Some Early Hotels
Alexandra House — The Alexandra House was located on the north side of Clifton Hill.
American Hotel – According to a tavern license, the American hotel was in existence in 1875. It had 40 rooms, and was located beside the Princess Theatre, Main Street. The hotel was destroyed by a fire on December 14, 1912.
Arlington Hotel – See Suspension Bridge Hotel.
Brunswick Hotel – Opened in 1875 by Peter Wood and Frances T. Walton, the Brunswick Hotel had a 68 foot frontage on River Road, and 100 foot frontage on Robinson Street. The hotel had 40 rooms and its dining room could accommodate 75 people. The actual building was a four- storey structure with wide balconies on the first and second floors which afforded an excellent view of the Falls. The hotel was thoroughly renovated and refurnished around 1882. The Brunswick Hotel was located on land which was acquired by the Queen Victoria Parks Commission in 1887, and demolished before the park opened in 1888.
Caverly House – The Caverly House was built in 1871 or 1872 by Pat Ford, and for years was known as Ford's Hotel. It was built on Benedict Road (Bridge Street).
Columbia (Whiffy's) Hotel – The Columbia Hotel was located on the corner of Erie Ave and Bridge Street. It was torn down to make way for the Trennick Hotel which opened in June, 1910. This hotel was later known as the Metropole, the Mohawk Hotel, and after 1967, the Lord Nelson Hotel. The building is still standing and is now known as Hotel Europa.
Dominion Hotel – The Dominion Hotel had 10 rooms and was located on Park Street. According to a tavern license, the hotel was in existence in 1875.
Eagle Hotel — The Eagle Hotel was located on Bridge Street and had 15 rooms. It was in existence in 1875 according to a tavern license.
Elgin House – Located on the corner of Bridge Street and River Road, the Elgin House had 18 rooms. Built by a man named Griffin, it was a 30' by 40' one-storey stone structure, and one of the first hotels built in the area. Afterwards, it was known as Clark's Hotel after the proprietor, Mr. Clark, who enlarged the hotel. It was destroyed by a fire in September, 1912, and rebuilt and transformed into a restaurant and confectionery parlour in 1914.
Falls View Hotel — Torn down December 1, 1983, to make way for a new Ramada complex.
Foxhead Inn — The Foxhead Inn was located on Clifton Hill. It was composed of three separate buildings, which were linked together into an Elizabethan (Tudor) Style structure. The oldest section was the Parkside Inn, built in the late 1880's, early 1890's by Senator John Bush. The hotel changed hands many times. From 1914 until 1922, the Parkside Inn was used as an annex to the second Clifton Hotel, to which it was connected by a covered walkway. It is unknown when the other two buildings were erected or when the three buildings were amalgamated into one structure. By 1923, the Parkside Inn was owned by Howard Fox and was known as the Clifton Inn. In 1924-1925, he shortened the name to "The Inn," and in 1926 changed it to the Foxhead Inn. The Foxhead Inn was sold to the Sheraton chain of hotels in September, 1951. In the face of poor business, the Inn closed in 1958, but reopened with the Tussaud's Wax Museum, which soon revitalized its business. The Foxhead Inn remained open until 1964, when it was demolished to make room for a new 14-storey hotel, the Sheraton Foxhead, which opened in 1966.
Great Western Hotel — The Great Western Hotel was established around 1867 and had 30 rooms. It was located on the south side Bridge Street halfway between Zimmerman Avenue and Cataract Street, next to the Rosli Hotel. This hotel was generally known as the Ellis House after the proprietor, T. F. Ellis (1876). It was later renamed the Windsor Hotel. The hotel was completely remodelled and refurnished at the turn of the century. It was razed sometime before 1948.
Imperial Hotel — The Imperial Hotel was located at Bridge Street and Erie Avenue, opposite the Great Western Railway Station. It had 27 rooms, and was built in the 1860's. It was long known as the Albion Hotel. This hotel was also known as Buckley's Hotel, after the proprietor Mr. Buckley (1876). It was demolished in 1963.
Kick's Hotel -Kick's Hotel was established in 1860 by Michael Kick. It was located at 136 Main Street, directly across from the Prospect House. After Mr. Kick died in 1875, it was run by his widow, Maria. The hotel was owned by Mr. Frank G. Kick around 1907. Kick's Hotel was considered to be one of the most attractive hotels on the south side of Main St. The hotel burned down in 1920, and a theatre was constructed on the site. This theatre was known variously as the Webb Theatre, the Hollywood Theatre, and finally the Princess Theatre. The building was then changed to the Serbian Cultural Centre and has since been torn down for a parkette and walkway connecting the Farmers’ Market area and Main Street.
