On December 31, 1912, at exactly 11:15 pm, right before New Year’s Eve, the Ritz-Carlton Montreal first opened its doors. Heralded into the world with an old-fashioned ball attended by the city’s elite, the hotel had an illustrious start that made it a headliner from the get go.
Since then, it has hosted everyone from the Prince of Wales and Winston Churchill to Elizabeth Taylor, John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Surviving through the great depression, wars and the many unpredictable twists of time, its status as a stalwart for classic elegance has remained solid even in the era of new age technology, design and living standards.
How a building that is over 100-years old has managed to stay relevant and enticing is intriguing to say the least. The 45-dwelling structure, created entirely for residential living, had many locals wondering if it would maintain the old royalty of the Ritz-Carlton hotel, or if it would deviate from the tradition into something more modern.
The answer is both. The Residences feature aspects of The Ritz-Carlton hotel, as they give residents access to The Ritz-Carlton Garden, Oval room, Palm Court, restaurants and staff services (at a fee), yet the living spaces themselves have been designed to stand out from the hotel. From the street, passers-by can distinguish The Residences from the hotel through their modern glass exteriors, which stand in contrast to hotel’s traditional stone masonry. Yet, though the hotel and The Residences are centuries and styles apart, they work well together. Perhaps it’s because the development and the hotel both have a high-brow elegance to them.
Design aside, actual inhabitants of the Residences would say that it’s not the style or the access to amenities that draws the hotel and residences together, but the service. The Montreal Canadians are hosting the Boston Bruins tonight at the Bell Center! The news drops like rain on a tin roof. Missing such an event is out of question! The Residents calls the concierge. Tickets for Canadians’ games are a rare thing… but the concierge performs miracles. The Residences’ standards for service seem to be consistent with the Ritz-Carlton Hotel’s Gold standards.
Neighbouring attractions in the Golden Square Mile (the high-class area of downtown Montreal where the hotel and residences are located) are a huge selling point for buyers thinking of investing, as the district includes designer stores, museums and art galleries in addition to financial and business hubs. Though some would argue that the hotel’s acclaimed restaurant, “Maison Boulud,” is the real reason why it’s a hot ticket.
Regardless of whether you admire the tradition of the hotel, or the new direction of The Residences, both structures are attracting eyes all along Sherbrooke Street. If The Residences have the same staying power as their namesake, they’ll likely remain a head turner for many years to come.