Description of Historic Place
The Papineau House is located on Bonsecours Street in Old Montréal, at the Louis-Joseph Papineau National Historic Site of Canada. The stone and brick building, topped by a metal covered roof, is distinguished by its neo-classical façade of wood cladding simulating cut-stone. Rectangular windows and arched openings are symmetrically arranged along the building’s front façade. Two rows of dormer windows pierce the roof. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Papineau House is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
The Papineau House is closely associated with the theme of Canadian political history, more specifically, the British colonial constitutional system. The political career of Louis-Joseph Papineau is closely linked to current political and social issues in Lower Canada in the first half of the 19th century, when he resided in this house in Montreal. The property was designated a national historic site in 1968.
The Papineau House is valued for its very good aesthetic design, which is successful as an amalgam of diverse stylistic influences. The building is distinguished by its unique neo-classical façade of wood cladding, fashioned to simulate cut stone, and its elegant interior. The very good functional design of the building is evidenced in the interior, four-level layout, the interior traffic patterns, and the grouping of rooms in the French style. The wood cladding, made to imitate masonry, and the interior finishes and detailing, are indicative of the building’s excellent quality craftsmanship and materials.
The Papineau House had a significant influence on the historic architecture of Old Montréal and continues to reinforce the historic character of its streetscape setting. As a national historic site, the building is well known in Old Montréal.
Sources: Yvan Fortier avec la collaboration de Michel Bédard et d’André Sévigny, La maison de Louis-Joseph Papineau, Montréal, Québec, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Report, 90-025; Louis-Joseph Papineau House, Montréal, Québec, Heritage Character Statement, 90-025.
The character-defining elements of the Papineau House should be respected.
Its very good aesthetic design, very good functional design and excellent materials and
craftsmanship, for example:
-the massing of the building, consisting of a principal structure topped by a metal roof
with dormers, and a rear passageway that leads to a stone annex and on to a garage;
-the amalgam of diverse stylistic influences such as the neo-classical façade of wood
simulating stone to create, in the Palladian tradition, a clear distinction between the first
and second storeys;
-the interior layout, which contains four levels - two storeys plus two attic levels;
-the interior traffic patterns, the grouping of rooms in the French style, and the wood-
and-plaster walls in the neo-classical style;
-the surviving heating technology developed by Papineau;
-the wood cladding that protects the masonry façade wall and provides insulation;
-the windows in the façade wall with decorative wood panels on the embrasures, the
underside of the lintels, and below the window sills;
-the rear façade of quarry stone with cut stone around the bays;
-the interior vestibule, indoor balcony, the enfilade of rooms with detailed woodwork,
the living room with its high ceiling and neo-gothic fireplace, and the master bedroom
The manner in which the Papineau House reinforces the historic character of its streetscape setting in Old Montreal, and is a well-known building, as evidenced by:
-its overall design, massing and cladding, which harmonize with the adjacent buildings
on the streetscape;
-its alignment with adjacent buildings, which contributes to a harmonious flow of
facades all along Bonsecours Street;
-its relationship to its restored backyard, which reinforces Papineau’s design intentions
within the streetscape setting;
-its visibility along the streetscape and its familiarity within the area as a national
historic site, which makes it a well-known building to residents and visitors of Old