King Edward Hotel – The King Edward Hotel, named after King Edward VII of England, was located on the southwest corner of Queen Street and Zimmerman Avenue. Although the 68-room hotel was opened on May 31, 1926, by Charles Sturrock, the building which housed it had been built in the early 1850's by Samuel Zimmerman, the "founder" of Clifton. Since then, the building had been occupied by a dry goods store for about two decades, followed by Von Gal Manufacturing Company (a hat-maker), and a bank. The building had been vacant for a year before the King Edward Hotel was opened. A south wing was added to the hotel in 1933. The hotel had a number of financial problems in the 1970's, and finally went into receivership in 1979, after the owners failed to pay their taxes. The hotel was vacant until 1982 when it was reopened. In 1986, extensive renovations were undertaken to the interior and exterior. Repeated attempts to open a night-club in the hotel failed, and the building again became vacant in 1987. In the early morning of August 31, 1988, a fire started in the King Edward Hotel. Fire-fighters were unable to contain it, and it destroyed one wing of the hotel and caused $1.5 million damage. The cause of the fire was unknown although arson was suspected. On November 8, 1988, a second fire, which was deliberately set, caused $10,000 worth of damage to the hotel. After numerous complaints from area residents regarding the appearance and safety of the building, the hotel was purchased by the city for $2 in July, 1991, and demolished in December of the same year.
Klondike Hotel – See Suspension Bridge Hotel
Lafayette Hotel – The Lafayette Hotel was a brick structure which was built by Harry Williams around 1894, beside the Clifton Hotel. It was 4 1/2 storeys high and had 50 rooms, a rooftop garden, and observation area. It was unique amongst the area hotels in that it remained open year round. The hotel was purchased and demolished by Harry Oakes in 1933, and this property, along with the adjacent site of the Clifton Hotel (which had burned December 31, 1932) was presented to the Niagara Parks Commission. Oakes Garden Theatre now stands on the location of these hotels.
Maple Leaf Hotel — The Maple Leaf Hotel was built on Ferry Street. It was in existence in 1904, and Joseph Spencer was the proprietor at that time.
Market Hotel – The Market Hotel was located on the corner of Erie Avenue and Queen Street. It was in existence in 1904 and Mr. Flynn was the proprietor at that time.
Metropolitan Hotel – The Metropolitan Hotel was located on the river front and had 11 rooms. It was in existence in 1874 according to a tavern license.
Museum Hotel – The Museum Hotel was located on the river front, and had 17 rooms. It was in existence in 1875 according to a tavern license.
Ontario House (also Brown's Hotel) – The Ontario House was built in 1820 by John Brown on the southwest corner of what is now Livingston Street and Oakes Drive, property which is now owned by the Loretto Order. It had a colonnaded front from which a fine view of the Horseshoe Falls could be obtained. Second only to the Pavilion Hotel, the Ontario House was one of the finest hotels in Niagara, and as a consequence, Brown had a fierce rivalry with William Forsyth, proprietor of the Pavilion. The Ontario House burned in 1826 and was rebuilt at approximately the same location. The Ontario House was demolished in 1859.
Prospect House (Main Street) – The Prospect House was a major stopping place for stagecoaches on the Portage Road. This hotel which was first called the "National," was built in1827 by Hermanus Crysler on Main Street. In 1833, it was sold to Richard Woodruff. It was used by the government as a military barracks during the 1837 Rebellion. In 1871, it was sold to William Ellis who renamed it the "Ellis House". In 1888, it was bought by E. J. Fischer and renamed the "Prospect House." On November 20, 1893, the inside of the hotel was destroyed by fire and rebuilt. It was again damaged by fire in 1957 and completely destroyed by a fire in 1974. Note: various names were National, Prospect, Ellis House, Brick Tavern, Ward's Hotel.
Prospect House (River Front) – The Prospect House on the River Front had 22 rooms, and was built by Mr. D. Isaacs in the mid-1800's. Located on Table Rock, it was the nearest hotel to the Falls, and afforded a spectacular view of the surrounding area, hence the name Prospect. The Prospect House and all of its contents were sold by auction in 1888, and the hotel was demolished in June of that year to make way for the Queen Victoria Park.
