Prospective purchasers of Monty’s and Plaza Hotel envision change

If the deal goes through, the changeover would represent a new era for the 101-year-old hotel.

  • Jul. 6, 2011 1:00 p.m.

The Victoria Plaza Hotel and Monty’s Showroom Pub may soon change hands.

Griffiths Milne Clough Projects Inc., known as GMC,  is negotiating to purchase the property at 603 Pandora Ave. and 1415 Government St.

On Wednesday, it submitted a rezoning application to the Downtown Residents’ Association for review, according to company principal Lorne Milne.

If the deal goes through, the changeover would represent a new era for the 101-year-old hotel.

The establishment has been both famous and infamous during its various incarnations.

It first opened as the Westholme Hotel in 1910.

In the 1960s, as City Hall marked Victoria’s 100th birthday with the Centennial Square project, the hotel launched a major expansion and rebranded as the Century Inn. It featured fine dining and luxurious rooms in an Arabian theme, according to Glen Mofford who provides an online account of the history.

“Customers to the hotel were greeted by employees dressed as genies, complete with turbans … (and) waitresses served patrons clad in mysterious and revealing Scheherazade costumes,” he wrote in his blog, “The Century Inn was a huge success.”

In the 1980s, new owners lent the name Monty’s to the establishment, and launched extensive renovations but went bankrupt within one year.

“Although the Westholme Hotel has lost much of its original architectural detailing, it adds to the continuity of the historic street wall, and provides a connection between historic Government Street and nearby Centennial Square,” according to Steve Barber, Victoria’s senior heritage planner.

Milne could not share details of his proposal due to a confidentiality agreement signed with the current owners.

The low-end hotel – advertising rooms for $54.95 – and strip club have been a constant concern for Victoria police.

During the last year, police have responded to approximately 50 calls on the property ranging from lost property to violent assaults.

“We … have been very disappointed with the lack of co-operation with Monty’s,” said police spokesperson Const. Mike Russell. “We have approached them on numerous occasions about joining Bar Watch but have been turned down on all of those requests.”

GMC, which has offices in Vancouver and Victoria, acquires and develops real estate projects by employing “the services of third-party consultants to the greatest extent possible,” according to the corporation’s website. In 2005, it developed the Upper Harbour Place office building on Tyee Road, with an estimated cost of $20 million, according to the provincial government’s major projects inventory.



Just Posted

West Shore resident, local officer encourages women to take control of their safety

Kris Greffard is posting short videos with safety tips for women using local trails and parks

Police and Indigenous communities pull together in 10-day canoe journey

Victoria Police Department, Ministry of Children and Family Development took part in Pulling Together Canoe Journey

Point Ellice House exhibit offers new lens into colonial history

The new ‘Politics of luxury’ display studies the wealthy O’Reilly family from several angles

Nearly a dozen coonhound puppies and their mother to reunite at Saanich park

Dogs’ former foster family initiated one-year reunion plans

Trio brings roller skating fever to Greater Victoria

Roller Skate Victoria offers workshops, summer camps and more

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

How much do you know about the moon?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, see how well you know space

POLL: Do you carry reusable shopping bags?

While a court ruling determined the City of Victoria’s plastic bag ban… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Most Read