Visiting Le Manoir Montmorency, Quebec City, Quebec: Former Residence of Governor Frederick Haldimand, Dating From 1781
Memories of a now past era
[This visit occurred a number of years ago.]
This building — Le Manoir Montmorency — dates from 1781, and over the past two centuries or so it has had varied associations. It was built to serve as a residence for Governor Sir Frederick Haldimand (1718-1791), who served as Governor of Quebec from 1778 until 1786.
Subsequently it was resided in by HRH Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent (1767-1820), whose main historical claim to fame is the fact the he was father to the future Queen Victoria (1819-1901).
While it is rumoured that the future Queen Victoria resided here as a child, this is not attested historically. What is known about George Augustus, Duke of Kent, who ostensibly was in Canada in pursuit of a military career, is that during the period spent in Canada, and during his wide travels at different times of his life, he is known to have pursued a very colourful private life: completely the opposite image to the one subsequently associated for many decades with Queen Victoria.
The building was twice extensively rebuilt and refurbished, both in 1901 and in 1994. Le Manoir Montmorency is now part of Le Parc de la Chute Montmorency (1), referrring to the falls adjacent to the property.
The original two storey house has been described as having the character of a Florida plantation house.
In 1901 it became a hotel. In 1954, the Dominican Order started using the house as a centre for religious retreats. The current owner of the building is the the Gouvernement du Québec / Government of Quebec.
Thus the building is redolent of a now past era; while its current ownership by the Quebec national authorities is evidence of how the era of direct British rule has receded into history. Today, the Quebec flag flies at Le Manoir Montmorency, with no sign of either the British Union flag or of the personal royal standard of HRH Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent.
April 17, 2020
(1) See also (in French) : https://www.sepaq.com/destinations/parc-chute-montmorency/
Some sourcing: Wikipedia
Also worth seeing
The Downtown area of Quebec City (distance: 12.7 kilometres) has historical and architectural treasures are too numerous to mention here, but make sure you see the Château Frontenac, among Canada's most famous and picturesque buildings, and the Old City.
Near the foot of the Falls is the bridge to Orleans Island (Ile d'Orléans ), with its many picturesque villages, including Sainte-Pétronille (distance: 10.3 kilometres), with its fine views of Quebec City, at the westernmost end of the island.
How to get there: Air Canada flies to Quebec City (Aéroport international Jean-Lesage de Québec ) from Montreal and Toronto, with wide connections. A number of car rental companies offer service at Quebec City airport. VIA Rail maintains regular services with Montreal, Toronto and Windsor. Le Manoir Montmorency and La Chute Montmorency are situated on the edge of the Quebec City limits. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.
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