Main page for Castles in the North: Canada's Grand Hotels

Lynx Images Inc. is an integrated documentary film production, book publisher and distibutor with a reputation for excellence. Since forming in 1988, our focus has been on adventurous historical projects--journeys of discovery--in which the filmmakers and authors search out and document vanishing remnants of Canadian history.

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Castles in the North The Book and Film

Castles of the North,the book and film, celebrates the magnificent history of Canada's grand hotels, buildings that are among the country's most recognized and storied landmarks. In Quebec City, the Chateau Frontenac defines the skyline; in the Rockies, the Banff Springs entices visitors to dramatic scenery. Though overshadowed by towering bank buildings, the Royal York in Toronto still holds its own. Some of Canada's earliest tourist draws, the historic grand hotels were also at the social heart of emerging cities from coast to coast.

  Castles of the North celebrates the magnificent history of Canada's grand hotels, buildings that are among the country's most recognized and storied landmarks. Uncovered are remarkable stories of the hotels as hosts to people ranging from international dignitaries like the King and Queen of Siam (who travelled with 500 pieces of luggage), to wealthy dowagers, permanent residents of the Empress Hotel who swept down to dinner in outmoded Edwardian gowns. They were quirky places where the staff knew to expect the unusual as usual, whether serving filet mignon to opera soprano Lily Pons' dog, or reserving half a floor for Howard Hughes' retinue (which included a chemist whose job it was to test the food for poisoning.)

The hotels provided services that today seem surprising; in the 1930s, one could undergo surgery in the Royal York's hospital, or practice horseback riding in the Chateau Laurier's gymnasium (left). Revealed are the hotels' important architectural and historical stories, as well as the intriguing hidden spaces and behind-the-scenes worlds of buildings so large they are often referred
to as cities within cities.

The 304-page hardcover book is lavishly illustrated with 400 photographs and features entertaining portraits of the historic grand hotels by distinguished writers from across the country including Barbara Chisholm, Frances Backhouse, Ray Djuff, John Lindsay, David Macfarlane, France Gagnon Pratte, Terry Reksten, Harry M. Sanders, Robert W. Sandford, Adrian Waller, and William Weintraub.

The 70-minute video is filled with compelling archival footage and contemporary cinematography that deftly captures the beauty of these remarkable spaces. Producers: Russell Floren and Barbara Chisholm Directors: Barbara Chisholm and Andrea Gutsche

ISBN 1-894073-14-2 Book $39.95
ISBN 1-894073-15-0 Video $29.95
ISBN 1-894073-16-9 Book & Video $59.95

"a stylish new book and documentary"
- John Mackie, The Vancouver Sun, June 21, 2001

"an archival celebration of 50 of the most glamorous buildings ever to grace the Dominion. Happily, the book, with its generous supply of photos, goes beyond a bricks-and-mortar account... to give them (the hotels) their due as national symbols of a new Victorian Dominion"
- Denis Armstrong, The Ottawa Sun, July 26, 2001

PARTNERS with CASTLES of the NORTH History Television

Produced by Lynx Images Inc. in association with History Television and the SaskatchewanCommunications Network, and with the participation of the Canadian Television Fund created by the Government of Canada and the Canadian cable industry: Licence Fee Program; the Canadian Studies Program, Department of Canadian Heritage; the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit; and the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit.

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Film Production, Book Publishing and Distribution
104 Scollard St.
Toronto, Ontario M5R 1G2 Canada
Phone:(416) 925-8422
Fax:(416) 925-8352