Windsor Hall/Salle WindsorWindsor Hall/Salle Windsor. A hall of 1300 seats adjoining the Montreal hotel of the same name and located on the corner of Peel and Dorchester (René-Lévesque) streets. Built in 1890, it was demolished in 1906 after having served for numerous musical events. The Montreal Philharmonic Society held its concerts at the hall from 1890 until its disbandment in 1899, and the first Montreal Symphony Orchestra (MSO) gave its concerts there from 1894 until the end of the 1902-3 season. The Montreal Oratorio Society presented most of its concerts there 1902-6. In October 1896 the orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera gave three concerts there under Anton Seidl, and in 1903 Sir Alexander Mackenzie conducted three concerts of English music during the Cycle of Musical Festivals. In February 1904 the Pittsburgh SO, conducted by Victor Herbert, gave a concert there. Among the many celebrities who performed there were Emma Albani, Teresa Carreño, Yvette Guilbert, Mark Hambourg, Josef Hofmann, the Kneisel Quartet, Béatrice La Palme, Lillian Nordica, Vladimir de Pachmann, Paderewski, Pol Plançon, Raoul Pugno, Moriz Rosenthal, Emil Sauer, Ernestine Schumann-Heink, and Eugène Ysaÿe. An advertisement of the time describes Windsor Hall as 'a magnificent hall with incomparable acoustical qualities.'
Later, concerts were given in the hotel's ballroom, which also bore the name Windsor Hall. Among concerts held in the ballroom known as the Ladies Ordinary of the Windsor were those by the Dubois String Quartet, who played there regularly from 1915 until 1927. In 1969, Montréal's Mayor Jean Drapeau opened Le Vaisseau d'Or, a restaurant downstairs in the Windsor named after the poem by Émile Nelligan, and which supported a chamber orchestra directed first by Jean-Yves Landry and later by Jean-Eudes Vaillancourt. In the hope that this would encourage a future Montreal Opera, classical singers were the featured soloists, among them Yolande Dulude, Yoland Guérard, Napoléon Bisson, Robert Savoie and Sylvia Saurette.
Through the years, the hotel underwent numerous changes and renovations. In 1957 it suffered a serious fire, and its doors were closed officially in 1981. It has been completely transformed into an office building with banquet and conference facilities, although some of the original features have been preserved.