The Empress Hotel is a luxury waterfront hotel and national historic site in Victoria, British Columbia. Designed primarily by architect Francis M. Rattenbury, it is noted for its picturesque Château-style design and decadent interiors. It opened in 1908 and was built by the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) as part of its network of hotels, which also includes the Banff Springs Hotel, Chateau Lake Louise and Le Château Frontenac. Now officially known as the Fairmont Empress, the hotel, along with its afternoon tea, is arguably Victoria’s most popular tourist attraction.
Chateau Lake Louise is a world-renowned mountain resort and UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Banff National Park, Alberta. Known as the “Diamond in the Wilderness,” the chateau was built beginning in the late 1800s, and was developed as part of the CPR’s network of hotels. It shares a lineage with the Banff Springs Hotel, Le Chateau Frontenac in Québec City and the Empress Hotel in Victoria. Considering its remote location and its eventual scale, the Chateau Lake Louise marked an important point in the development of the Canadian West.
Sod houses, or “soddies,” were a common style of dwelling built in the Prairies during the second half of the 19th century. Soddies were small structures cheaply built out of blocks of sod and rudimentary house fittings. Sod refers to grass and the soil beneath it that is held together by the grass’s roots. Although the term “sod house” is primarily associated with Canadian and American structures built during westward expansion, the structures found their architectural roots in Indigenous and Norse practices. Sod houses have come to symbolize the hardship of homestead life, despite shacks and log cabins being the primary form of housing.
The hotel was developed as part of the CPR’s (Canadian Pacific Railway) network of hotels, which built landmark hotels in young cities across Canada in order to encourage the use of its transcontinental lines. The Banff Springs Hotel is in the lineage of hotels such as the Chateau Lake Louise in Alberta, Le Chateau Frontenac in Québec City and the Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia. Known as the “Castle in the Rockies,” the Banff Springs Hotel is predominantly in the Scottish Baronial style, featuring an Arts-and-Crafts interior.
Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal is located at the intersection of Notre-Dame Street West and Saint-Sulpice Street in the borough of Ville-Marie in Montréal. This jewel of Québec’s religious heritage was built by the Sulpicians over the years 1824 to 1829, to serve as a parish church. It is one of the oldest examples of Gothic Revival religious architecture in Canada. At the time it was built, it was a daring, innovative edifice on a scale unequalled anywhere else in North America. The architect was James O’Donnell, an Irish immigrant to New York City. Its interior decor, which was overseen by Victor Bourgeau, along with its rich ornamentation, are unique and evoke a true sense of wonder in visitors. The Basilica is also one of the major tourist attractions in the city of Montréal.
In 1848-49 Bellevue was leased to John A. MacDonald, then a member of the Legislative Assembly and receiver general for the Province of Canada. Bellevue was purchased by Parks Canada in 1964 and is now operated as a national historic park. It has been restored to the late 1840s period.
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