Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth hotel is about to undergo a transformation that will bring its glorious past alive again. The renovations, a $140-million investment by Ivanhoé Cambridge, will start in June 2016. All the common areas and about 500 guest rooms will be ready in time for the celebrations marking the 375th anniversary of Montreal and the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation. The rest of the rooms will be renovated by December 2017.
Fully redesigned as an innovative business hub, Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth will be Montreal’s new gathering point for business people from the city and abroad. The second and third floors will be divided into a series of meeting and work spaces suited to various needs, including zones designed for playful creativity, and inspiring themed rooms for dynamic business meetings. These working spaces will be adjacent to a new outdoor terrace providing another direct connection to the energy of downtown Montreal.
Visitors will enter the hotel through a new lobby, reimagined as an open multipurpose space with high ceilings and a reception desk. The main floor will also include the Agora, a vibrant multifunctional space that will house dynamic events, as well as pop-up stores and conferences. Visitors and Montrealers alike will enjoy access to a lively bar and gourmet restaurant as well as an urban market that will bring together local producers and artisans, fostering a sense of community in downtown Montreal.
The upper floors will feature luxurious guest rooms, including the three Fairmont Gold floors. The new Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth hotel will also offer guests a renewed wellness centre on the lower concourse, including a gym and a redesigned pool. Finally, Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth will provide an enhanced connection to the many services and shops to be found in Montreal’s famous underground city, with its heart at Place Ville Marie.
The architect’s ambition was to offer guests a convenient location, impeccable service and the height of luxury. It was one of the first hotels in North America to feature escalators, air conditioning, and a dial telephone in each room. This 1,039-room, 21-storey hotel was, and still is, Canada’s biggest hotel east of Toronto. Ideally located above Central Station, the building provides direct access to Montreal’s underground city.
Since opening on April 15, 1958, Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth hotel has hosted an impressive number of heads of state and leaders of the business world, as well as countless celebrities. It has served as home base for most of the major events organized in Montreal, contributing to the hotel’s reputation and to the international influence of Montreal and Canada. The famous 1969 bed-in for peace anti-war protest by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, in Suite 1742, added to the hotel’s worldwide prominence.