The Albion Hotel remains a hub of social activity for the City of Guelph, and its surrounding community. The rich history of the Albion has catered to a long list of diverse clientele. The Albion, Reborn, is proud to maintain strong roots and support for the local Arts, Music and Culture. Our dining menu offers a variety of both healthy and modern Cuisine served in our warm and hospitable environment. We strive to provide a unique range of energetic entertainment throughout the week within our equally unique range of décor and atmospheres in the building. There is always something happening at the Albion and we look forward to having you visit and enjoy our hospitality.
Many generations of locals, students and travelers have made The Albion Hotel a tradition in Guelph. It holds the second-oldest liquor license in Ontario and was the first hotel in Guelph to create an outdoor patio.
The first structure on the site was built in 1856 as a two-storey frame inn known as Stell’s Tavern, later Murphy’s House. The present limestone building was constructed of limestone from local quarries, and its structure is supported from the basement by 18-inch timbers. Although the construction date of the building is unknown, by 1867 the building was listed as the Albion Hotel and the Murphy family were owner-proprietors until about 1882. In the early years of the hotel, the beer was made from water piped down from a spring on Catholic Hill to the Albion basement.
During the 1860’s, some hotels were known as “farmers’ houses”, with large stables but no room for vehicles [the Albion’s stables along Macdonell street were destroyed by fire in 1871]. During the late nineteenth century, the Albion – and twenty other hotels in the immediate area – served the needs of farmers coming into town for the weekly market and the Provincial Fair in front of City Hall. Large businesses like the Bell Piano Company, Stewart Lumber, and Raymond Sewing Machines attracted workers and salesmen who needed temporary and long-term accommodation and refreshments. In 1913, rooms rented for $1.50 per day, including choice of wine, liquors or cigars and first-class stable accommodation.
The Prohibition years slowed the Albion’s business considerably, but rumours persist that mobster Al Capone, or another notorious gangster, kept a mistress at the hotel during the 1920’s and that she still occasionally haunts the building.
Thanks to Susan Ratcliffe and Doors Open Guelph.
Please send us your own Albion pictures and stories and help us to record some of the Albion’s history. Once enough data is collected we will begin telling the rich and storied history of the hotel.
To submit your pictures and memories;