Five splendid examples of Canadian architecture - CPR hotels of grand scale - are depicted in a new commemorative stamp booklet to be issued June 14, 1993. Richly ornate, these hotels were built originally as stop-overs for travellers - catering to nobility and head of state - or as resorts for the privileged. The stamp issue also marks the centenary of the opening of the Château Frontenac in Quebec. The other hotels include: the Algonquin, St. Andrews; the Royal York in Toronto; Banff Springs; and the Empress Hotel in Victoria. This hotel was opened in 1908. Local businessmen had convinced the CPR that a fast ferry service from the mainland and a deluxe hotel in Victoria would be essential for the tourist trade. Francis Rattenbury, designer of the BC Legislature, was commissioned to develop a hotel. Built on reclaimed swampland, the Empress overlooks the inner harbour. A magnificent example of the Château style, its architectural details reflect the hotel's location, heritage and character. Gentility reigns and "tea at the Empress" is a tradition continuing to the present day.
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