1950's Felt Pennant

1950's Felt Pennant

Banff Springs Hotel

L-R: Ivor Petrak General Manager & Vice President Canadian Pacific Hotels, Executive Chef Martin Luthi, Flanked by two Hotel Department Heads.

Photo Credits: Con Boland; Alberta Culinary Arts Foundation.
On this date 1986.


The Fairmont Banff Springs or Simply the Banff Springs Hotel is a former railway hotel constructed in Scottish Baronial style located in Banff National Park, Alberta. The original hotel, designed by American architect Bruce Price was built between the spring of 1887 and 1888 by Canadian Pacific Railways at the instigation of President William Cornelius Van Horne. The hotel was publicly opened on June 1 1888. Starting in 1911, a completely new hotel was built in stages to replace the 1888 structure. The new hotel was designed by another America architect, Walter S. Painter. Compared with Price's Shingle style-influenced wooden structure, Painter's new hotel was built of concrete and faced with stone.

Canadian Pacific Hotels was a Division of Canadian Pacific Railways (CPR) that operated a series of Hotels across Canada. "A hotel for the outdoor adventurer and alpinist" was the vision of Cornelius Van Horne. The Banff Springs sister hotel Chateau Lake Louise opened two years later in 1890.

In 2001, Canadian Pacific purchased the Fairmount Hotel Company and rebranded its Canadian Properties - thus we now have The Fairmount Banff Springs Hotel.

The Hotel has 770 rooms and suites. There are 10 kitchens and 17 food and beverage outlets. There is a banquet capability for 1,200 and an average day will see between 4,000 – 6,000 meals served or something in the region of 1.3 million meals per year. An interesting fact on file shows that in the year 2000, the kitchens used in excess of 60,000 pounds of salmon. One of the Chefs signature recipes is Cedar Planked Salmon; fresh salmon marinated in Whiskey and baked on a cedar plank.

Executive Chef Martin Luthi was born in Brugg, Switzerland. After global travels and accompanying experiences, Martin landed in the Banff Springs Hotel in 1974. In 1978 he became Executive Chef at the sister hotel the Chateau Lake Louise. In 1980, he returned the Banff Springs as Executive Chef where he still leads his brigade of 132 chefs and a kitchen crew of 104. After 32 years, he is still a Champion.

Sources: Fairmont Hotels & Resorts; Wikipedia.

1913 Kitchen and Waiter Staff

Photo Credit: Marj Lilles
On this date 1913, Hotel Kitchen & Dining Room Staff enjoy a 'time out'.

Perhaps we should reflect for a moment as we gaze at this old B&W photograph. From the date, we can observe that the photograph was taken just a year before the outbreak of The Great War (1914-1918). It is likely that some of these six patriotic young men would have rallied to the call-to-arms and enlisted in an Alberta Regiment and marched off to war. I hope that they survived the horrendous slaughter and returned to their Alpine-like Wonderland in Alberta's Rocky Mountains.