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New Hotels in Shawnigan?

1886 - Victoria Daily Times

As a pleasure resort Shawnigan Lake affords many charms, not only for its picturesque scenery, but for hunting, fishing and bathing.  The inducements to visit this beautiful spot heretofore were surrounded with difficulties of access, but since the completion of the Island Railway that, which was formerly a toilsome task, is now a pleasurable pastime.

There is nothing more agreeable, to pleasure seekers, than to know that when they visit a place that pleasure is not marred by the lack of good accommodation.  A pleasantly situated, modern hotel, good meals, and well-kept airy rooms, with not only the appearance of respectability, but the general supervision of the establishment, should be of such a character as to make the resort the most pleasant in the country; and so conducted that even the most delicate and refined would feel at home.

The president knows the importance of such an establishment in connection with his road, which is now so popular.  It is hoped that he will not overlook the needful which will make Shawnigan what it should be, the most attractive pleasure resort on the Island.

In the erection of their new hotel, we understand that Messrs. Humphrey & Campbell are determined to make their house a first-class one, in every particular, such as a one as we have above indicated.

Tenders for the building of Messrs. Humphrey & Campbell’s hotel, at Shawnigan Lake, will be received by Mr. John Teague, architect, up to noon of Thursday, 18th inst.  Plans, etc., may be seen after Monday Next.


1886-11-13 – Victoria Daily Times

Mr. C. Morton, having secured a license at Shawnigan Lake, will open an hotel for the accommodation of visitors at that popular resort immediately.

The premises formerly occupied by Mr. McKay, engineer of the E&N Railway, will be utilized until a new and commodious building can be erected.

Under Mr. Morton’s management, the Hote de Shawnigan is certain to become a pleasant popular resort.

Editor’s Note:  Morton, a well-known businessman from Victoria,  built his hotel (Morton House) which became an immediate popular stop on the E&N. After his death in 1890 George & Anna Koenig purchased the site, which was renamed the Shawnigan Lake Hotel (aka Koenig Hotel).

It was renovated and added on to in the mid-1890s. After a major fire in 1901,it  was completely rebuilt.  The new building stood on that spot until 1916 when another fire completely destroyed the hotel.  The new owner, at the time, Charles. Finlay, did not have sufficient insurance to rebuild.

That hotel spot is now the site of Government Wharf Park at the NW corner of Heald Rd and Thrush Rd in Shawnigan Lake.


Messrs. Humphrey & Campbell were never mentioned with building hotel after November 1886.


The Strathcona Hotel (now the site of St John’s Academy) was built in 1900 by contractor Fred Sherbourne.  It was almost ready to open in May 1900, but a fire completely destroyed it.  Immediate rebuilding took place and it opened in September 1900 under management of W.E. Green.


The Strathcona Hotel continued under different managements until 1928, when it was purchased by Minnea Gildea, who converted into a the Strathcona Lodge Girls’ School.


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