Every day we share a single photo from our Flickr Pool shot by one of our faithful and talented readers (that’s you!).
Christine Kuo submitted today’s photograph, which she has aptly titled Vancouver Evening. A very Gotham-esque night-time sky with the Hotel Vancouver featured prominently. While it’s no secret that this is the third incarnation of the ‘Hotel Vancouver’, it might surprise you to know that this hotel was almost not built in Vancouver – it was almost built in Prince Rupert.
Prince Rupert? Say what?!
The Canadian National Railway (then called the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway) was building a railway in the early 1900’s, and it’s terminus was to be Prince Rupert. The BC government even built a hospital, a high school and a fire hall there. The railway built wharves, and had Francis Rattenbury (the architect behind the Vancouver Art Gallery/Courthouse and the Empress Hotel in Victoria) design the ‘Hotel Prince Rupert’.
Then three unrelated events changed their plans: Charles Melville Hays, the man behind the whole idea, went to London to arrange funding for the hotel, and booked his return trip to Canada on the Titanic – he never made it back. Then in 1914 the rail-line to Prince Rupert opened and did not generate enough income to support its costs. The third event was the outbreak of World War I, and Britain suddenly was a little too busy with other matters to worry about a little railway and hotel in a distant colony. The terminus was placed in Vancouver, and the hotel was built here; it was not built from Rattenbury’s design.