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Château Laurier seen from Wellington Street
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Château Laurier seen from Rideau Street

The Château Laurier is a noted hotel in downtown Ottawa, Canada.

Originally built by the Grand Trunk Railway as a place for its passengers to stay it was located across the street from the train station. It was opened in 1915 and named after Wilfrid Laurier, former Prime Minister of Canada. When the Grand Trunk became part of the Canadian National Railway in 1924, the Château Laurier became one of CN's most important hotels.

The hotel is located near the intersection of Rideau Street and Sussex Drive and is just metres away from some of the capital's most important landmarks including Parliament Hill, the Rideau Canal, the National Gallery of Canada, the Byward Market, the American Embassy, and the Rideau Centre.

The hotel was conceived by GT chairman Charles Melville Hays and designed by Bradford Lee Gilbert. It opened on June 12, 1912. Unfortunately Hays, who was meant to open the hotel, decided to travel aboard the RMS Titanic and died when it sank on April 14. The hotel was eventually opened by Laurier himself.

Despite the closing of the nearby train station the hotel thrived, becoming the main accommodation for visiting dignitaries and celebrities. The hotel was operated by CN until 1988 when it was purchased, along with the other CN hotels, by the Canadian Pacific Railway. In 1999 it was renamed the Fairmont Château Laurier after CP bought the large Canadian Fairmont chain.

From July 1924 to October 2004 the Chateau Laurier was home to a radio station. The station was among several established by the CNR and was eventually inherited by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

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