Opulent and historic Mount Stephen Club reopens as luxury hotel
Published Monday, May 1, 2017 2:37PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, May 1, 2017 7:21PM EDT
After several years of extensive renovations, one of Montreal’s most historic buildings will reopen on Monday night as a luxury hotel.
The Mount Stephen Club originally opened in the 1880s as a private home for Scottish native and CPR chief George Stephen. A gilded age monument so revered it was federally and provincially registered as a historical landmark, it was converted into an opulent men’s club in 1926 – women were permitted to join in 1964 – but a labour dispute in 2011 led to management closing the club’s doors.
Since then, extensive work has gone into building, including the construction of an underground parking garage and an 11-floor addition, as it was converted into a 90-room hotel whose penthouse will rent for $7,500 per night.
The work was not always smooth – the discovery of cracks in the façade in 2016 led to questions about the structural integrity of the building.
There were also questions about how the building would retain its historic value with all the additions.
Hotel co-owner Mike Yuval said care was taken to preserve the building. The old section still elements that have been a part of it from the beginning, such as windows, flooring and fireplaces.
“We all know that if you’re going to build something new attached to an old building, there could be some problems in construction,” he said. “You never know what happens, a lot of things can be unforeseen. But we always knew that we were going to bring this house to the level it was before.”
Jack Sofer, Yuval's partner in real estate firm Tidan, said the extra costs were worthwhile in the end.
"For a while, it was tough to swallow. But now, it's worth every penny and every moment we put in," he said.