The elegant hotel located in the heart of Ottawa, built on the prestigious land next to Parliament Hill is like a step back in time. The hotel first commissioned by Mr. Charles Melville Hays, the president of the "Grand Trunk Railway", in the year 1907, was to be the flagship hotel for the railway. Built to resemble a castle in France, the rich and social elite of the time would come to waltz in the ballroom, lounge by the indoor pool and smoke cigars in the reading room. The marble staircases, gold leaf painting, and cathedral ceilings just added to the majestic appeal of the hotel. The hotel would open in the year 1912, but not with all the finishing touches its builder had wanted.
During the building of the impressive edifice, Mr. Hays put everything he hoped for into his hotel, often stopping by to watch the building in progress, whistling as he visited. A few weeks before the grand opening Mr. Hays decided to visit London, England for some furnishings for the rooms. He then decided to return home on one of the most historical of voyages. Mr. Hays bought a ticket to return home on the ill fated RMS Titanic. On the fourteenth day of April 1912 Mr. Hays and 1,500 plus people died when the ship sank. Mr Hays never saw the opening of his splendid hotel... or did he.
Some say that Mr. Charles Melville Hays was so attached to his hotel that to this day he has not left it. Visitors have complained of hearing soft whistling, and a man in dark cloak on the fifth floor.
Staff of the Chateau Laurier simply figure that Mr. Charles Melville Hays is just making sure that the hotel that he so wanted to build is still being managed and maintained to his standards.
We are quite obviously still looking to expand our report on this wonderful building. If you have anything to add or suggest or possibly about another haunt in the Ottawa area, please feel free to contact us at: