Grunwald Hotel & Royal Canadian Legion
A point of interest on the Discover Downtown Calgary GPS-guided audio walking tour.
Press play & listen to the tour audio!
On your right hand side, you should be walking past a red brick building that says "1914 Great War Veterans Club" on the top.
That's the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 1! For decades the Royal Canadian Legion has been one of the most important organizations for veterans returning home. Even before its existence, there were a number of groups dedicated to supporting those returning from service.
In 1917 a group of soldiers who had come home from fighting in Europe decided to form this city’s branch of the Great War Veterans' Association of Canada. They had a rented space in the Alberta Club, but after only two years, their numbers had grown so much that they needed a new location! In 1926, the branch voted to join the Canadian Legion of the British Empire Service League, receiving their charter a year later. They were given this building here to operate from, which was opened in 1922 as a Memorial Hall for those who had served in the Great War.
The Canadian Legion of the British Empire Service League would eventually become the Royal Canadian Legion, and it still serves as both an aid to Canadian veterans, and a beacon of remembrance to this day!
Now if you look in the direction of the legion to the east, you'll see the tall building next to it with the words “St. Regis Hotel” printed on the side. As you can probably guess, that’s the name of this building, but it was once called something else!
Back when it first opened in 1913, it was called the Grunwald Hotel! In its early years, this was one of the best hotels in the city, due to its moderate pricing and convenient location in relation to the train station. Although the building was initially intended to be an office building, it probably changed to a hotel due to the slowing economy at that time.
It’s a good thing though, because it stands today as one of just six surviving hotels to be built prior to World War One in Calgary!
Each POI has a fun multiple choice trivia challenge you can test your skills on.
The trivia questions are separate from the commentary and completely optional.
The app keeps score for you so you can challenge your friends and family.