In 1998, the Ramada Limited Downtown Vancouver made its debut in the historic building dating back to the year 1913. In previous years, the real estate had been transformed from government reserve land; to residential housing; to boarding houses and office spaces.
(Photo: Vancouver Public Library photo #5265)
In 1912, the current building was erected and the Connaught Hotel (1913-1917) opened as “one of Vancouver’s very finest hostelries”! (TheVancouver World, 1913). This 110 room hotel presented the choice of private or public bathroom, and was the only hotel in Vancouver with a shower bath on each floor! Rooms rented for as little as $5.00 per week!
(Photo:The Vancouver World, 1913)
In 1918, the Connaught was replaced by the Balfour Hotel (1917-1921). On the main lobby level (where the front desk and valet desk currently stand) there was an office space rented out to a Real Estate Office (1918) and then a Home Bakery (1919-1922), as seen in the photo.
(Photo: Vancouver Public Library photo #21062)
In 1922, the hotel was once again renamed the Mighty Niagara Hotel (1922-1997). In 1947, the famous Niagara sign was designed to replace the original signage. Embellished with neon trees and rocks at the bottom of a cascading waterfall, “the Niagara sign was a work of art, the best commercial neon sign in town.”(Vancouver Sun, 1998) Rates were published as low as $1.00 per person with public bathroom per night!…or for an extra $.50 you could upgrade to a private bathroom!
(Photo:Vancouver Public Library photo #27506)