Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth (French: Fairmont Le Reine Élizabeth) is a historic grand hotel in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. With 950 rooms[1] and 21 floors it is the largest hotel in the province of Quebec, and the second largest Fairmont hotel in Canada after the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto, which has 1365 rooms. Located at 900 René Lévesque Boulevard West, in the heart of Downtown Montreal, it is connected to Central Station and to the underground city. The hotel is well known for being the location for John Lennon and Yoko Ono recording "Give Peace a Chance" in Room 1742 during their 1969 anti-war Bed-In.

Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth
Fairmont Le Reine Élizabeth
Queen Elizabeth Hotel, with Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral in the foreground
General information
Address900, boulevard René-Lévesque Ouest
Montreal, Quebec
H3B 4A5
Coordinates45°30′02″N 73°34′04″W / 45.5006°N 73.5678°W / 45.5006; -73.5678
OpeningApril 15, 1958
OwnerIvanhoé Cambridge
ManagementFairmont Hotels and Resorts
Technical details
Floor count21
Other information
Number of rooms950
Number of suites100
Number of restaurants2
Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth

History edit

The Queen Elizabeth (French: Le Reine Élizabeth) opened on April 15, 1958.[2] The hotel was built and owned by the Canadian National Railway and operated by Hilton Hotels International, though it was never branded as a Hilton.

Canadian National Railway selected leading architects and designers to give the interior decoration a "New France" theme, using Quebec handicrafts. The artists included Albert Edward Cloutier (carved wooden panels), Jean Dallaire (wall hanging), Marius Plamondon (stained glass mural), Claude Vermette (ceramic tiles) and Julien Hébert (bronze elevator doors).[3] Cloutier painted a mural for the main dining room of the Salle Bonaventure in the hotel.[4]

There was controversy over naming the hotel: Quebec nationalists wanted it called Château Maisonneuve in honour of Montreal's founder, Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve. CN's president, Donald Gordon, insisted it be named for the queen, who had unexpectedly come to the throne in 1952 while the hotel was still on the drawing board. The French name, Le Reine Élizabeth, may appear startling, because of the use of the masculine article le, but the article does not actually apply to the feminine noun Reine. Instead, it applies to the implied masculine noun Hôtel (as in Le Ritz).

John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and guests, including Timothy Leary (foreground), recorded "Give Peace a Chance" in Room 1742 on June 1, 1969

Many famous guests have stayed there, including Queen Elizabeth II (four times) and the Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, Prince Charles, Fidel Castro, who was the first head of state to visit the hotel, Charles de Gaulle, and Princess Grace of Monaco, during Expo '67, Indira Gandhi, Jacques Chirac, Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, Sadiq Raji, Mikhail Gorbachev, Jimmy Carter, Henry Kissinger, Perry Como, Joan Crawford, John Travolta, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and George W. Bush.[5]

The hotel reached worldwide fame when John Lennon and Yoko Ono, who had been refused entry into the United States, conducted their Bed-In in Room 1742 at the hotel between May 26 and June 2, 1969. "Give Peace a Chance" was recorded in this room on June 1 by André Perry. This song is the first solo single issued by Lennon, and became an anthem of the American anti-war movement during the 1970s. It peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on the British singles chart.

The NHL Entry Draft was also held at the hotel ten times between 1963 and 1979.

In 1970, the Government of Quebec moved its centre of operations into the Queen Elizabeth in the midst of the October Crisis.

CN Hotels assumed direct management of the hotel on January 1, 1984, when the contract with Hilton ended.[6] CN Hotels was sold to Canadian Pacific Hotels in 1988. In 2001, Canadian Pacific Hotels was rebranded as Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, following their purchase of that smaller chain. The hotel was renamed Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth.

In 2010, six doormen of the hotel were arrested on charges of racketeering and extortion.[7]

From June 17, 2016 to July 10, 2017, the hotel was closed for a CA$140 million renovation.[8]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ ""Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth" - Luxury Hotel in "Montreal" - Fairmont, Hotels & Resorts". www.fairmont.com. Retrieved April 8, 2021.
  2. ^ "Hilton Hotels, 1958 Annual Report". digitalcollections.lib.uh.edu.
  3. ^ Lerner, Loren R. & Williamson, Mary F. (1991). Art and Architecture in Canada: A Bibliography and Guide to the Literature. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. p. 852. ISBN 978-0-8020-5856-0. Retrieved July 22, 2014 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Lerner & Williamson (1991), p. 961.
  5. ^ Hustak, Alan (March 16, 2008). "Landmark has opened its doors to politicians and pachyderms". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  6. ^ "Canadian National Annual Report 1982" (PDF). digital.library.mcgill.ca.
  7. ^ "Doormen at famed hotel accused of bullying cabbies". CTV News. Bell Media. November 19, 2010. Retrieved September 5, 2021.
  8. ^ "Fairmont the Queen Elizabeth hotel reopened its doors today in Montreal".

External links edit