Edmonton Journal

July 5, 1955: Mayfair first Canadian hotel to boast undergroun­d parking garage


- To read more stories from the series This Day in Journal History, go to edmontonjo­urnal.com/ history.

When the $1.6-million Mayfair Hotel opened at 108th Street and Jasper Avenue, it was believed to be the first in Canada to incorporat­e undergroun­d parking for the convenienc­e of guests.

The garage had fully automatic glass doors operated by magnetic detectors and electric eyes, a ramp with radiant panel heating to remove ice and snow from the incline in winter, and room for 50 vehicles.

Upon entering the hotel, guests would leave their cars at the main entrance and an attendant would park them. Leaving the hotel, guests proceeded directly to the elevator to the basement garage to retrieve their vehicles.

The five-storey hotel had 144 modern rooms and was constructe­d with aerated, fire-resistant concrete blocks made of lime and filler. The factory for the product was located in Calgary and was the only one of its kind in North America.

Two thousand years ago, the Romans used a building material with the same chemical properties. Those buildings still stand.

The Mayfair, however, was demolished in 2010.

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