Little known Lotta facts for a Friday: she stayed in the Vice-regal Suite!

For the better part of four decades, Lotta Hitschmanova was one of the most travelled humanitarians, spending months at a time on the road, in Canada and abroad.

She stayed in many different types of lodging, some of which were humble indeed. There was one spot, however, that draws our attention today, as Lotta frequently stayed in a Vice-regal Suite. Do you know where this was?

Fairmont Empress HotelLotta’s biographer, Clyde Sanger, gives us the answer:

“In Victoria, the manager of the Empress Hotel once put on an exasperated air with Dr Lotta because she insisted on staying at a minor hotel. ‘I can’t afford more than thirty dollars a day,’ she replied.

“The following year the Empress offered her a section of the vice-regal suite – at thirty dollars a day – and the arrangement ran for years. The manager, Ted Balderson, says: “We might as well change the sheets there as elsewhere.”

It should be underscored that Lotta was by no means “resting” in the Vice-regal Suite, as she would draft with care hundreds of hand-written thank you notes to her supporters, many of whom kept these as valued keepsakes for the rest of their lives.

David Rain

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