Home to the Papineau family from 1850 to 1929, the Manoir Papineau is located in Montebello, about halfway between Gatineau and Montréal. According to Parks Canada, the Manoir Papineau National Historic Site now represents “one of the most treasured heritage locations in the area surrounding La Petite-Nation and in the greater Ottawa River region.” The site has been “designed primarily to commemorate Louis-Joseph Papineau, the man who was to become a leading figure in Canadian politics during the 19th century,” and to “showcase the manor house and domain of "Monte-Bello," the impressive work of architecture designed and given form by Louis-Joseph Papineau.”Designated a national historic site in 1974, the Manor House was restored to it its original elegance and grandeur by Parks Canada in 1994.
--Visitors to the Manoir Papineau National Historic Site are instructed to arrive at the historic Montebello Train Station, a heritage building built entirely of logs in 1931. The station is now home to the Outaouais regional tourist association, which issues entry passes to the Manoir Papineau. Visitors will be directed to a path leading to the historic site, which is nearby.
The Manoir Papineau National Historic Site of Canada includes the original manor house of Louis-Joseph Papineau, as well as its outbuildings and grounds.
--The Manor House, built by Louis-Joseph Papineau between 1848 and 1850, occupies a prominent spot overlooking the Ottawa River. The building’s architecture, according to Parks Canada, “represents a blend of stylistic influences similar in many respects to that which is encountered in contemporaneous neoclassical villas. Its sculpted decor recalls the Greek Revival style. From the river, the house appears as a monumental elevation flanked by two corner towers. The facade and hip slopes of the roof present an overhang of unusual proportions, in a muted reference to the Regency style. The conic roof atop the stair tower built following a fire in 1892 is representative of the Queen Anne Revival. Finally, interior door openings between adjoining rooms were aligned to create particular interior perspectives, in keeping with French architectural tradition. The spiral staircase located in one of the towers also shows the influence of this tradition. The unusual positioning of the main reception rooms to the back of the ground floor, combined with the abundant fenestration on the lower two levels of the east tower, recall that a conservatory was once located here.” The interior of the Manor House is splendid, and is furnished with its original décor. Guided tours include the dining room; the grand salon (yellow room); the blue room; the bedroom of Louis-Joseph Papineau; and the seigneur’s office and library tower.
--Gardner’s Cottage (1855). Located next to the manor house, this quaint cottage is now the northern point of entry to the site. Built in the Gothic Revival style, it was originally home to the Papineau’s gardener, who also served as a gatekeeper to the manor grounds.
--Family Museum (1880). Built by Louis-Joseph Papineau’s son, Amédée Papineau, this stone building contains a variety of artifacts, family portraits, and artwork that are displayed in the “curio cabinets” popular during Papineau’s time.
--Tea House. The foundations of the tea house were laid during the lifetime of Louis-Joseph Papineau, while the wood frame structure dates to the time of Amédée Papineau. According to Parks Canada, “in 1860, Louis-Joseph Papineau had a hen house / dove cot built upon a stone base. In 1887, a greenhouse was built using these same foundations. Around 1913, the greenhouse was demolished and replaced by an Italianate tea house featuring a balustraded rooftop terrace. All four sides of the tea house are glassed-in. At one time, a path from the tea house led to a scenic lookout offering a superb panoramic view of the Ottawa River.”
--The Granary (1855). Located next to the southwest entrance to the site, this brick, Gothic Revival building was originally used as a storehouse for grain paid to the seigneur (in lieu of cash) by his tenants. According to Parks Canada, “between 1858 and 1871, Napoléon Bourassa, the renowned painter and son-in-law of Louis-Joseph Papineau, set up his studio on the first floor of this shed. The walls and ceiling are still covered with fresco-style working drawings, making this an exceptional room in terms of heritage value.” The Granary now contains exhibits on the life and political career of Louis-Joseph Papineau, the Papineau family, the history of the domain under the seigneurial system, and the famous Seigniory Club.
--Funeral Chapel (1853-1854). Built in the "Country Gothic" style, this modest little chapel, together with the adjacent cemetery, is the last resting place of six generations of the Papineau family. It is the property of Heritage Canada, and is managed by the Société historique Louis-Joseph Papineau, which conducts tours.
--Gardens / Paths. Visitors to the Manoir Papineau National Historic Site will enjoy strolling around the extensive landscaped gardens and paths of the estate. Much of the grounds were designed and landscaped by Louis-Joseph Papineau himself.
Period furniture, furnishings, and artwork; artifacts relating to Louis-Joseph Papineau and his family.
Guided tours of the manor house and gardens; architectural tours of the manor.
Mid-May to early October (please inquire for exact dates and hours of operation).
Manoir-Papineau National Historic Site of Canada
500, Notre-Dame, Montebello, QC JOV 1LO.