotels are still prized places to stay, but to some degree they've fallen a bit behind the times in terms of modern creature comforts and amenities. They're generally the most famous hotel in town but it's ironic that they're often four-star properties instead of five-star.

Of course, there is only so much you can do to upgrade historic properties due to architectural limitations, and unfortunately the rooms, corridors and other spaces often feel very cramped to 21st century people like us.
I can't speak for all the hotels, but the Royal York's hallways and elevator lobbies on the floors with rooms, are spacious, at least in the original 1920's part of the hotel. Our second room was very spacious. Large in fact. The first room in the 1950's part of the hotel was much smaller, and yes cramped.

As for amenities. I don't ask for much. Good wi-fi, nice bars and restaurants, nice TV etc. The bathroom was smallish, but beautifully done with high quality soaps etc. They also have a beautiful pool, which I didn't use. The bed and bedding were top notch, the couch, pillows, tables etc all what you expect in a hotel for that price.

Granted, though, these are historic properties and will attract those who are interested in that.

Last edited by Natnasci; 01-12-2023 at 03:12 PM..
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Old 01-12-2023, 03:14 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
26,872 posts, read 37,997,315 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natnasci View Post
I can't speak for all the hotels, but the Royal York's hallways and elevator lobbies on the floors with rooms, are spacious, at least in the original 1920's part of the hotel. Our second room was very spacious. Large in fact. The first room in the 1950's part of the hotel was much smaller, and yes cramped.

As for amenities. I don't ask for much. Good wi-fi, nice bars and restaurants, nice TV etc. The bathroom was smallish, but beautifully done with high quality soaps etc. They also have a beautiful pool, which I didn't use. The bed and bedding were top notch, the couch, pillows, tables etc all what you expect in a hotel for that price.

Granted, though, these are historic properties and will attract those who are interested in that.
My personal references for this are the Château Laurier, the Château Frontenac and believe it or not, the Empress. Though I have heard and read this said about a number of other railway hotels too.
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Old 01-12-2023, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
18,504 posts, read 15,536,880 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
My personal references for this are the Château Laurier, the Château Frontenac and believe it or not, the Empress. Though I have heard and read this said about a number of other railway hotels too.
The usual complaint about older hotels is the size of the bathrooms. We tend to want big spa like ones today.

Funny enough, I've only been in the public areas of The Empress , The Banff Springs, and even the Hotel Vancouver. Also the Chateau Frontenac, but that was when I was a child. Didn't go in last time I was there.
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Old 01-12-2023, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
26,872 posts, read 37,997,315 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fusion2 View Post

My personal fav of all the railroad hotels is the Chateau Frontenac. It is my favourite single piece of architecture in the whole country. ç.
It's massive size and presence dominating the old town, the Cap-Diamant and the St. Lawrence River make it pretty hard to beat.
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Old 01-12-2023, 03:26 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
26,872 posts, read 37,997,315 times
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I didn't intuitively think of it as a railway hotel, but another one is 45 minutes away from me in Montebello, Quebec on the Ottawa River: Le Château Montebello.

It's also got a pretty different style from the others and is said to be the largest log building in the world.

It hosted the G7 summit in the 1980s.

https://www.google.com/search?q=chat...ih=577&dpr=1.5
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Old 01-12-2023, 03:44 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
18,504 posts, read 15,536,880 times
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Some of my photos of The Royal York. This is the older part of the hotel.

Elevator lobby on our floor.



Room





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