Friday, July 8, 2011

The Macdonald Hotel in Edmonton

Photo: This old tinted SAIN postcard of the hotel reminds me of a similar view of Stirling Castle on an old biscuit tin that belonged to my mother.

Architects Ross and Macdonald designed the building, which opened in 1912. This railway hotel was named after the first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald.

This imposing structure is associated not with the CPR, but with the Grand Trunk. This railway eventually became part of the CNR, which built the northern line. When in 1924 Alberta legalized alchohol after a period of prohibition, this hotel was promptly granted a liquor license.

The Macdonald closed in 1983. Later declared a Municipal Heritage Resource, it was restored to its original grandeur. The Royal Suite occupies two floors and includes a dining room for eight.

Other luxury suites are named after Prince Edward of Wales, King George VI, and Sir Winston Churchill, as well as three Alberta premiers and former Lieutenant Governor Lois Hole. One suite commemorates Charles Melville Hays of the Grand Trunk, who lost his life in the sinking of the Titanic.


  1. It's not too hard to guess what served as inspiration for these posts of the grand dames of Canadian hotels. :) Sadly, I know of at least one of these which is no longer owned by Canadians.

  2. Yes, Marianna, so many of what we once considered Canadian institutions have gone, haven't they? The Bay, the railway (not entirely gone), the CPR hotels, the Crow Rate, the post office (of snail mail) and much more.
    I often wonder what our new self-definition is taking shape around us. Any ideas?
    Thanks for your comment,