When it opened 26 years before, the big hotel on James street north, corner of Merrick street, was considered to be very-up-to-date and one of the best in the province.
However, by the summer of 1884, the Royal Hotel was in need of investments in substantial improvements to bring it up to the standards of the day.
Messrs J. and T. Hood had been lessees of the Royal Hotel for the past five years. When they re-signed for another five years, the owners of the hotel, Messrs. Williams, Markland and Beardmore agreed to finance a number of things:
“By the terms of the contract, the proprietors will alter, repair and improve the building throughout.
“An entire new roof will be put on at an expense of between $3,000 and $4,000, and new chimneys will be built.
“Fifteen new closets are to be distributed throughout the house, and six additional private bath rooms in suites of rooms besides others for general use on each flat, will be built.
“In short, the interior of the house is to be remodelled throughout, and made more than ever fit for the accommodation of the best class of the travelling public.”1
1 “The Royal Hotel : Re-Leased for Five Years to the Hood Brothers”
Hamilton Spectator. August 15, 1884.