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Mike Stobbs | profile | all galleries >> The Shaunavon Hotel tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

The Shaunavon Hotel



This site was originally the location of the Empress Hotel, a three storey 72 x 102 ft. building constructed in 1913 by proprietors Peter Hoban and John Keefe for $30,000. Following a fire in 1914 which destroyed the building, the same contractor, Erick Abramson, and architect O.M. Akers rebuilt it. Hoban and Keefe renamed it “The Shaunavon Hotel”. The re-naming was due in part to the fact that the Empress of Ireland, the Empress Hotel of Moose Jaw and the Empress Hotel of Shaunavon had met disastrous ends. A change to a new name was looked upon more favourably! The hotel had fifty-four larger rooms; sixteen with baths, and was steam heated. Other features included a large rotunda with a huge curved staircase, a dining room, kitchen, bar and living quarters on the main floor and two entrances, one for women. In 1928, contractor Edward (Ted) Strickland constructed a 32 x 112 ft. addition on the south side creating thirty five new rooms, fifteen with baths, at a cost of $25,000.
The 209th Battalion occupied this hotel during World War I as barracks for recruits in training and the Canadian Pacific Railway officials used the hotel as their residence for many years. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA), conservation officers and optometrists have also had offices here at one time. The hotel, bar, restaurant and dining room have changed ownership many times and the present owner intends to gradually restore this tall free standing structure to its former glory. This building was granted Municipal Heritage Designation in 1999 and in 2003, the name ‘historic’ was added to the title.
Randy the current owner of the hotel let me have a few minutes to capture these images. The interesting thing to note is that this hotel is not going to rot as the images may suggest, its quite the opposite as it’s going under a full restoration.

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