Delta Bessborough

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Delta Hotels Bessborough
Bessborough Hotel.jpg
The Delta Bessborough
General information
Location 601 Spadina Crescent East
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
S7K 3G8
Coordinates 52°07′35″N 106°39′33″W / 52.12639°N 106.65917°W / 52.12639; -106.65917Coordinates: 52°07′35″N 106°39′33″W / 52.12639°N 106.65917°W / 52.12639; -106.65917
Opening December 10, 1935
Owner Marriott International
Design and construction
Architect Archibald and Schofield[1]
Developer Canadian National Railway
Other information
Number of rooms 225
Number of restaurants 2

The Delta Hotels Bessborough is a four-star (Canadian Star Quality Assurance),[2] ten-story hotel in Downtown Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The hotel is a historical landmark in Saskatoon and is known for its castle-like appearance. The hotel was built by the Canadian National Railway from 1928 to 1932 and is designed in the same Château-style as many of Canada's other railway hotels. Although it is still referred to as "The Bessborough Hotel," many people have adopted an abbreviated form, known as "The Bess" (pronounced "Bez"). The landmark provides a picturesque eastern terminating vista for Saskatoon's 21st Street East. It is also a view terminus on Spadina Crescent from points south of the hotel.


Construction of the Bessborough, 1931

After the Canadian Pacific Railway built a railway hotel in Regina in 1926, the Saskatoon business community lobbied Canadian National Railway to build one in Saskatoon. On December 31, 1928, Sir Henry Thorton, President of the Canadian National Railway, announced that it would build a similar hotel in Saskatoon. The hotel was designed by Archibald and Schofield of Montreal, and it was intentionally designed to resemble a Bavarian castle.[3] In February, 1930, the excavation of the site began using a steam thawer and gasoline excavator. Materials used in construction were of Canadian origin, including Tyndall stone from Manitoba, brick from the Claybank Brick Plant in Claybank, Saskatchewan,[4] and tiles from Estevan, Saskatchewan. In exchange for building a "chateau" style hotel with a minimum of 200 rooms, the city exempted the railway from property tax on the hotel for 25 years.[5]

On May 30, 1931, Walter Pratt, General Manager of Hotels, Sleeping and Dining Cars of the Canadian National Railway, announced that His Excellency The 9th Earl of Bessborough, 14th Governor General of Canada, had given his consent for the hotel to be formally named "The Bessborough." The Earl and the Countess visited the hotel under construction in 1932. Construction was completed in 1932 but the difficult financial times of the Great Depression prevented the hotel from opening until Horace N. Stovin became the first official registered guest, on December 10, 1935.

In 1972, Donald, Dick, and Marc Baltzan purchased the Bessborough. Then, Canadian Pacific Hotels purchased Canadian National Hotels in 1982. The Bessborough was placed under CP Hotels' subsidiary Delta Hotels in the 1990s. In 1999, CP Hotels and Delta Hotels were placed under Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. It was acquired by the Legacy Hotels Real Estate Investment Trust in 1998, and in 1999, a $9,000,000 restoration of the Bessborough Hotel was completed to return many of its historical features. The hotel underwent a major renovation in 2003.[6]

It remains under the Delta Hotels banner and is now operated by Marriott International.


Rear view showing private gardens

The Delta Bessborough Hotel has 225 guest rooms, numerous meeting facilities and function rooms, two restaurants, a lounge, a pool, a fitness facility, and 5 acres (20,000 m2) of private waterfront gardens backing onto the river in Downtown Saskatoon. The gardens hosts large functions and are commonly used for weddings, business barbecues, retirement parties, concerts, and for the Sasktel Saskatchewan Jazz Fest.


  1. ^ "Archibald, John Smith". Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada 1800-1950. Retrieved 2011-09-10. 
  2. ^ "Delta Bessborough". Tourism Saskatchewan. Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  3. ^ "Delta Bessborough Hotel - Saskatoon Tour Guide". Saskatoon Kiosk. Retrieved 2009-01-13. 
  4. ^ "Downtown Neighbourdhood Buildings". Doors Open Saskatoon. 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-02-04. 
  5. ^ "An Act to confirm a certain Byllaw of the City of Saskatoon and a certain Agreement entered into between Canadian Northern Railway Company and the Canadian National Railway Company of the one part and The City of Saskatoon of the other part and for the other purposes being a private act" (PDF). Statutes of Saskatchewan. 1930-03-27. Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  6. ^ "Delta Bessborough". Frommer's. Retrieved 2009-01-13. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Canada Building
Tallest Building in Saskatoon
58.5 m
Succeeded by
Saskatoon Square