Russell House (Ottawa)

The Russell House hotel was the most high-profile hotel in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada for many decades. It was located at the corner of Sparks Street and Elgin Street, where Confederation Square is located today. The original building was built in the 1840s. Additions were made in the 1870s and the original building replaced in 1880. It closed in 1925 and was demolished in 1928.

Russell House
Russell House ca1893
The Russell House Hotel circa 1883
General information
StatusDemolished
Town or cityOttawa, Ontario
CountryCanada
Coordinates45°25′25″N 75°41′43″W / 45.4235°N 75.6953°WCoordinates: 45°25′25″N 75°41′43″W / 45.4235°N 75.6953°W
Other information
Number of rooms250
Number of restaurants1

History

The Second Empire hotel was located at the southeast corner of Sparks Street and Elgin Street.[1] A small hotel was first built there in the 1840s and was named Campbell's Hotel after its proprietor. In 1863, it came under the ownership of James Gouin, who named it the Russell House after a family in the United States he managed a hotel for, in Quebec City. Gouin later built the Caledonia Springs Hotel, a famous spa in eastern Ontario, and was appointed Ottawa Postmaster by Sir John A. Macdonald.[2]

Ottawa's status as the capital of the new country created a pressing demand for hotel space. A new wing housing the dining room was built during the 1870s along Elgin Street. The original hotel was torn down and replaced in 1880, in the "Second Empire" style.[3][4]

For many decades the Russell House served as Ottawa's foremost hotel. Most Canadian politicians from this era spent time at the Russell House, and Wilfrid Laurier lived there for ten years before moving to Laurier House. International guests included Oscar Wilde and Anna Pavlova.[5]

On two occasions, important sport-related events occurred at the Russell House. In 1876, Ottawa's first rugby football team, the "Ottawas", was organized at Russell House, and play its first game three days later. The club would evolve to become the Ottawa Rough Riders football club.[6] In 1892, at a dinner at the Russell House to honor the Ottawa Hockey Club, Governor-General Lord Stanley announced he would offer a trophy to the top Canadian ice hockey team, the genesis of the Stanley Cup.

In 1912, the Château Laurier succeeded the Russell as Ottawa's premier hotel. Money was spent on renovations in the 1920s, but the hotel had declined due to age and its closure was announced on September 1, 1925. Some of the reasons listed were the high cost of heating the structure, and the higher number of staff to operate the hotel, compared to a newer facility.[7] The Russell House closed permanently on October 1, 1925.[2] Ground-level shops remained open, but the hotel was emptied. On April 14, 1928, a fire broke out in the hotel,[8] and the hotel was mostly destroyed. The remains of the structure were demolished by November. The Government of Canada had been in the process of buying the property when the fire occurred, and the government used the land to expand Elgin Street to create Confederation Square. Various artifacts of the hotel are on display at the Bytown Museum.

Old Russell House Ottawa

The original hotel with new wing on right

Building the Russell House Ottawa

Construction of new main building in 1880

Ottawa Russell House Dining Room 1884

Dining room in 1884

Ottawa Russell House Drawing Room 1884

Drawing room in 1884

Russell Hotel Fire 1927 Ottawa

Ruins after fire in 1928

See also

References

  1. ^ "Plate 33". National Archives Canada.
  2. ^ a b Powell, James. "The Russell House Hotel". Today In Ottawa History.
  3. ^ Gordon, Charles (January 4, 2000). "Old realities in a new decade 1900-1909". The Ottawa Citizen. Ottawa. p. 1.
  4. ^ Denis Larionov & Alexander Zhulin. "Read the ebook Landmarks of Canada. What art has done for Canadian history; a guide to the J. Ross Robertson historical collection in the Public reference library, Toronto, Canada. This catalogue of the Toronto Public Libraries". Ebooksread.com. Retrieved October 10, 2011.
  5. ^ Atherton, Tony (February 5, 2005). "Ottawa's Shoebox Part 2: The City In Frenzy (1880-1904)". Ottawa Citizen. p. B4.
  6. ^ Boswell, Randy. "Ottawa's got game". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  7. ^ "Accomodation [sic] To Be Acute Problem". Ottawa Citizen. September 2, 1925. p. 4.
  8. ^ Woods, Shirley E. Jr. (1980), Ottawa: The Capital of Canada, Toronto: Doubleday Canada, p. 265, ISBN 0-385-14722-8

External links

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Chestnut Residence

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Duke of York Inn, Toronto

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Empress Hotel (Toronto)

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The hotel was opened in 1888.

The hotel changed hands several times.

The property ceased operating as a hotel in the mid-1970s.

Exchange Coffee House, Montreal

First known as the "City Tavern," kept by Robert Tesseyman, this 19th-century hotel in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, was a popular meeting place of the Beaver Club before later becoming the Exchange Coffee House. In 1805, Samuel Gerrard proposed building Nelson's Column, Montreal here. The hotel was a common place of rest for transient travellers and Upper Canada merchants. It became the location of the first stock transactions in Montreal.

