Setting > Ottawa

Château Laurier

Photo Chateau Laurier

The Château Laurier is one of the key settings in Fire on the Hill. It is:


Celebrating its 100-year birthday and minutes away from Parliament Hill, the Château Laurier is one of the premier hotels in Ottawa. The Château has played host to royalty, heads of state, political figures, celebrities and members of Canadav’s elite.

Named after Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the Château Laurier officially opened in April 26, 1912. It was commissioned in 1907 by American-born Charles Melville Hays, the general manager of the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada. Construction began in 1909 and was completed in 1912 at a cost of $1.5 million dollars (CDN).

Photo Château Laurier

Unfortunately, days before the hotelv’s scheduled grand opening, the new president of the railway, returning from England, was on the ill-fated Titanic. Hays and the members of his party perished on April 14, 1912.

In 1923, the Grand Trunk Railway became part of the Canadian National Railway (CN). The Château Laurier became one of CN’s most important hotels. The hotel was operated by CN Hotels until the chain was purchased by the Canadian Pacific (CP) Hotels in 1988. 

In 1999, CP Hotels was bought by the Fairmont Hotel chain and is now the Fairmont Château Laurier.


The luxury hotel was built in a French Renaissance style using granite blocks for the base, buff Indiana limestone for the walls and copper for the roof.

The hotel, in 1916, contained 350 bedrooms with two thirds having private baths, a new trend in hotel accommodation.

On the main floor there were:

Photo Grand Central tunnel to Château Laurier entrance

On the mezzanine floor there was a foyer, and a ladies and general writing rooms.

On the first floor there was a banquet room and state apartments.

In the basement there was:

The hotel was connected by an underground corridor to the Grand Trunk Railway’s Central Union Station across the street.

Sources and further reading


The Fairmont Château Laurier Hotel Official website

Château Laurier - Wikipedia

Grand Trunk Railway of Canada - The Canadian Encyclopedia

Grand Trunk Railway - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia