Google Earth View
The Corona Hotel, constructed in 1912, is symbolic of a period of rapid development in Medicine Hat during the Edwardian era, prior to the First World War, and is reflective of the increased demand for short and long-term accommodation during this explosive period of growth. A few intrepid explorers and trappers had traversed the landscape in the late 19th century; however, it was not until the arrival of the railway, that settlement began in earnest. Hotels served as a point of entry for newcomers, providing both short and long-term lodging. The Corona Hotel positioning half a block east of the CPR Station made it highly attractive to settlers arriving to the city. The Corona Hotel, when completed in 1912 by owners William Reid Penland (1875-1946) and William Henry Babb (1850-1912), consisted of 40 hotel rooms, a poolroom, and a café and grille. The same year the hotel permit was obtained, a permit for an addition of an opera house (for theatre and film) and rooms to the east façade of the hotel was acquired; the addition was completed in 1913. Unfortunately, Babb was killed in a car accident in May 1912, preventing him from seeing the completion of the opera house.
It was later, during hotel mogul’s George Cantalini’s ownership, that the Corona Hotel underwent significant alterations, including the opera house being converted to a bowling alley “Bowladrome” in 1941 and the restaurant “Walnut Room” undergoing extensive remodeling in 1958. Today the Corona Hotel and Tavern is a nightclub and bar/lounge with big screen tv’s, pool tables and dance floor.
Source:City of Medicine Hat