Grand Forks Hotel

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Laurentian Hotel

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Les Cours Mont-Royal

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List of defunct hotels in Canada

This is a list of defunct hotels in Canada.

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Russell House

Russell House may refer to:

in CanadaRussell House (Ottawa), a historic former hotel in Ottawa, Ontarioin the United States(by state then city)

Russell Family Historic District, Alexander City, Alabama, listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) in Tallapoosa County

John Russell House, Fordyce, Arkansas, listed on the NRHP in Dallas County

Russell House (Pine Bluff, Arkansas), formerly listed on the NRHP in Jefferson County

Russell-Williamson House, Yuma, Arizona, listed on the NRHP in Yuma County

Russell-Graves House, Arvada, Colorado, listed on the NRHP in Jefferson County

Edward Augustus Russell House, Middletown, Connecticut, listed on the NRHP at Wesleyan University in Middlesex County

Samuel Wadsworth Russell House, Middletown, Connecticut, a National Historic Landmark and listed on the NRHP in Middlesex County

William Russell House (Lewes, Delaware), listed on the NRHP in Sussex County

Judge Willis Russell House, Brooksville, Florida, listed on the NRHP in Hernando County

Russell Homeplace Historic District, Russell, Georgia, listed on the NRHP in Barrow County

Rensselaer Russell House, Waterloo, Iowa, listed on the NRHP in Black Hawk County

Horn-Vincent-Russell Estate, Mission Hills, Kansas, listed on the NRHP in Johnson County

Russell Court, La Grange, Kentucky, listed on the NRHP in Oldham County

Russell House (Andover, Massachusetts), listed on the NRHP in Essex County

Jason Russell House, Arlington, Massachusetts, listed on the NRHP in Middlesex County

Bartlett-Russell-Hedge House, Plymouth, Massachusetts, listed on the NRHP in Plymouth County

Philemon Russell House, Somerville, Massachusetts, listed on the NRHP in Middlesex County

Susan Russell House, Somerville, Massachusetts, listed on the NRHP in Middlesex County

The Russell (Worcester, Massachusetts), listed on the NRHP in Worcester County

Arthur H. Russell House, Winchester, Massachusetts, listed on the NRHP in Middlesex County

Charles Russell House (Winchester, Massachusetts), listed on the NRHP in Middlesex County

William Russell House (Crystal Falls, Michigan), listed on the NRHP in Iron County

The Russell (Detroit, Michigan)

Williamson-Russell-Rahilly House, Lake City, Minnesota, listed on the NRHP in Wabasha County

Russell's House at Corinthn, Mississippi, salient in the Civil War battle of the Siege of Corinthn.

Charlie and Nancy Russell Honeymoon Cabin, Cascade, Montana, listed on the NRHP in Cascade County

Charles M. Russell House and Studio, Great Falls, Montana, listed on the NRHP in Cascade County

Russell-Colbath House, Albany, New Hampshire, listed on the NRHP in Carroll County

Charles B. Russell House, Cincinnati, Ohio, listed on the NRHP in Hamilton County

Mark Russell House, Riverlea, Ohio, listed on the NRHP in Franklin County

Russell House (Bedford, Pennsylvania), listed on the NRHP in Bedford County

Joseph and William Russell House, in Providence, Rhode Island, listed on the NRHP in Providence County

Nathaniel Russell House, Charleston, South Carolina, listed on the NRHP in Charleston County

Russell House (Mountain Rest, South Carolina), listed on the NRHP in Oconee County

Evans-Russell House, Spartanburg, South Carolina, listed on the NRHP in Spartanburg County

Russell-Heath House, Stoneboro, SC, listed on the NRHP in Kershaw County

Avery Russell House, Farragut, Tennessee, listed on the NRHP in Knox County

Russell House (Springfield, Tennessee), listed on the NRHP in Robertson County

Russell-Lackey-Prater House, Louisville, Tennessee, listed on the NRHP in Blount County

Russell-Arnold House, Lufkin, Texas, listed on the NRHP in Angelina County

Russell House (South Bend, Washington), listed on the NRHP in Pacific County

Charles W. Russell House, Wheeling, West Virginia, listed on the NRHP in Ohio County

The Edwin

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Warwick Hotel (Toronto)

The Warwick Hotel Toronto was a hotel located at the corner of Dundas Street East and Jarvis Street, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It was notable as being the site of significant dance band performances until approximately 1960, after which it became notable as a location for burlesque entertainment.

Windsor Hotel (Montreal)

The Windsor Hotel (opened 1878, closed 1981) in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, is often considered to be the first grand hotel in Canada, and for decades billed itself as "the best in all the Dominion".

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