Looking back at 105 years of the Château Laurier
Historian Kevin Holland has written a book about the notable Ottawa hotel
Royalty dined there. Photographer Yousuf Karsh had his studio there. And former prime minister R.B. Bennett even called it home.
The Fairmont Château Laurier celebrates its 105th birthday this year, and judging from the uproar over a proposed modern addition to the historic railroad hotel, it remains a beloved piece of Ottawa architecture.
"It's at the heart of Ottawa. It's been at the heart of Ottawa since 1912," said historian Kevin Holland, who's written a new book about the hotel's past called Château Laurier — A Splendid Century.
"I think people of Ottawa are very passionate and very proud of the hotel, as an icon in the city and an icon across Canada," Holland told CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning this week.
To commemorate the hotel's big anniversary, we've dug into the CBC archives to bring you a few scenes from the past century and change.
First, here's Ottawa crooner Paul Anka performing at the hotel in 1965 — and even paying homage to the Château Laurier through his lyrics.
The Château Laurier was also where Ottawa's most fashionable came to gather — as these two undated, silent videos of fashion shows prove.
Library and Archives Canada has also kept meticulous photographic records of the Château Laurier, from the regular folks who made their living at the hotel to the dignitaries who briefly graced its halls and ballrooms.