Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Chateau Laurier Hotel in Ottawa is for sale.

You are responsible for this, Marathon Realty and CN Real Estate. Canada's railway hotels should never have been privatized and sold to Fairmont Hotel's and Resorts. Who knows what will happen to this irreplaceable landmark---will it be demolished (the CPR bulldozed the Royal Alexandra Hotel in Winnipeg) or converted into condos?
John Lennon and Yoko Ono stayed at the Chateau Laurier Hotel in 1969, and their song "Give Peace a Chance" was recorded at another CN property, the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. Renowned photographer Yousuf Karsh and his wife lived in the Chateau Laurier from 1980 until 1998.

The Chateau Laurier Hotel was a National Historic Site in 1979:
Heritage Conservation Background Report, City of Ottawa. (From: The downtown Ottawa Public Library on Laurier Avenue.)
.I would not be surprised if the Chateau Laurier is sold to the government of China. The Chinese government couldn't care less about China's architectural heritage---ancestral tombs, 600-year-old Taoist temples and hutongs (ancient courtyard houses) were destroyed, and replaced with apartment and office towers and shopping centres. Why would a foreign government or a Wall Street investment firm care about my country's history.
The Chateau Laurier; Dominion Buildings; one thousand lighthouses; the Kingston, Collins Bay and Dorchester penitentiaries; CN Tower and Conference Centre should be placed on a Deathwatch---killed by:
1.) Privatization
2.) Apathy
3.) Weak to non-existent heritage laws.
4.) Insatiable greed.
The Walmart Tower in Toronto.(Photo from Smart Canucks.)
Major's Hill Park is directly behind the Chateau Laurier, and the park is currently owned by the National Capital Commission. I truly believe that:
1.) The National Capital Commission will sell Major's Hill Park to the family dynasty, foreign billionaire or investment fund that eventually buys the Chateau Laurier. High rise condos were constructed on land directly behind another CNR hotel, the Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg, Manitoba:
Apartment towers behind the Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
 The Canadian Tulip Festival can longer afford to lease property at Major's Hill Park and Commissioners Park, because the National Capital Commission hiked up the rent; and the City of Ottawa is rezoning Queen Juliana Park at Dow's Lake, see the petition "Stop the rezoning of Parks to Condos, Queen Juliana in Little Italy."
2.) The Conference Centre, directly across the street from the Chateau Laurier, will also be sold. There is a reason why the National Capital Commission is trying to acquire the Conference Centre. In 1967, the Crown corporation was prepared to demolish the Conference Centre.
 As I have mentioned before, I was a cleaning lady at the former Grand Trunk Railway Station in 1981-1982.; a tunnel connected the GTR statiion to the Chateau Laurier. A tunnel also connected the Prison for Women in Kingston,Ontario to the Kingston Penitentiary; the Royal York Hotel to Union Station in Toronto; and the Fort Garry Hotel to Union Station in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

A federal judicial inquiry should be convened, to investigate Marathon Realty and CN Real Estate. An inquiry would stop, or at least delay, the sale of the Chateau Laurier, Chateau Montebello and the Fairmont Empress in Victoria, British Columbia. The investigation should focus on:
-the 1880 agreement between Canadian Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald and the CPR, whereby the government of Canada gave the railway $25 million dollars and 25 million acres of land, on the condition that any land not needed by the CPR would revert to the Crown, the people of Canada.
-the 1988 acquisition of CNR hotels by Canadian Pacific Limited.
- Union Station in Toronto, which is now owned by the City of Toronto. Union Station, a National historic Site of Canada, is currently being "selectively demolished."
-the sale of railway lands in Toronto to developers. "Harbourfront" is a federal Crown corporation that was established in 1972 to save the lakeshore from rampant condo development.
-the Provincial Capital Commission in Victoria, BC. Several CPR properties were transferred to the Crown corporation, including the Crystal Garden and the CPR Steamship Terminal Building. The provincial government of BC plans to sell 100 provincially-owned properties to reduce the deficit.

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