b'Regina and the and the Fort Garry in Winnipeg,arealsobreathtakingand both transport you back to the days of Van Horne and therst railway travel-lers across the vastness of this coun-try.TheFortGarrywasbuiltbythe Grand Trunk Railway in 1913 and the Hotel Saskatchewan, a CP hotel, was opened in 1926. It is now managed by Marriott, whereas the Garry is privately owned.Toronto of course, boasts the Royal York,whichmostofusarefamiliar with. I wont dwell on it, other than to say that the library bar offers the best clam chowder in the city (my opinion only). Coupled with a glass of wine, it makes for an enjoyable lunch, sur-rounded by oak paneling and Torontos The elite Empress Hotel in Victoria. suit community. Ottawa has the gra-cious Chateau Laurier, and I recall my memorable and whisks you back to thevisits to the hotel itself are restricted to visit there, and how mesmerizedrst grandeur of the late 1800s. Be sure toregistered guests. I was by the view of the Parliament make a reservation well in advance,Another luxurious property out westbuildings through my window.andbepreparedtospend$75peris the Jasper Park Lodge. I was lastQuebec offers, what is probably the person. there about 10 years ago and found itmost well know CP hotel, the Chteau Travelling east, the Hotel Vancou- different from the other railroad hotels,Frontenac. This iconic building is fea-ver is another grand lady from the past.in that it is built of large timbers andturedonmorepostcardsandguide-Now operated by Fairmont, it is oftenstones. It is a splendid property withbooks than any other. Opened in 1893, overshadowedbytheBanffSpringsstatelyroomsandlotsofamenities.the18 arehometoover600oors andtheChteauLakeLouise.BothThe grounds are frequented by mulerooms. Located on the St. Lawrence, are amazing properties, with only onedeer and elk. In fact, the town of Jasperit is still a favourite for visitors and tour- has no shortage of wildlife, and peopleists alike. aw, and that is crowds. It is hard to im-merse oneself in the beauty of the sur- complain about shrubs and small trees350 km from the Frontenac is the roundings when there are hundreds ofconstantly being nibbled away. Chteau Montebello, nestled deep in people near you. Therst time I visitedTravellingfurthereast,arethethe Quebec forests near Montebello, both properties was in the early eight- MacDonald in Edmonton and the Pal- Quebec. It is less than an hour from Beautiful Lake Louise as seen from the Chteau hotel. ies,andthingsweremuchquieter.liser in Calgary, both which receivedOttawa, and is frequently used by our Lake Louise has now created a sepa- therst liquor license after prohibition WHAT A WAY TO SEE CANADA!rateparkinglotfornon-guests,and(1924).TheHotelSaskatchewan,inPlease turn to page 56majesty of these amazing structuresHotel in Montreal. Commissioned by will be forever embedded in my mind. the railway, this property was adjacent When Canada built the railway into the train station. It was ravaged by 1885, it quickly became apparent that re in 1906, but parts remained until it inordertoattractpassengers,theywas replaced by the Queen Elizabeth had to construct places for people toin the late 1950s, which has all the JONATHAN VAN BILSEN stayontheiradventureacrossthissplendour of days gone by. Today it is great country. They also realized thatmanaged by the Fairmont chain, and Canada has so much to offer, beluxury was a must, as their intent washas the reputation of being the last itexperiencingculture,adventureto attract wealthy travellers, who couldrailway hotel built.travel, urban immersion or just plainafford to trek through the vast wilder- Far west, in Victoria, B.C., I stayed relaxing by a lake or ocean. I havenessinastyle,towhichtheywereattheEmpressHotel,whichiscer-visited hundreds of towns and cities inaccustomed in Toronto and Montreal. tainly one of the grandest, if not the every province and territory, but one ofThehotelswerebuiltforGrandmost imposing properties of the chain. the fond memories I have is, the ac- Trunk, CN and various smaller railwayThe basement is home to a miniature commodation in larger cities. I havecompanies. Most were later taken overworld,whichdepictshistoricscenes hadthepleasureofphotographingby Canadian Paci c and then sold offand fairytales, complete with dragons. every railroad hotel in the country, andin the eighties and nineties. TheOf course, no visit is complete with- rstThe beautiful Banff Springs Hotel. The view from the balcony at the Jasper Park Lodge.although not all are still standing, theof these grand hotels was the Windsorout afternoon tea. The experience is 54 FOCUS - APRIL 2019'