Hamilton, Ontario, Canada | Address: Corner of King Street East & John Street - MAP

THE ROYAL CONNAUGHT

Hamilton's original luxury hotel & home to the Lady in White

Opened in 1914 as Hamilton's only luxury hotel. Known for it's resident ghost, The Lady in White. She's not the only one.

The year is 1914 and Toronto businessman Harry Frost has come to Hamilton with a purpose. A luxury hotel befitting the booming city.

City officials loved the idea. So much so they authorized the demolition of the 5 storey Waldorf (no relation to New York's) to make room for what would become one of the best hotels in all of Canada.

To spread the word, Frost allowed the citizens of Hamilton to name the building. A bold move as the name of a luxury hotel means everything.

Frost may have expected the best business minds to step forward, but he'd be wrong. It was a 12 year old boy from Hamilton's East End named Alfy. His submission, "Connaught", after his hero the Duke of Connaught.

Born to great fan-fare and excitement in the year 1914, many celebrities and dignitaries would stay in this building. This includes…

  • Little actress Shirley Temple
  • Singer Johnny Cash
  • Boxer Muhammad Ali
  • Comedian Bill Cosby in better times
  • Actress Shirley MacLaine

40 years of greatness created unforeseen karma as the city of Hamilton declines. In the 1960's and 70's business in the core starts to die. The Connaught holds on for almost 40 more years.

Then in 2004, Frost's dream closes its doors.

But thankfully, over a decade later, history has repeated itself. As the the writing of this article in 2017, developers from the big city of Toronto have come to the booming city of Hamilton to build Condos. The Royal Connaught Condos are in the initial building process, for which Phase 1 should be completed later this year.

The Lady in White

Would you expect many ghosts in this stately building? If so, you'd be wrong. All it needs is one, and boy what a ghost.

The Lady in White has been seen many times over the years, mostly by staff members.

Many believed this proved she was a maid in life, maybe from the Connaught, or one of the hotels before the Connaught. Still wandering the hotel which the task of not disturbing the guests.

This would be true if not for one guest experience by the pool (now demolished).

This story and more featured on
The Ghost Walks of Downtown Hamilton

Ghost Story not on tour - The Grey Shadow

Many a worker of the Royal Connaught can talk to spending time in the ballroom (now demolished). In the years leading up to closing, these workers would find them self alone in the task of setting up events. Even at night!

This was true one evening as a young man looks to complete the setup of a wedding happening the next day. Staring down at a table, trying to focus on lining up cutlery. It's late, he's tired, but the job needs to be done.

While straightening a knife the young man is jolted back. A shot to the shoulder so hard it almost knocks him to the ground. Confused as he's alone in the large room, the man sees a grey shadow moving away from him and down the hallway. It disappears.

Scared, he passes it off as hysterics. He was tired, it's been a long day, must be a hallucination... the man goes back to work.

Only a few minutes later, same hit in the shoulder, same grey shadow floating away and gone.

The young man would leave the building, wedding or no wedding.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Do you have an experience at or about this location? Please Contact Us & tell your story
Royal Connaught, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada