365 Canadian Sights | Day 286: Railway Hotels – Place Viger

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| Image from Flickr/Robert Cutts via CC BY SA 2.0 |

While many of these hotels are landmarks that rival any other location in the area for fame, not all are as dominant.

I’m calling this sight Place Viger, but really, it’s gone through a few names. Gare Viger, Hotel Viger, Viger Station or Édifice Jacques-Viger all seem to have been used and are somewhat interchangeble thanks to confusion online. Place Viger seems to be the most consistent, though the must current appears to be Édifice Jacques-Viger.

Anywho, names aside, this is probably the least famous of the grand railway hotels still standing. And while there’s probably a good reason (like how it’s tucked away in the middle of a city full of other similar buildings and is in a less prominent area which is occasionally run down) it’s worthy of more.

I’m not alone in that, despite being built in 1898, in 2014 a tech company moved in to a section of it, reviving the place. We’re talking $250 million to move in, and with 400 new tech workers, it’s likely to give the area a new boost.

That said, I hope little changes with this exterior, with round turrets and chateau style. And this is the most railway hotel of railway hotels, as there was a train station inside it when it was built.

With more appreciation for what Place Viger, this is a sight that might actually improve, measurably so, in the next few years.

Place Viger isn’t located terribly, it’s on the edge of the city’s traditional core with other historic sights walking distance, but the specific area it’s in isn’t the most attractive, drawing tourists elsewhere. However, transit, walking or cycling are all good ways to get over to it, just north of the city’s city hall. It should be noted that Hotel Viger is a different place, nearby; on Google maps, this location is called Gare Viger.

I think because of the confusion with the current Hotel Viger, TripAdvisor has let this location fall off the map. The Montreal tourism site does have a short profile on the former hotel, and I’m going to a first here and direct you to the Wikipedia page for Place Viger, as there’s not a lot out there about it, and most of it’s in French.

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