Palliser Hotel (March 18, 1937): One of Canada’s Finest Establishments

The Palliser Hotel is one of Calgary’s oldest and most luxurious hotels in Alberta, Canada. Its chateau-style architecture, known as Châteauxesque, fascinated the upper-class guests during the Victorian era and continues to awe the tourists and the various guests that decide to make their stay.


Palliser Hotel, one of the leading hotels for the Canadian Pacific Railway, is located at 133 9th Avenue Southwest Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It was opened on June 1, 1914. Due to the construction of the building, the Canadian Pacific Railway was growing in western Canada. William Van Horne, former president of Canadian Pacific Railway, depended on the range of rapid development of revenue-producing services that the height of the Victorian Era offered.

The Palliser Hotel; under construction in 1912

The hotel was named after Captain John Palliser. Palliser was a 19th-century explorer and the leader of the British expedition that explored Western Canada between 1857 and 1860. The hotel’s first guest was Charles Walsh Rowley, a banker from the Canadian Bank of Commerce.

As the Palliser hotel continued to progress, the 20th century became the prime time across the world. Famous guests like Edward VIII, Queen Elizabeth II, and King George VI — the British Royal Family — enjoyed the stay and honored the presents of the hotel. Due to the event, Palliser Hotel became one of the best hotels in Canada and it offered distinctive accommodation in elegant surroundings. However, one of the most important trademarks was the Canadian Pacific Railroad.

The dining room where all the upper class and military guests will be located

The Canadian Pacific Railroad, known as the CPR, was formed to physically unite Eastern Canada to British Columbia and played an important role in the development of the nation. The track gauge is 1,435 mm (4 ft 8.5 in) and the headquarters is located at 7550 Ogden Dale Road SE, Calgary, Alberta. Taking the train is a relaxing experience for the passengers because travelers such as military troops and upper-class tourists demanded comfort and custom-built service. On the train, the luxurious accommodations were elegant because it was designed for the upper-class.

These are the train routes

In modern times, all the guest rooms are equipped with private suites and luxury amenities. Between stunning views and savory meals from the dining, the landscapes are spectacular because of the beautiful rocky mountains, lakes, and their key attractions such as ski jumping and skiing. Taking the train is a wonderful experience, ensuring that the hospitality for the guests is unforgettable before arriving at the hotel.

The interior design of the train
Viewing the landscapes on the train

The Menu

Palliser Hotel’s Menu

Accompanying the comfortable setting is an extended range of menu options suited to the traveler’s liking. For example, Hors d’Oeuvres Varies is one of the most popular dishes on the menu — a small savory dish (sometimes it is served cold), and the proper way to enjoy it is to be eaten by hand. On cold days, much like the British Royal Family can enjoy a cup of tea, the Palliser offers a refreshing pot to those who decide to stay and dine.

Historically, tea was a British cultural phenomenon that affected Canada. The prices on the menu were expensive, mostly catering to wealthier travelers. For instance, an $1.25 a la carte T-Bone Steak would be $22.02 in today’s Canadian dollars, and a modest 20 cent Rice Pudding would cost $3.52.

My Presentation – To Dine At the Palliser

When imagining myself and my family dining at the hotel…

Before our stay, we would be sitting on one of the most famous railways in history — the railway called the Canadian Pacific Railroad train. My family and I would’ve taken the Dominion and left Montreal at 8:15 pm on the No. 7 train to Sudbury, where the arrival time is at 6:15 am. The next train would be leaving at 6:55 am, taking no more than 3 days for us to get to Palliser. The first-class experience of the interior, dining services, and unique landscapes would be magnificent to behold.

The next morning my brother would be woken up by the smell of nice brewed coffee while me, my mother, and my father still sleep. Even though it took 3 ½ days to get from Montreal to Alberta, I’d love the long, scenic trip with my family and the culture of Canada.

The Canadian Pacific Railway Timesheet. In the 1930s, guests will use it the determine the time when they will arrive

On a Sunday morning, my family and I would be eating brunch in this fine architectural setting. On the Luncheon menu, I would select Orange Pekoe with Baked Apple, Scrambled Eggs with no creamed Ham. My brother would have Fried Eastern Oysters with Potatoes Scalloped in Cream and Sanka Coffee. My mother and my father would get an Apricot Pie with Oolong Tea.

Looking at the amazing dining room would make me feel at home, as the luxury hotel is built to have a fantastic and relaxing atmosphere. I would love to take my friends to this hotel because it is surrounded by Resorts and it is one of the best vacation spots in Alberta, Canada.

Written By: Chioma Nwagbara

Originally Published: December 16th, 2021 || Last Updated: May 15th, 2022

A part of Doc Studio’s History of Food in America Collection

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