The Marlborough Hotel opened it’s doors on November 14, 1914, on the eve of the First World War. By May 1915, the hotel had closed. During the war, the building was used by the federal government to accommodate soldiers.
Originally only three floors high when constructed in 1914, a further six floors were added to the building in 1921, with a nine-story addition on the north side completed in 1960.
The original parts of the hotel, constructed in 1914 and 1921, are built in an elaborate Late Gothic Revival style in terra cotta and brick with a polished granite base. The interior Lobby Level restaurant and bar features some of the most beautiful Gothic and Renaissance-influenced interiors in Canada.
It was in room #503 in the Marlborough Hotel that released murderer Albert Westgate housed his young 16-year old paramour, Edith Cook. Albert was infatuated with Edith, buying her a gold watch and new shoes on credit, convincing her to run away with him to Vancouver. They were supposed to leave by train on December 5th.
The problem with the plan was that Albert really had no money – as he had just been released from prison and had no job prospects. He convinced Edith to move out of her parent’s house and get a room at the Marlborough until he could sort out how to get the money for train tickets.
Edith checked into room #503 on December 2, 1943.
Edith’s mom, who had grown concerned after not seeing her daughter for a couple of days, found out that Edith was staying at the hotel and headed straight there. As she approached the room, she noticed an unpleasant smell in the hallway. She got a hotel clerk to open the door and discovered Edith’s body in the bed with the covers wrapped around her head. She had been strangled to death.
Albert Westgate was caught when he returned the gold watch and new shoes that he had bought Edith as a gift. He was executed by hanging for her murder a year later.
To this day, there are many reports by young women staying on the fifth floor of the hotel, saying that a young woman who seems to be trying to warn them of something has woken them up. The legend has it that if Edith appears to you, you need to be cautious of the people you’re socializing with.
Edith Cook seems intent on ensuring that other young women staying on the fifth floor don’t meet the same fate that she did over half a century ago…