Queen's Hotel (Cliff House) – Located on River Road at the Upper Bridge, the Queen's Hotel was built by Philip Bender, a fourth generation descendant of the Loyalist Philip Bender. The hotel was known as the Cliff House from 1872 until 1933. In 1927, the site of the hotel was purchased by the Canadian National Railway to be the site of a new terminal. The hotel building was purchased by A. H. Collett, who had it dismantled and transported to a site on the north side of St. Paul Street in Stamford. It was reassembled and opened for business in 1928. The outside of the hotel has undergone only minor alterations, such as the removal of the outside verandas, and as such generally resembles the original structure. A restaurant was added to the structure in 1984.
Queen's Park Hotel – The Queen's Park Hotel was established in 1905, by Mr. S. Hamilton. It was located on Victoria Ave. and had 10 rooms.
Rosli Hotel – The Rosli Hotel was located on Bridge Street at Cataract Avenue, between the Elgin House and Windsor Hotel. It was built in 1856 by Gaspard Rosli, who came to Canada from Switzerland in 1855. The hotel was destroyed by fire in 1869 and rebuilt; this structure is sometimes referred to as the "New Rosli." With its 21 rooms, the Rosli Hotel was considered to be the "coziest and most homelike hotel in Niagara Falls." It was called the Rosli Hotel until 1928, after which point it was known as the McAllister Hotel (after the then owner, W. C. McAllister), the Bridge Hotel, and the Munshaw. It was known as the Royal Inn Hotel from 1936, until November 30, 1995, when the hotel was heavily damaged by a fire which caused $500,000 worth of damage to the building. The building has since been demolished.
Savoy Hotel – The Savoy Hotel was located on the corner of Bridge Street and Clifton Avenue. It was established in 1899 by Mr. J. Dickinson, in an existing building which he renovated and enlarged. The Savoy Hotel was purchased and completely remodelled in 1905 by Mr. and Mrs. O. F. Cronkrite and H. H. Schumacher. It was sold to Frank B. Crane in 1921, but reverted to the Cronkrites in 1926. At this time, the hotel failed to attract much business, and was empty for years before being razed in 1937. The site of the hotel was purchased in 1948 as the location of a new Customs Building.
Suspension Bridge Hotel – The Suspension Bridge Hotel was established in 1853 by Frederick Graham, who was so popular that the hotel was commonly referred to as "Graham's Hotel." Located on Bridge Street, the Suspension Bridge Hotel had 27 rooms. After Graham's death, the hotel was sold and renamed the Waverly, by which name it was known throughout the 1880's and 1890's. In the late 1890's, it was purchased by William Henry Jr., a son of the former operator of the Stamford Spring Brewery in St. Davids. Henry renamed it the Arlington, renovated the hotel and beautifully landscaped the grounds. In the mid-1930's, the two-storey open verandas were removed when the hotel was partially renovated and renamed the New Arlington. It was operated as the Erie Hotel in the 1950's. In 1960, Mrs. Lillian Salci acquired the hotel and renamed it the Avon. In the mid 1960's, she put a Klondike-style front on the hotel and renamed it the Klondike. On May 16, 1978, a bomb in the rear of the hotel exploded and the resultant damage forced the closure of the hotel. It was demolished in February, 1980, and the land is now a part of the Downtown Niagara Falls Bus Station.
Table Rock House (Davis') – This hotel was located on the river front and had 25 rooms. The Table Rock House was built by Saul Davis in 1853, between Thomas Barnett's Table Rock House and the Table Rock. Davis' Table Rock was one of the least expensive hotels on the Canadian side of the Falls. The Table Rock House was built of Queenston limestone and was topped by an observatory. Adjoining the Table Rock House was a staircase by which tourists could descend into the Gorge to view the Falls. Waterproof clothing was also available for rent from the House. The old Table Rock House was demolished in 1926, and a new one was built on the same location later that year by the Queen Victoria Parks Commission, south of the site of the old building. It was designed by the architectural firm of Findlay and Foulis, and housed a lunch counter, souvenir store, lavatories and dressing rooms for those visiting the scenic tunnels, but did not provide rooms to accommodate overnight tourists.
Trennick Hotel – See Columbia (Whiffy's) Hotel.
Victoria Hall Hotel – Located on Victoria Avenue near Clifton Hill, the Victoria Hall Hotel was a three-storey frame structure, 60' x 42'. It had 38 rooms and a basement and was situated on 5 acres of land.
Windsor Hotel – See Great Western Hotel.