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The Royal Connaught

An Edwardian-styled hotel, located in the heart of Downtown Hamilton and boasting a rich history, the Royal Connaught is unassuming to the passerby. Closed since 2004 and sitting abandoned and partially demolished, the building has fallen on very hard times.

Location attributes for The Royal Connaught
Location   Hamilton, Ontario
Built :: Closed   1916 :: 2004
Status   Repurposed
Difficulty   ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Hazards Risk   ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Security Risk   ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
AUE Rating   ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Friends pointed it out to me on a trip I took to Hamilton for non-exploring purposes back in the summer of '09; I made a mental note to come and give her a look. It took me many months to finally return and make good on that. Nothing could prepare me for what I would encounter inside.

What hadn't been ripped apart as part of the renovations and gutting inside has been violated by vandals over the years... the lobby and second floor conference rooms have been heavily trashed, while the ballroom is home to some smashed fixtures on the walls (thankfully, not all). The floors above are all gutted, with only load bearing walls remaining in place. Holes are abound in the floors, hastily covered by plywood. I wouldn't trust my life to those boards.

The roof remains more or less intact, however. The rooftop Circus, converted to offices in the 1970's, is in much better shape than the lower floors, and the elevator machine room is still very much intact.

The views from the roof is where the Connaught shines, however... from it is an impressive view in all directions, including the heavily industrialized shoreline. Once can easily watch the industries as they toil several kilometers away, with plumes of fire occasionally shooting up into the sky. Behind these buildings, the Burlington Skyway provides a backdrop in the sky. On the other side, one can look at the Niagara escarpment and watch as people file in and out of the Hamilton GO Center.

And it is the view from the roof that makes it so worthwhile to pay a visit to the Connaught.

The first phase of redevelopment is complete. The building has been turned into a condiminium, and the units have been released to their buyers officially marking the reactivation of this gem.

The Hammer... - January 2010
Now In Daylight Edition! - January 2010

So I found myself out in Hamilton a week later...

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