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Canadian Pacific Railway. Hotel Department fonds

1901-1954, predominant 1926-1930

Physical Description:
ca. 400 architectural plans. -- 695 photographs. -- 1 cm of textual records

The Canadian Pacific Railway's hotel system began in 1886 when three modest buildings were built in the Rocky and Selkirk Mountains to provide meal stops along the CPR main line, making it unnecessary to haul heavy dining cars up the steep grades. These structures were Mount Stephen House at Field, British Columbia, Glacier House at the Rogers Pass, and Fraser Canyon House at North Bend, British Columbia. They soon developed into hotels. In 1887 the Hotel Vancouver was completed, providing the company with a first class hotel in the railway's terminal city. It remained in operation until 1939. The Banff Springs Hotel opened in 1888 at a hot springs in the Rockies. It initiated the chateau style which would become characteristic of many other buildings across Canada. The CPR's mountain hotel system soon expanded into other areas of the country to encourage travellers to patronize CPR trains and ships. Between 1902 and 1914 large new hotels were built including the Royal Alexandra in Winnipeg and the Palliser in Calgary. Also during this period new wings were added to the Banff Springs and the Chateau Lake Louise, originally built in 1890. Chalets and camps were also built in the Rockies such as Emerald Lake Chalet near Field, Yoho Valley Lodge and Sicamous Hotel. A Swiss Village was also built near Golden, British Columbia for the company's mountain guides and their families. In 1924 the original wing of the Chateau Lake Louise was destroyed by fire and quickly replaced by one of concrete. The Banff Springs was rebuilt in 1928. The CPR's hotel chain was operated by a Hotel Department until 1963 when CP Hotels Ltd. was created as a subsidiary to own and operate the company's hotels, and to manage hotel properties owned by others.

Scope and Content:
The fonds consists of architectural plans and drawings of CPR hotels, chalets and camps (1901-1954, mainly 1926-1930); photographs of construction, fire damage and reconstruction of Palliser Hotel, Banff Springs Hotel and Chateau Lake Louise (1911-1953); and specifications of materials and work for Hotel Vancouver addition (ca. 1901).

Source of Acquisition:
Gift of CP Hotels Ltd. and Banff Springs Hotel, 1982-1991; and purchased from Aquila Books, 2013.

The material is in English.

No restrictions on access.

Finding Aids:
Inventory available. Please consult before requesting material.

View finding aid / scanned documents:

Call Numbers:
(M=manuscript; N&P=photos; R=sound recordings; S=slides; F=films)
M-7588, M-9613, PD-240, NA-4465

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