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Historique du Château

A History of the Château Monsarrat

The Site

Crown land from 1802, this parcel of land was granted to Philemon Wright in 1824 to become part of the vast Britannia Farm which spreads from the present rue des Orchidées in the Hull sector of Gatineau as far as the old Chaudière Golf Club in the Aylmer sector.

In 1872 the land was sold to David Moore, the son of Wright’s neighbour to the east and became part of the Moore Farm for more than 20 years.

In 1906, Annie Louisa Augusta Moore sold the land in order to repay a debt and three days later, Nicholas Slater acquired it to begin a dairy farm. Apparently, during the twenties, gypsies used to set up their caravans on this land during the week of the races at Connaught Park.

The Château Monsarrat

In 1929, one of Nicholas Slater’s sons sold a part of the land to Gordon Stewart, a rich entrepreneur from Ottawa who had an imposing stone residence, Stoneleigh, constructed and who lived there with his wife and two daughters until his death in 1941.

In 1954, the two Stewart daughters sold the property to E. S. Sherwood, a real estate agent from Rockcliffe, who sold it two years later for $82,000 to Nicholas Monsarrat. The author of the famous novel, The Cruel Sea, lived there for two years with his wife and two sons while he managed the Canadian office of the Information Service of the United Kingdom. In his book Life is a Four-Letter Word, Monsarrat says that he loved his house and the life that he lived there in spite of the “grotesque” amount of money necessary for heating and repairs and for the care of the many elms and maples to be found on the property. In 1958, he sold it for $105,000 to Fay Loeb, the wife of Julius Loeb, the president of the Loeb and IGA stores.

In 1970, Mrs. Fay Loeb sold a part of the property to the firm Place Lauzanne Ltée of Hull and two years later, it was acquired by two notaries from Hull, Guy Lesage and Charles-Henri Rioux along with the firm Place Récamier Ltée.

In 1974, the property was sold to Goldlist Construction Ltd. In 1976, when they decided to build a condo complex on the site, Goldlist created The Recreational Association “Les Jardins du Château” a non-profit organization to which they ceded the Château as a recreational and community centre for the condo owners who made up the residential complex “Les Jardins du Château”.