By Don Butler, Maria Cook, Doug Fischer

For a hundred years, the realm has walked during the foyer of the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, the grand lodge set in a picturesque panorama the place the Rideau Canal locks make their descent to the Ottawa River.

From the instant it opened in 1912, it used to be within the phrases of an outdated brochure "the position the place politics and enjoyment, finance and type meet ... the hub of the capital's wheel of affairs, an exceptional and precious centre of Canadian life."

This was once the place the Canadian executive organize transitority quarters while the Parliament structures burned in 1916. It used to be where troops massed earlier than heading to battle. Photographer Yousuf Karsh lived and labored on the inn. The CBC broadcast from it. The lengthy record of recognized site visitors comprises Queen Elizabeth, the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela.

The dramatic silhouette of towers and steep roofs of the Chateau Laurier defines Ottawa for viewers and citizens alike. Conical turrets upward push from mammoth partitions of Indiana limestone. Gables of the warm-coloured stone are carved with plants, scrolls and creâsts. Dormer home windows punctuate expanses of eco-friendly copper roof.

Learn extra concerning the Chateau, its background and the folks at the back of it during this beautiful number of tales and old photographs from the Ottawa Citizen.

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Conical turrets rise from massive walls of Indiana limestone. Gables are carved with flowers, scrolls and crests. Dormer windows punctuate expanses of green copper roof. At the 1912 opening, a silent toast was drunk to railway president Charles Melville Hayes, who commissioned the hotel, and had perished weeks earlier on the Titanic. Visitors admired the lobby designed with floors of Belgian marble and Tiffany windows. The main dining room (now the Laurier Room) overlooked Major’s Hill Park. The sub-basement housed a mini-town of laundry, engineering, and electrical departments and repair shops.

I’ve been swimming there regularly for 25 years. When I began, I often found myself swimming next to the Honourable George Hees, a cabinet minister in both the Diefenbaker and Mulroney governments who managed a creditable crawl into his 80s. The pool was opened in 1930 as part of the most complete and up-to-date spa in North America. I suspect Gorgeous George was one of its first visitors. According to old photos, the spa originally offered hydrotherapy for chronic rheumatism, carbonic acid baths, and infrared lamp treatments for kidney and bladder problems.

The Château Laurier Hotel in its final stages of completion in late 1911. The hotel was opened officially in June 1, 1912. Photo: William James Topley, Library and Archives Canada, PA-009114. " asked Borden. “To make their bargain without consulting Parliament was treating Parliament with . . ” Laurier told the House of Commons that the $100,000 price for the land was fair (almost $3 million in today’s dollars) and would be used to extend the park to Nepean Point. “Of course, I am sorry that we are to lose even an inch of the ground of the park, but on the other hand, we shall be more than compensated,” Laurier said.

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A Regular Palace: Celebrating 100 years of the Chateau Laurier by Don Butler, Maria Cook, Doug Fischer

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