During Vancouver’s “Golden Years of Growth” from 1907 to 1913, P. Roberts of Roberts, Maltby and Company, a local Real Estate and Loan company, decided to build the St. Regis Vancouver Hotel for his wife Mary.
Taking advantage of the hotel’s close proximity to Vancouver’s financial district on West Hastings, Mr. Roberts decided to build one of what would become a top historic hotel in Vancouver for the business traveler.
He employed W.T. Whiteway, one of the leading architects in the British Empire, to design his hotel. Mr. Whiteway had designed the World Building, now the Sun Tower, which had just opened as the tallest building in the Empire. He also went on to design the Marine Building, which was the tallest building in the Empire from 1930 to 1939.
Having the top architect also meant Mr. Roberts had to hire Canada’s top builder – E.J. Ryan, whose resume included the Marine Building, Hotel Vancouver, Harrison Hot Springs and numerous hotels across Canada.
Construction started in 1911 and was completed in time for an opening day of March 15, 1913. The hotel thrived until the Great Depression, but as with much in Vancouver during the ‘30s, the hotel’s business suffered. With the start of the Second World War in 1939, Vancouver’s shipbuilding and lumber industry took off and the hotel was reborn and took on the role as Vancouver’s “Sportsman’s” hotel.
Top athletes who visited Vancouver during the ‘40s and ‘50s had to stay at the St. Regis. From top NHL stars such as Stanley Cup Winner and long time New York Ranger coach Muzz Patrick, to JL “Pop” Grant to Maurice "The Rocket" Richard.
Coley Hall, the owner of the St. Regis at the time, decided that he had the “Sportsman’s hotel,” he needed a hockey team. So for the 1943 to 1944 PCHL season, the Vancouver St. Regis hit the ice.
The "St. Regis Hotels" were the last team for Cyclone Taylor, one of the inventors of the forward pass who played on the first sport team in history to wear a number on their jerseys. But, most importantly, he was the star of the game when Vancouver last won a Stanley Cup in 1915.
The golden years were brought back to life in January 2009 after an extensive $11 million renovation led by top designer Elaine Thorsell. Offering New York style boutique accommodations with state of the art technology in the heart of Vancouver’s financial and business districts, The St. Regis is once again one of Vancouver’s top business traveler’s hotels and a historic hotel in Vancouver.