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The British Hotel in Gatineau, Que. announces closure amid hard economic times
Canada’s The British Hotel in Gatineau, Que.—a so-called "watering hole" since 1834, will be closing, as reported by the Ottawa Citizen.
They poured their last pint the other day after a storied past of hosting everyone from Canada’s first prime minister to royals and country music stars, reads the Ottawa Citizen lead.
Just across the Ottawa River in old Aylmer, the stunning original stone building was built as a luxury inn for tired travellers. For over 180 years, the British Hotel has offered travellers a place to rest and recharge. Painstakingly restored and renovated, each of its hotel rooms blended modern comfort with the traditional beauty of its 19th-century heritage building.
It was so broad it went from a place for Ottawa politicians who drank in the afternoon to live music at night by country stars like Ian Tyson and Charley Pride, and then drugs and brawls in the 1980s. Eventually, it fell into disrepair. Then, in a remarkable restoration under the direction of owner Mike Clemann, the old hotel and its fresh enterprise inside was said to give new life to old Aylmer.
“It was a real dive when we bought it,” Clemann told the Citizen in 2016. At the time, he said the landmark smelled like a sewer and he poured millions into restoring the building to its original splendour.
The British, while no longer a pub and restaurant, will still be running its boutique hotel rooms and café under new operators Belmont Entertainment. They will use the former pub as an event space for everything from weddings to comedy nights.