|The Royal Hotel (1910) Virtual Reference Library photo (public domain)|
|post cards are from the Eric Pierce collection|
This wonderful photo of the 'new' Royal Hotel shows lots of ladies chatting out front (and they DO look like ladies.) The three storey luxury hotel, opened about 1881, was considered the best in town, and sported a bell-cast octagonal roofed turret to set it even further apart.
|bell-cast roof dome|
But its character slipped, and its future was in doubt until a few years ago, when heritage and arts types began to explore the possibilities of the hotel. A local photographer captured, Drake-like, moody views of the hotel's last residents and its evocative faded interiors in Graham Davies at the Royal. Black and white images are available for sale in book form or as prints.
|"rusticated pilasters, window labels and dog-toothing in brick"|
In late 2013 an optimistic note was sounded in The Wellington Times at the purchase of the Royal by former Ontario finance minister Greg Sorbara (well, he would have money, right?) His plans to launch into the county's 'hip transformation' with the refurbishment of the building as a boutique hotel aren't manifested yet in any noisy messy encouraging restoration work, but I am hopeful.
No-one can tell me when the hotel received its most recent facade facelift. I love the hotel name in deco letters on a black background - could it possibly be Vitrolite?