If your summer vacation plans take you somewhere near Cranbrook, B.C. be sure to stop in on a grand piece of Winnipeg history - The Royal Alexandra Hotel Cafe !
Royal Alexandra ca.1963 (source)The Royal Alex, now the empty lot next to the former CPR station at Higgins and Main, was Winnipeg's premiere hotel for decades. Her magnificent ball and dining rooms hosted thousands weddings, dances, royal events, military gatherings and service club luncheons. Meetings such as the ones that created the CFL and deciding the actions to to take against strikers in 1919 were held there.
Royal Alex European Café ca.1910s (source)
When the decision came in 1970 to demolish the hotel the dining room was saved by the Sterns who had it dismantled, labeled piece by piece and put into storage. Their plans for the re-use of the room did not work out and it eventually made its way to B.C. where the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel purchased it in 1999. By the summer of 2004 the room, built into a brand new building, re-opened as Royal Alexandra Hall.
Royal Alexandra Hall ca.2004 (source)
The website for Royal Alexandra Hall has a great history of the room as well as a great photo collection of the restoration work from the first dig in 1999 to the final touches in 2004.
New Year's Eve in Winnipeg Wpg Time Machine