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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Royal Alexandra Hotel (Higgins Avenue, Winnipeg)

The Royal Alexandra Hotel was designed for the Canadian Pacific Railway by Montreal architects Edward and William Maxwell for the north-east corner of Higgins and Main Street in Winnipeg. Upon opening in 1906, the “Royal Alex” was considered one of the finest hotels in western Canada and, for many years, it served as the social centre of Winnipeg. For example, the hotel hosted meetings of the Canadian Club of Winnipeg and a plaque listing Club members killed during the First World War was displayed there. (It is now stored at the Archives of Manitoba.)

The hotel closed its doors in 1967 and was demolished in 1971. The interior of its dining room was carefully disassembled, then reassembled at the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel at Cranbrook, British Columbia. Some Tyndall stone lion heads that originally graced the facade were donated to the City of Winnipeg by Alexander Billinkoff, and are displayed a few blocks from the former hotel site.

Union Station

Royal Alexandra Hotel (no date)
Source: Toronto Postcard Club, LGG2016-0078

Royal Alexandra Hotel

Postcard of Royal Alexandra Hotel (early 1960s)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough, 2011-0009

Royal Alexandra Hotel

Royal Alexandra Hotel (March 1971)
Source: Archives of Manitoba, George Harris Fonds, Acc. 1979-141, P7451, Album 15, Page 64.

Union Station

Cafe Royal in the Royal Alexandra Hotel (no date)
Source: Toronto Postcard Club, LGG2016-0080

Royal Alexandra Hotel

Royal Alexandra Hotel Plaque at N49.89760, W97.13497 (2009)
Source: City of Winnipeg

Plaque Site Location (lat/long): N49.90486, W97.13377
denoted by symbol on the map above

Canadian Club First World War Casualties

Name

Occupation

Service

Rank

Birth Date

Death Date

John Robertson Baird
[Augustine, Next of Kin]

Bookkeeper

1st Canadian Mounted Rifles

Private

2 February 1891

4 June 1912

Samuel Percy Benson
[Augustine]

Jewelry engraver

78th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Lieutenant

6 November 1887

8 April 1913

Charles Thurston Bowring
[Next of Kin]

Grain Merchant

44th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Lieutenant

2 September 1881

28 December 1912

Reginald Edward Burch
[Next of Kin]

Insurance Manager

78th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Private

26 February 1873

29 October 1913

William Joseph Chalk
[Next of Kin]

Barrister

59th Squadron, Royal Flying Corps

Lieutenant

4 June 1890

13 April 1913

Arthur Claydon DFC
[Next of Kin]

General Contractor

32nd Squadron, Royal Air Force

Captain

25 September 1885

7 July 1914

William Henry Puddicomb Collum MC
[Next of Kin]

Financial Agent

27th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Major

11 October 1884

13 August 1913

Leonard Vivien Drummond-Hay MC
[Next of Kin]

Secretary

Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry

Major

21 January 1894

13 August 1914

John Geddes
[Next of Kin]

Agent

16th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Captain

6 November 1878

23 April 1911

Arthur Lionel Griffin

Broker

3rd Division Train, Canadian Army Service Corps

Captain

2 October 1879

22 March 1912

William Forbes Guild
[Next of Kin]

Barrister-at-Law

52nd Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Captain

2 December 1886

9 April 1913

Harold Balleny Hamber
[Next of Kin]

Broker

Canadian Army Pay Corps

Captain

29 December 1884

21 June 1913

Gordon Ruthven Heron
[Next of Kin]

Banker

78th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Major

13 September 1883

8 April 1913

Ronald Hoskins
[Manitou]

Barrister-at-law

10th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Lieutenant

6 December 1887

21 April 1911

George Willis Jameson
[Next of Kin]

Barrister

16th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Captain

25 February 1882

22 April 1911

Ralph Egerton Norris Jones

Bank Manager

27th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Lieutenant

3 June 1877

5 April 1912

David Bracegirdle Jones DCM
[Next of Kin]

Plumber

84th Squadron, Royal Air Force

Second Lieutenant

6 September 1894

2 July 1914

Henry Francis Lewis
[Vimy Ridge]

Financial Broker

44th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Lieutenant

10 July 1884

11 April 1913

Louis James Lipsett

Army Officer

Royal Irish Regiment

Major General

15 June 1874

13 October 1914

James Ernest Robertson
[Augustine]

Barrister

27th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Lieutenant

20 June 1879

8 March 1912

George Huntington Ross
[Next of Kin, Rapid City]

Barrister at Law

16th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Captain

10 January 1874

23 April 1911

Charles Russell Stinson MC
[Next of Kin]

Grain Salesman

27th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Major

25 August 1886

5 November 1913

H. Taylor

?

?

?

?

?

Robert McDonnell Thomson
[Next of Kin]

Barrister

43rd Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Lieutenant Colonel

4 July 1869

7 October 1912

Melville Cornelius Wood
[Next of Kin]

Contractor

Royal Naval Air Service

Flight Lieutenant

27 June 1890

8 October 1913

Arthur Hamilton Young
[Next of Kin]

Banker

7th Canadian Infantry Brigade Headquarters

Captain

11 May 1879

6 September 1914

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Sinclair’s Creek Plaque (Winnipeg)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Winnipeg Transfer Railway Spur Line Plaque (Winnipeg)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Royal Alexandra Hotel Shard (Assiniboine Park, Winnipeg)

A Fallen Splendour: The Challener Murals of Winnipeg’s Royal Alexandra Hotel by Susan Moffatt Rozniatowski
Manitoba History, Number 42, Autumn / Winter 2001-2002

Sources:

Information for this page was provided by The City of Winnipeg’s Planning, Property and Development Department, which acknowledges the contribution of the Government of Manitoba through its Heritage Grants Program.

We thank Jason Vanderhill (Vancouver Postcard Club) and the Toronto Postcard Club for providing images of the Royal Alexandra Hotel.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 1 August 2016

Historic Sites of Manitoba

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