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Hotel Vancouver History

  • Hotel Vancouver History
  • Queen Elizabeth Royal Visit

Some of Canada's most unique features are the majestic railway hotels that were built across the country by the Canadian Pacific and the Canadian National Railways. For their time, these hotels were miracles of construction and engineering. Everything that went into them was the biggest and best of their time and they have become very much a part of Canada's national heritage and identity.

This is the third hotel to be named 'Hotel Vancouver'. Though its name and heritage date back to 1888, the present Hotel Vancouver first opened its doors in 1939, on the eve of the Royal visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Considered a feat of engineering upon completion, the Hotel Vancouver’s timeless luxury and iconic design inspired awe through the years, in visitors and locals alike.

The first Hotel Vancouver was a five-story, brick structure that looked and functioned much like a farmhouse. The second, built from 1912-1916, and opened in 1916 and became the meeting place for Vancouver society. It was built in a grand Italianate revival style, and was considered one of the great hotels of the British Empire. The second Hotel Vancouver was turned into a government administration building during World War II and torn down in 1949.

Canada's present Hotel Vancouver took 11 years to build because construction was halted for five years during the Great Depression. It was started by the Canadian National Railway but was finally completed under a joint operating agreement with the Canadian Pacific Railway. Hotel Vancouver in British Columbia was opened in May of 1939,in time for the Royal visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth at a final cost of $12 million.

The hotel has been a landmark in the city ever since and has hosted many significant events. Shortly after opening the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation started broadcasting from the hotel's 17th floor, its home until 1975. The beloved Dal Richards' Orchestra performed from the legendary Panorama Ballroom, know today as The Roof.

Fairmont Hotel Vancouver's recently completed $55 million renovation offers guests elegant accommodations inspired by the hotel's rich history, with updated modern amenities. The renovations included 507 guest rooms, Fourteenth Floor Heritage Suites, a new reception lobby and Notch8 Restaurant. In spring 2019, the hotel will celebrate its 80th anniversary with the launch of a new luxurious Fairmont Gold product.

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