A History of the Marlborough Hotel in Downtown Winnipeg

The Marlborough Hotel in Downtown Winnipeg has seen it all. While generations come and go, buildings often outlast their makers and survive into another lifetime of change, technology and social evolution. The Marlborough Hotel in Downtown Winnipeg has been serving the Winnipeg community since November 14, 1914. It saw the First World War, as it opened on the eve of the declaration.

Historical Hotels Winnipeg

Opened in 1914, The Marlborough Hotel encompasses a piece of Winnipeg's rich history.

Back then, it was known as the Olympia and it remains in the center of Winnipeg. Architects of yesterday decided to design a building that recalled a mood of Gothic Medieval England, with just a touch of the Renaissance period. The building has stood strongly, and is considered a heritage, protected building. The original Olympia was the first Canadian “fireproof” hotel since it had a sprinkler system installed, and was also made from concrete and steel.

The first building design was four storeys, though it was built to accommodate more rooms should the need arise. It did, and within three years, five more storeys were added on. The now nine-storey building was eventually sold to a group of Winnipeg investors back when Canada was still part of Great Britain. When Canada broke away (made official in 1931 but made autonomous by 1867) as its own independent partner within the Commonwealth of Nations, the hotel was eventually renamed The Marlborough, after military leader John Churchill who was the 1st Duke of Marlborough.

Many significant events have happened over the years and the Marlborough Hotel in Downtown Winnipeg has seen them all. The Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 happened nearby the hotel, and is remembered as one of the most important strikes in Canadian history.

The hotel also saw the building and finishing of the Manitoba Legislative Building in 1920. The building was finished in 1920 and stood 77 meters in height. The well-known Golden Boy statue depicting Mercury/Hermes stands atop the roof.

Lastly, there’s the MTS Centre, which is home to the beloved Winnipeg Jets, and right by the hotel. Only recently have the Jets returned to Winnipeg and fans are always excited whenever it’s NHL action at the MTS Center, whether it’s the Jets or the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League. The building is 440,000 square feet and can hold over 16,000 spectators.

Don’t miss your opportunity to take in some history and contemporary culture at the Marlborough Hotel in Downtown Winnipeg!

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