Louis-Joseph Papineau National Historic Site of Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Louis-Joseph Papineau National Historic Site of Canada was the Papineau family home in Montreal. Located on rue Bonsecours, the two-and-a-half storey stone house with its steeply pitched roof sits flush to the street. An arched passageway allows for vehicular access to the rear courtyard. The designation refers to the limits of the property at the time the house was designated in 1968, and they extend from the house at the street line to include an interior rear courtyard.
Louis-Joseph Papineau National Historic Site of Canada was designated in 1968. It is designated because:
- this place is importantly associated with the most active and important period in Papineau’s life when he was the leader of the Parti canadien and one of the leading figures in the political unrest which led to the Rebellion of 1837; and,
- it represents a successful amalgamation of various stylistic approaches including a French Regime building tradition overlaid with a Neo-Classical and Palladian architectural vocabulary.
Louis-Joseph Papineau National Historic Site of Canada is valued for its connection to Papineau during the years he was most active politically. His family’s long period of previous ownership make the underlying French Regime architecture of this house a reflection of Papineau’s roots. The changes he introduced in 1831-32 provide an indication of his tastes as well as the new ideas he implemented to suit his contemporary world.
This house was owned by the Papineau family from 1748 to 1779, and again from 1809 to 1920 and was substantially renovated by Louis-Joseph Papineau in 1831-1832. The changes he made included construction of covered brick passage providing entrance to the rear courtyard, moving the main door from a central location on the façade to one end and creating a new interior vestibule and main staircase. This house was sold to the Government of Canada in 1982. Under Parks Canada administration, its roof and façade have been substantially rebuilt.
Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, 1981, 2002.
Key elements contributing to the heritage value of this site include:
- the setting of the house in Old Montreal;
- its alignment at the street line with other buildings on rue Bonsecours;
- its L-shaped footprint and two-and-a-half storey massing;
- the steeply pitched roof of the main portion of the house, with inset double row of dormers and the dormered shed roof over the rear addition;
- the symmetrically organized main façade with neoclassical inspired decorative elements including prominent corner quoins, ornate wood trim lining the arched main entrance, the arched passageway, narrow eaves, highly finished masonry facing on ground floor;
- the wide eaves and rubblestone walls of the kitchen wing which continues to reflect the architectural values of the house during the French Regime;
- the integrity and craftsmanship of all materials including differing cuts and finishes of stonework, brick, metal and wood, and construction technologies including the use of wood imitating stone;
- the surviving materials dating before 1832 on the interior of the building, their substance, finishes, and craftsmanship;
- surviving evidence of the interior layout of the Louis-Joseph Papineau era.
Government of Canada
Historic Sites and Monuments Act
National Historic Site of Canada
1814/01/01 to 1871/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
- Governing Canada
- Politics and Political Processes
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Indigenous Affairs and Cultural Heritage Directorate Documentation Centre 3rd Floor, room 366 30 Victoria Street Gatineau, Québec J8X 0B3
Cross-Reference to Collection
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…