(Fairmont Empress hotel)

Between January and April 2021, one of Victoria’s Inner Harbour landmark buildings will be closed to visitors due to a massive modernization project.

The Fairmont Empress hotel in downtown Victoria will be shut down from January 3 to April 1, 2021 during an extensive $3 million capital building improvement project.

Workers will be replacing the existing steam heating system with a hydronic heating system, replacing the two 1960’s era steam boilers with three hot water boilers, replacing domestic hot water tanks with new high efficiency tanks, and upgrade the hotel’s building automation system.

The decision was made by Nat and Flora Bosa and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in order to utilize the slow travel season during January to March, on top of the COVID-19 pandemic, to make these upgrades.

“This overhaul will significantly improve the building’s energy efficiency and reduce the overall carbon footprint, allowing the hotel to be more sustainable, energy efficient and considerate to our local environment,” said Indu Brar, General Manager at Fairmont Empress, in a statement.

“Being able to leverage the slower season and reduced tourism due to COVID-19 travel restrictions gives us the opportunity to complete these necessary upgrades.”

The hotel will stay open in the run up to January 3, in order to offer their popular annual Christmas at the Empress program during the holiday season, before reopening on April 1, 2021.