The history of Hotel Corner Brook begins long before it provided affordable lodging to weary travelers, with the inception of the Town of Corner Brook as an industrial community in the 1920s…
When the railway was extended to this area of Newfoundland, its centres of commerce focused mostly on lumber and fish. Corner Brook had a population of around 1300 residents at the turn of the century when, in the 1920s, the decision was made to build a pulp and paper mill there. The pulp and paper company would leave its mark on the residential landscape of the area.Townsite was planned in 1924 with a range of housing for each level of employment. Larger, detached houses were for people in management positions, while more modest bunkhouses were built for employees in construction and general labour. All of the houses were built very similarly, borrowing from a traditional vernacular, creating a charm that you can still see in older houses today.
Townsite was planned in 1924 with a range of housing for each level of employment. Larger, detached houses were for people in management positions, while more modest bunkhouses were built for employees in construction and general labour. All of the houses were built very similarly, borrowing from a traditional vernacular, creating a charm that you can still see in older houses today.
The Corner Brook houses incorporated steep gabled roofs, covered porches and clapboard siding. They also offered modern conveniences like electricity and running water, which had previously been limited to only the most well-to-do residents on Newfoundland’s west coast.
Today, 180 of these dwellings still remain standing, offering a glimpse into what life was like in a booming industry town nearly 100 years ago.
Click here to learn more about the building of Corner Brook’s Townsite.
Just as Corner Brook began as a neighbourhood, Hotel Corner Brook began as a staff residence. The Humber House was built in 1925 for the Bowater pulp and paper company and is still a large, three-story, brick-faced structure that overlooks the Bay of Islands and the Corner Brook Pulp and Paper mill.
In 1963 the building was sold to Hotel Holdings Ltd. and, after two years of construction, opened as the Westport Inn in 1965.
Historical significance also comes from the building’s constructors, Armstrong Whitworth & Co Ltd., which was a giant British engineering & manufacturing firm and not only built the town, mill, and power plant, but also manufactured the machinery to equip them.
Hotel Corner Brook
Hotel Corner Brook has changed and expanded a lot since it was first built, but some of its original character still remains.
The hotel is now comprised of 39 rooms, a dozen employees, a restaurant, a bar, and a lot of loyal guests who stay with us time and time again.
To learn more about Hotel Corner Brook and its current owners, here is an article that appeared in the Western Star when Shawn and Melinda Park took over in 2016.