April 11, 2016
By Afton Aikens
Peaks may be our claim to fame in the Canadian Rockies, but we’ve also got roots.
The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is nearing the end of its 100th year. The hotel has joined other celebrated institutions that have made it into the Centenarian Club.
In true Canadian tradition, the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge began in June 1915 as a cluster of 10 tents on the shores of glacier-fed Lac Beauvert. The accommodation was known as Tent City, and the nightly rate was $2.50 to $3, or $15 to $18 for a week.
The 1920s were a transformative decade, with the construction of the original main lodge in 1923. The building was flaunted as the world’s largest single storey log structure.
The ’20s also saw the creation of a world class Stanley Thompson golf course at the hotel, with fairways carved through forest and features that maximize mountain views.
In 1927, the lodge made its on-screen debut when the Fox Film Studios movie The Country Beyond was shot on-site. From 1930 to 1946, the property was featured in six films with cast members including stars like Marilyn Monroe and Bing Crosby.
The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge has played host to Royal Family members twice—in 1939, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited, and in 2005 Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip stayed at the lodge.
The hotel has seen hardship, too, in 1952 when the entire main lodge burnt down (all registered guests were unharmed). In 2000, a fire also destroyed the Outlook Cabin, which has since been rebuilt.
The property is currently undergoing a $16-million renovation—a grand vision to enhance the guest experience in future years.
Fun at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
Some of our favourite off-season activities:
- Board Games: Cozy up by the fire in the Great Hall with a hot drink and friends or family (open 11:30 am to midnight). Games for all ages are available for pick-up in the Health Club.
- Afternoon Tea: Choose from 15 loose leaf varieties, and enjoy sandwiches and desserts in on-site ORSO Trattoria from 2 to 4:30 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Reservations must be made two hours prior.
- A Good Read: Pick up a copy of Jasper Park Lodge, in the Heart of the Canadian Rockies by Cyndi Smith, in the Fairmont Store. Learn about the hotel’s history and Jasper National Park’s railway roots.
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