Also named the “Great Lady of Sherbrooke Street”, the Ritz-Carlton hotel was named by its promoters to honour a London hotel, the Carlton and César Ritz, a Parisian hotel manager of great reputation which let them use his name as a franchise.
The construction of this luxury hotel was made at the time to give Montreal a hyper-classy hotel of great reputation in the heart of the rich Golden Square Mile district. At the time of its construction, Sherbrooke Street was one of the greenest streets of the city surrounded by the most beautiful mansions of Montreal.
The construction project of this hotel came from a group of Montrealers businessmen. In this group, there were celebrities from the business world like Sir Herbert Holt, Charles Gordon Blair, Huges Montagu Allan and Charles Hosmer. Note that none of them had any experience in hotel management. Evolving from a concept closer to the club for businessmen, partners eventually founded The Carlton Hotel Company of Montreal in order to make it a great hotel. The company had a start-up capital of $ 2 million (construction cost finally a little bit more than 2 million. Just after end of construction, the City of Montreal evaluated the building as the fifth building with the most value in the city).
In a hurry, associates bought the land of deceased Jesse Joseph at the corner of McTavish and Sherbrooke to elevate their building. The sale was controversial because MacDonald, a tobacco tycoon, wanted to acquire this land in order to make a donation to McGill University. After some negotiations, the company ceded the land at cost price to Sir MacDonald, who could expand the McGill University campus. They turned to another land, at the corner of Drummond and Sherbrooke sold by the Montreal Stockbrokerage.
Because of their superstitions, in order to ensure that hotel won’t open in 1913, associates planed to open the Ritz-Carlton in late 1912 and hurry-up construction delay. The city even extends the Drummond Street north of Sherbrooke near after the grand opening the future.
Todaythe Ritz Carlton hotel is still a world class hotel with 181 rooms and 48 suites, two ball rooms, meeting rooms and restaurants, luxury hotel offers everything for his distinguished clientele.
Recently, the famous hotel announced major renovations to follow the Condo/Hotel trends, which is currently transforming the world of hotels.
This building have a Beaux-Arts architectural style influence.