Description of Historic Place
Manoir Papineau is a large elegant residence set on wooded grounds on a high bluff above the north bank of the Ottawa River at Montebello, Québec, half way between Ottawa and Montreal. It is located next to the Château Montebello Hotel.
Manoir Papineau was declared a national historic site
- principally to commemorate Louis-Joseph Papineau and the architectural importance of his manor as a reflection of his social ambition, his taste, and his personality,
- also to bear witness to the man who, after having left the political scene, devoted himself to creating an ideal residence and to managing his seigneury on the Petite-Nation,
- in addition to recognize the role of the Papineau family in the creation of the present estate.
The heritage value of Manoir Papineau National Historic Site resides in the manor as a reflection of the tastes and knowledge (including reading habits, knowledge of agriculture, eclectic architectural taste and interest in genealogy) of the lawyer and seigneur Louis-Joseph Papineau. Louis-Joseph Papineau left Canadian politics in 1837 and decided to move to this estate in 1846. Most of the buildings it contains were constructed before his death in 1855. His family continued to occupy the property until 1929 when it was sold to an investment corporation that became the Seigniory Club in 1933. Canadian Pacific, in turn, purchased the property in 1949. Parks Canada has since restored the estate and opened it for public visitation.
Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, 1989; Commemorative Integrity Statement, 1997.
Key features contributing to the heritage value of this site include:
- the overall picturesque composition of the estate grounds (including buildings, structures and landscape features including park, fields, gardens, views and circulation patterns),
- the inter-relationships between the built and landscape features,
- its four-storey, rectangular massing,
- its picturesque, eclectic design characteristics, including a variety of roof forms, differing front and rear facades, corner towers,
- classically inspired, five-bay entry facade and rear facade with large, casement windows,
- the square library tower with its fire-retardant iron roof and shutters,
- its durable materials including metal roofing, masonry, wood and iron,
- its fine craftsmanship including elaborate woodwork on interior and exterior, decorative wrought iron detailing on balconies,
- the centre-hall plan,
- the location of the staircase in the southwest tower,
- its picturesque setting on an irregularly shaped height of land, dominating the complex.
The Grain Storehouse
- its regular massing and slightly flared gable roof,
- its red brick construction materials,
- its picturesque details such as the varied window shapes and the small balcony over the main entrance,
- the workshop of Napoleon Bourassa with its frescoed murals.
- the found massing, form and materials of buildings constructed by later generations of the Papineau family (the tea house, the museum, the kiosk/campanile),
- their picturesque siting.
- archaeological remains (such as the ice-house, fountains, irrigation works, and the remains of the path to the cape south of the manor).
- the long winding entrance drive through an avenue of trees,
- a twisting network of paths and walkways,
- the division of the grounds into functional zones (such as flower gardens, lawn, vegetable garden),
- a wooded park,
- the dam constructed in the Papineau stream,
- lookouts with viewscapes up, down, and across the river,
- viewscapes to the grounds of the estate, now the Chateau Montebello grounds.