Day 65 – Old Strathcona Hotel   4 comments

In 1891 the Calgary and Edmonton Railway completed its line and built a station just south of the North Saskatchewan river adjacent to what is now Whyte Avenue. Travelers to the Edmonton area needed somewhere nearby to stay, so the railway company built a 45-room hotel. It was initially called the Edmonton (House) Hotel. When the south bank of the river became the town of Strathcona in 1899, the hotel was renamed the Strathcona Hotel.

While the hotel enjoyed several boom years, the Alberta adoption of Prohibition in 1916 caused the hotel to lose a lot of money, and it struggled to remain open. Shortly after, the Presbyterian Church of Canada took over the building and used it for a ladies college until 1924. Prohibition was repealed in Alberta in 1923 and in the late 20s the hotel reopened.

As one of last nineteenth-century wood frame hotels in Alberta, the Strathcona Hotel is a good example of a frontier commercial building.

I haven’t been into the Strathcona yet and likely I never will. While it is a heritage site, it doesn’t seem to have a very good reputation as a hotel to stay the night. I checked out TripAdvisor.com and of the four reviews, three gave it one star. The fourth review gave it five stars, but just for the bar (she didn’t stay). Even the people who like the Strathcona, affectionately call it a “dive bar” and the “cheapest place to get drunk”. It sounds like it’s very popular with the just-out-of-high-school crowd. Guess that means I’m out.

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4 responses to “Day 65 – Old Strathcona Hotel

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  1. I like this one. The old hotel, with the signs of modernity in front – bike racks, newspaper dispensers, and the mailbox. I wonder how long the barbershop has been there?

  2. I really like this one.

  3. I really like the processing on this image, awesome job!

  4. I LOVE your photos. This one especially is amazing. The position of that tree is incredible, and the half snowed on roof. GREAT capture. I’m inspired.

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