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The Royal York Hotel Toronto the largest hotel in the British Empire - Framed Picture - 11" x 14"


The Royal York Hotel Toronto the largest hotel in the British Empire - Framed Picture - 11" x 14"

The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) negotiated with the Government of the United Kingdom to establish a trans-Pacific steamship routes between Vancouver and the Far East. The trans-Pacific services of Canadian Pacific were begun by Sir William Cornelius Van Horne, the Canadian-American builder of the railroad network in 1887.

The Fairmont Royal York, formerly the Royal York, is a large historic hotel in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada, at 100 Front Street West. Opened on June 11, 1929, the Royal York was designed by Ross and Macdonald and built by the Canadian Pacific Railway across the street from Toronto Union Station.

With 28 floors, the Chateau-style building was the tallest building in Toronto at that time, and the tallest building in the British Empire until the construction of Canadian Bank of Commerce tower on King Street the following year.

The underground walkways linking the hotel with the Royal Bank Plaza and Union Station form part of the PATH walkway system.

In 1843, Captain Thomas Dick built the Ontario Terrace at this site. It consisted of four brick houses, and was later occupied by Knox College, a theological school. Following refurbishment in 1853, the building was renamed the Sword's Hotel, and then the Revere Hotel after a change in ownership in 1860. Thomas Dick bought the hotel back in 1862, renovated it again, and named it Queen's Hotel.

Later, the Queen's Hotel was purchased by Thomas McGaw and Henry Winnett, hoteliers of Upper Canada, who also owned the Queen's Royal Hotel. Upon McGaw's death in 1901, Winnett acquired McGaw's interests in their hotels. After Winnett died in 1925, his estate sold the Queen's Hotel to the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), run by then-president Sir Edward Wentworth Beatty.

Later, Canadian Pacific announced its intention to demolish the Queen's Hotel to build the largest hotel in the British Commonwealth on its site. Prior to its demolition, the Queen's Hotel was billed as "One of the largest and most comfortable hotels in the Dominion of Canada."

Construction on the new hotel began in 1927. The building was completed in 1929, and named the Royal York. It was a state-of-the-art hotel for its time, with ten elevators to reach all twenty-eight floors with radios and private showers and bathtubs in each of its 1,048 rooms. The telephone switchboard was 66 ft long, and required 35 operators. Other facilities included a bank, golf course, and a large Concert Hall outfitted with an impressive Casavant Freres pipe organ. With five manuals and one-hundred-and-seven stops, it was the largest pipe organ in Canada.

The building was officially opened on June 11, 1929 by Lord Willingdon in "one of the most glittering social events in Toronto's history".

From 1930 to 1936, a radio station operated from the hotel. Its call letters were CPRY (for “Canadian Pacific Royal York”). Broadcasting from the Imperial Room, CPRY programs were heard across the country.

The hotel has been the residence of choice for Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the Canadian Royal Family when in Toronto. The Queen usually has an entire floor reserved for her and her entourage, occupying the Royal Suite herself.

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