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Lake Louise | by Neil Young Photography (
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Lake Louise

This photo of the famous Chateau Lake Louise, is taken from the very end of the lake. This is where the sediment deposits from the melt from Victoria Glacier, which is on Mount Victoria, which is one of the most photographed mountains in the world. This day, the water from the runoff, was brown from all of the sediment/dirt...when it gets to calmer waters, it deposts the silt and then turns the beautiful aqua blue. Quite neat to see....


And some history on the Hotel itself...


The "Lake of Little Fishes" (HO-RUN-NUM-NAY in Stoney) was the first name given to the lake by the natives who settled in the area. On August 21, 1882, Tom Wilson, a horse wrangler/packer for the Canadian Pacific Railway, christened the lake "Emerald Lake" due to its brilliant green colouring. "Lake Louise" was the third name given to these waters in 1884, to honour Princess Louise Caroline Alberta. She was the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria, but more importantly, married to the Marquis of Lorne, Governor General of Canada at the time. Since its original beginnings in 1890, Chateau Lake Louise has had many facelifts. Changes have been made to establish us as a year round international destination resort. Before the hotel became famous for its architecture, Lake Louise had already been established as one of the country's first mountaineering centres. In 1899, the Canadian Pacific Railway imported Swiss guides to begin developing an extensive trail system that would eventually radiate into the backcountry from the shores of Lake Louise.


A simple, single level log cabin, was essentially the extent of the original building in 1890, intended as a day lodge for visiting mountaineers.


Fire destroyed this building in 1893, and Canadian Pacific Railway constructed a second wooden chalet in 1894. This second building was a little more elaborate, with two bedrooms, a kitchen and a sitting room. With increased interest in Lake Louise during the 1900s', Canadian Pacific added wooden wings to the property, and eventually, the Painter Wing was completed in 1913. Today, this is the oldest section of the Chateau and home of the Victoria dining room.


Tragedy struck once again, on July 3, 1924 with another fire, destroying the entire wooden structure of the Chalet. Luckily, through the immediate and efficient efforts of the hotel fire brigade and employees, the Painter Wing was saved. In 1925, the Barott Wing was completed, matching the decor of the existing wing and inspiring the change in name to "Chateau Lake Louise". In 1982, the Chateau opened its doors for winter operation, and in 1987, construction of the Glacier Wing was completed. This expansion brought the room base to 520, including meeting rooms.


Restoration of guestrooms, public areas, dining areas, plus the addition of the lobby pavilion and parkade, was all part of the 1986 to 1990 upgrade program. Approximately $65 million was spent on the Chateau during this time to ensure our guests receive the highest levels of comfort and service. Further additions and renovations would follow: 1994 saw the opening of the Chateau Deli and in 1997, the new Lakeview Lounge opened. In 1997, The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise restored its historic mountain guiding program and began offering naturalist led hiking programs into the backcountry that surrounds the hotel. In 1999, the hotel marked the centennial of the arrival of the first professional mountain guides at railway hotels including Rogers Pass and Lake Louise. This summer-long celebration highlighted the role that Canadian Pacific Hotels has played in the creation of an alpine culture centered in Canada's mountain national parks.


Originally, the Chateau was constructed and designed to meet the demands of a summer clientele. In 1982, the Chateau had established itself as a year round vacation destination. Today, our clientele come from all points of the world to experience our incredible skiing and beautiful scenery. Meeting space at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise doubled to 36,000 square feet when the $65 million new Mount Temple Wing opened in May 2004. The Mount Temple Wing is aptly named for its luxurious cathedral-like interior spaces and as a tribute to the tallest peak in Banff National Park. At the heart of the facility is a 700-seat ballroom with massive wall murals of the surrounding wilderness and drop-down screens. The dramatic and soaring two-story Heritage Hall is distinguished by five large arched windows with handmade stained glass illustrations of the key wildlife of Lake Louise: eagle, bear, fish, mountain goat and wolf. The new 200-seat Tom Wilson Dining Room is named for a legendary local explorer and features an open theatre-style grill, a wood-fired pizza oven, and a rotisserie grill. The top two floors of the six-story building are dedicated to 81 new luxury rooms, topping the Chateau's total inventory at 550 and providing dramatic views of the turquoise lake and surrounding Rocky Mountains


The infamous Bow....



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Taken on August 1, 2009