Senate Hotel (Now Edmonton Law Courts)


The Senate Hotel (295 Fraser Ave / 10279 98 St) was one of Edmonton’s frontier hotels. In 1911 it had 11 employees, all of whom resided in the hotel, was jointly owned and operated by C.H. Lowther and W.A. Kelly, and it catered to working-class male clientelle. The Senate Hotel employeed a variety of ethnicities, ranging from Scottish Canadians to Russian women and Chinese men. These jobs were divided along ethnic lines, with Canadians doing work with the public and ethnic immigrants doing the behind-the-scenes work such as cooking (Chinese) and dishwashing (Russians).

The Edmonton Law Courts building now sits on the former site of the Senate Hotel. Look below to learn more about the Senate Hotel’s residents…

Building Type: Hotel

Employees: 11 (all residing at the hotel)

Owner(s): W.A. Kelly and C.H. Lowther

Resident Workers (Includes Owners/Children):

  • C.H. LOWTHER (Owner/Male/Widowed/Born Nova Scotia/Ethnicity Scottish/Citizenship Canadian/Presbyterian/Born 1866/Could Read and Write English/Hotel Keeper)
  • Ray Lowther (Employee/Son/Single/ Born Nova Scotia/Ethnicity Scottish/Citizenship Canadian/Presbyterian /Born 1889/ Could Read and Write English/Hotel Clerk)
  • W.A. Kelly (Owner/Male/Married/Born Ontario/Roman Catholic/Born 1871/ Could Read and Write English/Hotel Keeper)
  • Emily Kelly (Wife/Married/Born England/Ethnicity English/Citizenship English/Roman Catholic/Born 1882/Could Read and Write English/Home-maker)
  • Vera Kelly (Daughter/Single/Born USA/Ethnicity Irish/Citizenship American/Roman Catholic/Born 1903/Could Read and Write English/Student)
  • Marie Kelly (Daughter/Born Alberta/English/Roman Catholic/Born 1910)
  • Geo Bridges (Employee/Single/Born Ontario/Ethnicity Scottish/Presbyterian/Born 1879/Could Read and Write English/Bartender)
  • Lily Jones (Employee/Single/Born Alberta/English/Church of England/Born 1892/Could Read and Write English/Waitress)
  • Marie Jones (Employee/Single/Born Alberta/English/Church of England/Born 1894/Could Read and Write English/Waitress)
  • Kate Sydenska (Employee/Single/Born Russia/Ethnicity Russian/Citizenship Russian/Roman Catholic/Born 1895/Could Read and Write English/Dishwasher)
  • Tilly Murack (Employee/Single/Born Russia/Ethnicity Russian/Citizenship Russian/Roman Catholic/Born 1891/Could Read and Write Russian/Dishwasher)
  • Rosie Mugronick (Employee/Single/Born Russia/Ethnicity Russian/Citizenship Russian/Greek Orthadox/Born 1884/Could Read and Write Russian/Chambermaid)
  • Charlie Mah Key (Employee/Single/Born China/Ethnicity Chinese/Citizenship Chinese/Buddhist/Born 1890/Could Read and Write Chinese/Cook)
  • [???] Maket (Employee/Single/Born China/Ethnicity Chinese/Citizenship Chinese/Buddhist/Born 1892/Could Read and Write Chinese/Cook)

Other Residents:

There are nearly forty other residents listed. Those who have an employer/occupation listed (3) are said to be working for the city in manual labour jobs (although one is retired). All of the other residents are male roomers. Unfortunately, it is known that the 1911 census enumerators took shortcuts and simply copied the guest registers from hotels (going back a few weeks), so it is likely that there were less than forty roomers at a time in this hotel. We can trust though that this hotel was frequented by males (most likely exclusively in the working class) and that it employed multiple ethnicities in what almost seem to be segregated positions.


One thought on “Senate Hotel (Now Edmonton Law Courts)

  1. JLam

    Thank you very much for the information and the photo. My great grandfather was the last owner of the Senate hotel before it was turned into the Edmonton Law courts. We have been trying to compile information about our family’s past and we’re unable to fine out more about the hotel. It’s exciting and comforting to gain a little more clarity into our past.


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