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Castles of the North celebrates the magnificent history of Canada's grand hotels, buildings that are among the country's most recognized and storied landmarks. In Quebec City, the Chateau Frontenac defines the skyline; in the Rockies, the Banff Springs entices visitors to dramatic scenery. Though overshadowed by towering bank buildings, the Royal York in Toronto still holds its own. Some of Canada's earliest draws, the historic grand hotels were also at the social heart of emerging cities from coast to coast.
Lavishly illustrated with 400 photographs, the book is filled with entertaining portraits of the hotels. Uncovered are remarkable stories of the hotels as hosts to dignitaries and celebrities from the King and Queen of Siam to Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt during the World War II Quebec Conferences. The grand hotels were magnets for Saturday night supper dances and Big Band performances, as well as the place to meet for afternoon tea. They were quirky places where the staff knew to expect the unusual as usual, whether serving filet mignon to opera soprano Lily Pons' dog, or clearing a suite of all furniture - except the bed - for John Lennon and Yoko Ono's week-long bed-in for peace. Brought together, the story of the hotels also creates a kaleidoscope of Canada's changing eras and social motes.