Montreal Daily Star, 20 August 1898, page 16
Place Viger Hotel,
All is in readiness for the opening of the House on Monday.
A finely finished house
Everything connected with it is of the Most Modern and Ellegant [sic] kind.
A row of bridal chambers
They are situated on the First Floor with the balcony in front.
Montreal will soon be able to boast of another large hotel. The new one in this case is the new hotel-depot on Viger Place, which is fast nearing completion and will be ready for the opening on Monday. The public are invited at this opening to visit the hotel and inspect the rooms.
The building has six stories, and is three hundred feet long and fifty feet deep with a 64 by 68 wing at either end. It is of the same style of architecture as the hotel Frontenac in Quebec, namely, of the early French Renaissance. Its site has not the grandeur of its sister hotel in Quebec, situated as it is on the cliffs overlooking the St. Lawrence, but nevertheless it has a splendid location. In front is Viger Square, one of the prettiest in the city as seen looking from the tower. Then again by crossing the same room one can see the St Lawrence with its shipping and the mountains in the distance.
FIRST FLOOR ROOMS
On the first floor the wood work, wainscoting, settings, etc., are in solid oak, as are also the beams which cross the wide corridor at the ceiling, making it appear very rich and picturesque. The room doors and furniture are also made of oak. The beds are all imported French beds, made of brass, with the exception of the servants’ at the top of the building, which are of iron, while their other furniture is made from good honest pine.
The front rooms on the first floor are all bridal rooms, especially elegantly finished with doors leading out to the large stone balcony and having bathrooms, and closets attached to each.
On this floor are the breakfast and dining rooms. The latter is large enough to accommodate three hundred comfortably, and will be furnished with the most costly tables and chairs. The balcony is in direct communication with this, and it is the intention of the management to supply oxidized metal tables and chairs to be put on this balcony, so that guests will be able to go out there on the summer mornings to partake of refreshments. A large awning will be stretched overhead and tropical plants will be placed on the wide top of the stone railing, so that it will make altogether a most delightful place to pass the time on a hot evening instead of indoors.
THE BREAKFAST ROOM.
The breakfast room is much smaller than the dining room, being only able to seat forty persons, and immediately communicates with it. It is an extremely pretty little place, the walls being ornamented with raised gold figures on a dark red background. The floor is of hard wood and it will be possible to see one’s face in it when finally polished up. This room will be chiefly used for late guests who may wish a meal when the general dining room is closed up.
The second floor is much the same as the first. The wainscoting of the halls is white instead of oak, and it is a question which of the two is the prettier. The rooms are just as good as the ones below, with the exception of the bridal rooms, which are the best in the house. These bathrooms are very well furnished with porcelain baths and white marble basin, and all the other requisites of the toilet to match, and the visible portions of the pipes are nickel plated. The floors above are the same practically as those below.
MOSTLY MADE IN CANADA.
The linen of the hotel is of the very best, is all marked with the company’s monogram, and is mostly all made in Canada. The bedding also is the best that could be had, so that a distinguished visitor from Minneapolis who inspected the rooms a few days ago, expressed her opinion that there were none better, and few as good to be had.
On the ground floor off the station are most of the public rooms of the hotel, the bar, billiard room, barbershops, cigar, and news stand, gentleman’s writing and ladies reception room; the walls and ceilings of the last being in gold leaf. The bar is forty feet long, and will be equipped with all the necessities of a modern bar-room. Behind the counter and stretching the whole length of it are ice boxes and refrigerators. The doors of the cupboards for the bottles will be made of plate glass strengthened by japanned iron work, while mirrors will be placed under the tupper row. The billiard room will be furnished with an English pool table and two American carom tables. The barber shop will also be equipped with all the necessities of the trade, and the walls will be covered with large mirrors, which will reach almost to the ceiling. The writing and reading rooms and all other nooks and corners, which a guest might nooks and corners, which a guest might [sic] the same magnificent style.
The kitchen is on the first floor, just adjoining the breakfast and dining rooms, and has all the modern appliances for helping the cooks both before and after the meal. In connection with this latter is a huge dish washing machine, which has been tried and found satisfactory. It is also supplied with a thirty-six foot cooking range, and all the copper and tin paraphernalia; stock pots, sinks, ice boxes, refrigerators, and dish heating machines are so arranged as to allow the cooks to prepare the best dinner for an indefinite number in the shortest time possible.
The hotel will supply its own electricity, and the plant for this and the elevators, along with the laundry and drying rooms, wine and bone cellars, and servants’ dining rooms, occupy the basement of the building.
The elevators are three in number, one for passengers, and two for freight, and all are of the safest and most modern arrangement, as are also the lighting, heating, and systems of bell calls.
The building is fire-proof throughout, but even then there are five stairways leading from each flat, so that along with the watchman and mechanical appliances the danger to life and property by fire is reduced to a minimum.
The depot part of the building is of course, situated on the ground floor, and is solidly fitted up with quartered oak and marble.
CONDUCTORS AND AGENTS
The Conductors’ and agents’ rooms are such as to insure the comfort of the employees, while the rotunda or waiting room for the travelers is all that could be expected for both comfort and beauty. The ceilings and walls are laid with gold leaf, intended as a background for further decorative work. The main staircase, opening on to the rotunda, is beautifully decorated, so as to produce a subdued gold effect.
Spacious baggage and express rooms, the former being 50 by 70 feet in size, and the other 66 by 58 feet, are located in the eastern end of the ground floor. The depot will be the terminus for the Winnipeg express trains, and openend for the traffic last Monday.
The yards will be supplied with hot air pipes, fed from the main building, so that cars when detached from the locomotive can be kept at an even temperature, and a shed supplied with apparatus for cleaning cushions is also located in the yard.
Altogether in the new hotel-depot, Montreal has added another large and beautiful structure to its already long list of fine buildings, and Montrealers no doubt will show with pride the Viger place depot to every person who visits the city.