The Royal Alexandra Hall
The opulent experience of Canadian rail travel was not limited to the passenger cars represented in our collection; as luxurious as this journey may have been, the grand hotels built by the CPR across Canada between 1888 and 1930 were equally impressive and remain some of the greatest architecture ever built in this country.
With the notable exception of the Royal Alexandra Hotel, built in Winnipeg in 1906, these hotels remain in operation today. The Royal Alexandra, a rare example of Edwardian architecture amongst the CP hotels, was considered the social centerpiece of Winnipeg for nearly sixty years before its closure in 1967. Four years later it was demolished with only the Grand Cafe of the hotel, carefully disassembled into hundreds of pieces and stored in a semi-trailer, surviving.
For the next 25 years, these pieces remained in storage until acquired by the Cranbrook History Centre in 1999. After being moved to the current site in Cranbrook, restoration and construction of a new exterior shell began. By 2004, with the support of millennium grants and public contributions, the rebuilding of the Royal Alexandra Hall was complete and the facility was opened to the public for both public viewing and special events. Widely considered the most elegant public venue in southeastern British Columbia, the Royal Alexandra Hall seats over 200 people and features an adjacent catering kitchen.