After fire destroyed the Victoria Hotel in 1929, the City was unable to accommodate an increasing tourist and commercial trade. A party of citizens under the direction of A. E. Arsenault traveled to Montreal to appeal to Sir Henry Thornton of the Canadian National Railway to build a new hotel.
To the group’s astonishment, Thornton proposed a far grander edifice than the one they had envisioned. The decision of the CNR to construct this hotel was part of a national policy to serve their customers in each province. The hotel was designed and constructed by CNR, and opened for business 14 April 1931.
One of Charlottetown’s grandest hotels, it has maintained the elegance of a bygone era. Although the name was changed many years ago from the Canadian National Hotel to the Charlottetown Hotel, if you look closely at the railing on the porch of the facade, you can clearly see the letters CNR in the iron.