Here’s the Hamilton House in 1906, with the Hamilton House Bar downstairs (well, up the stairs, technically) and the rooming house above. The new level wood plank sidewalk was in front, although the street wasn’t quite as level. The hotel itself was also new – there’s nothing showing on the 1903 insurance map, and the first appearance in the Street Directory was in 1906 – The Hamilton: Francis J Hamilton, prop. We’ve met Francis – or Frank through his ownership of an East Side building. Francis didn’t keep the hotel very long – in 1907 it had become the Orpheum Hotel, run by George Fortin. That same year George was making sure he could get a licence, but in a totally different location, in North Vancouver. “A letter was read from Messrs. Cowan & Parkes, Barristers, Vancouver, stating out that their client, Mr. George Fortin, had purchased Lots 54, 55, and 56 in Block 166 for the purpose of erecting a Hotel thereon. Mr. Fortin, who was present, submitted plans of the Hotel proposed to be erected by him. After discussion and expression of opinion, the Board assured Mr. Fortin that, if the Hotel was constructed according to the plans submitted, the would have no hesitation in granting a Licence for same.”
Unlike Mr Hamilton, we can trace Mr Fortin back to at least 1896 in the city, and in 1904 he owned the Leland Hotel on West Hastings where he carried out some alterations. He only kept our building for a year – by 1908 it has been renamed again as the Fairmont Hotel, run by James Pope. Mr. Fortin in 1909 was running the Café Fortin in the Fortin Block on West Cordova where Frederick Fortin was the manager of the Pool Room at the Fortin Hotel.
This hotel retained the Fairmont name after that for several years, although the proprietors changed as we’ve seen with many of the city’s hotels and rooming houses. In 1910 it was run by Flanagan and Smedley, and they kept it all the way to 1916. In 1910, presumably when they bought it, they carried out $5,000 of alterations, designed by G M Baly and built by T E Young. In 1918 it was Mr Flanagan on his own running the hotel, and in 1919 it had become the Invermay Lodge run by Mrs A Blackburn. It was still the Invermay in 1924, but the Invermay Hotel run by E W Arnott with J LaChance.
Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA Hot P87