Region's links to the Titanic marked near anniversary
The Ottawa region is commemorating its strong ties to the Titanic's sinking on the eve of the disaster's 100th anniversary.
One of the 1,509 who died after the ship hit an iceberg was the founder of the Chateau Laurier, who never got to see its delayed opening in June of 1912.
"The link with Charles Melville Hays is a great one, he was really the visionary behind the hotel," said Deneen Perrin with the Chateau Laurier
The hotel sold special $19.12 rooms earlier this month to mark both the year the ship sank and they opened.
"They do want to be taken back to that time, that era of grandness that we have," Perrin said. "We're lucky to have it in Ottawa, in our own capital."
Chef Pat Riggins and staff at the hotel are preparing a meal based on the food aboard the ship, which sank into the Atlantic Ocean on April 15, 2012.
"We sat down, we worked together, looked at all the menus and sort of worked with the classics," Riggins said. "It was really like a dive into history."
Riggins said their meal will be reduced from the rich, 11-course meal served on board.
"The portions are smaller but in the end you can get through them, you're satisfied and not bloated," he said.
In Chesterville, about an hour southeast of Ottawa, the Allison family home is a reminder that all but one of their family members died in the nautical disaster.
Betty Van den Bosch lives in that house today and has collected a number of Titanic souvenirs to go along with the Allison family relics.
"It just kind of grew . . . any movies or books I started collecting," she said.
The Titanic's link to our region will be renewed in another way this weekend, as at least one man is planning a marriage proposal at the Chateau Laurier this weekend.
With reports from CTV Ottawa's John Hua and Marika Washchyshyn from the Carleton University School of Journalism