The Gazette reported today that, within the next couple years, Montreal will be home to Canada’s first location of the prestigious Waldorf=Astoria Hotel (artist’s rendition above) to be built at the corner of Guy and Sherbrooke:
Local real estate company Monit Investments will spend $200 million developing and building the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel & Residence Montreal on what is now a parking lot it owns near Guy and Sherbrooke Sts.
The 32-storey hotel, consisting of twin towers, will be modelled on its namesake on New York City’s Park Ave.
Like the Manhattan hotel, the Montreal version will be luxuriously appointed, featuring 250 guest rooms, 76 residences, nearly 1,400 square metres of ballroom and meeting space, signature restaurants, bars and a spa and fitness centre.
While most of the building will face Guy, an access onto Sherbrooke will give the hotel the cachet of an address on that more prestigious street. Being set behind the Medical Arts Building means the new building will not be subject to the 60-metre height restriction in effect for new buildings on Sherbrooke W.
The Sherbrooke access became available in 2003 when a fire destroyed three 19th-century row houses next to the Medical Arts Building.
The building will be a welcome addition to both streets, finally filling in the parking lots that scar an otherwise beautiful and architecturally rich corner of Downtown. Furthermore, if realised, the hotel will greatly enhance the downtown section of Guy along with Concordia’s new business school down the block creating a dense and diverse streetscape.
The announcement of this project is just part of the high-end hotel boom that has been sweeping Montreal over the last few years. The Gazette explains further in the same article:
Pierre Bellerose, vice-president of public relations and marketing for Tourisme Montréal, noted that the Waldorf=Astoria is part of the city’s “hotel mini-boom.”
Bellerose has compiled a list of 17 substantial hotel projects between 2006 and 2009 that have been completed or are on the boards, not including the Waldorf=Astoria. In total, more than 2,500 rooms and 100 suites and condos are being added to the city’s hotel inventory.
“There are a lot of smaller projects (under way), too, and more to be announced soon,” he said without giving any further details.
According to Bellerose, the latest boom, “not seen for more than 40 years,” started in the early 1990s with half a dozen big projects like the Hotel InterContinental Montreal, followed by the introduction from 2001 to 2003 of several boutique hotels around Old Montreal.
Mock-up of the Westin Hotel Currently under construction on St-Antoine Ouest.
A quick look around Downtown will easily prove the point. Canada’s first W hotel was recently opened in the Quatier International, a massive Westin Hotel is slated to open next door to the Hotel InterContinental (also part of the hotel boom as mentioned above and, in my opinion, one of the nicest post-war buildings in Montreal), and, as SpacingMontreal reported in January as well as yesterday, the famed Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Sherbrooke will soon be modernising and may look drastically different in the next couple years.