The morning of May 31st in Calgary may have been cool and rainy, but it didn't stop the people gathered on an empty lot along 5th Ave SW from celebrating the groundbreaking of Calgary's first luxury hotel in 20 years. Calgary-based PBA Land & Development signaled the construction of their latest project, The Dorian, a 27-storey, 304-suite luxury hotel, which will be built downtown at 525 - 5th Ave SW. Designed by Calgary-based Gibbs Gage for EllisDon, the $100 million project will be a boon to downtown Calgary creating more than 150 full time jobs when completed in 2020.

Exterior view from the south, image via PBA Land and Development

The ceremony started off with some words from words from Andrew Boblin, Senior Vice President, PBA Land and Development. Other speakers included Cindy Ady, CEO, Tourism Calgary, Arjun Channa, Mary Moran, CEO, Calgary Economic Development, Calgary Hotel Association, and Patricia Phillips, CEO of PBA Land and Development.

Pictured from left: Arjun Channa (Calgary Hotel Association), Mary Moran, Patricia Phillips, Andrew Boblin, image via PBA Land and Development

“This hotel will raise the architectural caliber of Calgary in the tradition of The Bow, Telus Sky, and the Peace Bridge. But The Dorian is about more than upscale amenities and good looks. It’s a hotel with a soul – one that really cares about its community, and connecting people from all over the world with memorable, warm, and fun Calgary people and experiences,” said Boblin. 

Phillips added that The Dorian is the first project in a larger initiative called Calgary Rising, which engages capital partners to invest in private infrastructure projects, like The Dorian, which will both build the economy and benefit the wider community.

Entrance on 5th Avenue, image via PBA Land and Development

One of the unique features of The Dorian is that it's going to be two hotels in one. The Dorian Autograph will blend design-forward architecture with unique tailored experiences – putting it in a class with some of the best hotels from Chicago to Shanghai. The Courtyard will cater to sophisticated urban travelers who are looking for more for their travel dollars. The top portion of the hotel will house the Autograph while the lower portion will house the Courtyard.

The Dorian is expected to become a fabulous place for locals to gather. Featuring a 27th floor resto-lounge with a south facing outdoor patio, it’s expected to become an instant fixture in Calgary’s downtown social scene. Another added bonus is that The Dorian will feature art created by local artists, photographers, sculptors and musicians – including digital art by artists active on social channels – on a rotating basis. It will curate the art to capture the vibrancy of the city and its proximity to the prairies, foothills, and Rockies.

We will continue to monitor the progress of The Dorian as it evolves. To keep up to date on what's happening with the project, check out the associated Database files and Forum threads for discussion and photo updates, and as always, feel free to join the conversation in the comments section below