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Visiting the Mairie, at Saint-Eustache, Quebec: Sedate Town Hall in an Historic Location

Updated on July 23, 2019
Flag of Quebec
Flag of Quebec | Source
The Saint-Eustache city hall is a former stone conventual building inspired by the French Second Empire, built in 1898
The Saint-Eustache city hall is a former stone conventual building inspired by the French Second Empire, built in 1898 | Source

Elegant, municipal hub with strong, historical associations

Dating from 1898 (1), the Mairie (Town Hall)(2) of Saint-Eustache, Quebec, is executed in Second Empire style; particularly noticeable are its mansard roofing and symmetrical lines, its centrally placed bell tower and fairly ornate finish. The windows at the mansard roofing are topped by Neoclassical pediments.

The use of Second Empire style for substantial (and often formerly ecclesiastically-linked) buildings in Quebec, dating from the 19th century, is not unusual.

A previous building on the same site was demolished in order for the existing structure to be raised.

The building formerly served as a convent, the condition of which had deteriorated so much by the 1890s that a decision to build another structure in its place was taken. The structure rises to three storeys, excluding the roof-level rooms and the basement, the windows of which are also visible in the photo (above), which I have supplied.

Historically, a previous building which stood on the same site was associated with the events of December 14, 1837, when Jean-Olivier Chénier, leader of a group of Patriotes, took over the building with his comrades in arms whom he commanded, but who was killed in the face of overwhelming forces comprised of British army regiments and militias of Loyalist Orangemen. (I have elsewhere written about the Battle of Saint-Eustache.)

Today the Mairie is classified as an historic monument.

The building is situated at 145, rue Saint-Louis, Saint-Eustache, Quebec. Saint-Eustache forms part of the Municipalité régionale de comté de Deux-Montagnes / Deux-Montagnes Regional County Municipality.

This municipality is itself within the Région administrative des Laurentides / Laurentides administrative region, Quebec.

Thus, although close to Montreal, the municipality, being situated north of both the île de Montréal / Montreal Island and the île Jésus / Jesus Island, counts as part of the Laurentides region.

July 23, 2019

Notes

(1) The building work was supervised by clergyman Calixte Ouimet.

(2) See also (in French) https://www.historicplaces.ca/fr/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=10944

Also worth seeing

In Saint-Eustache itself, other noted structures include the Church of Saint-Eustache, a monument to the Patriotes, the Manoir Globensky, the Moulin Légaré, and various others.

Saint-Lin-Larentides, (distances: 41.7 kilometres) has a museum commemorating the birthplace of Canada's first Francophone Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier; the Byzantine-styled stone Eglise de Saint-Lin-Laurentides dates from 1887-1890.

The architectural and cultural attractions of Montreal (distance: 36.7 kilometres) are too numerous to mention here, but of special note, among many others, are the domed Bonsecours Market (Marché Bonsecours), dating from 1847, which was a venue used to house the Parliament of United Canada, prior to Confederation. The Notre-Dame Basilica (Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal) was built mainly between 1824 and 1829; many Montrealers attend annual performances of Handel's 'Messiah' there. Fine views from Mount Royal (Mont Royal) may be obtained at St. Joseph's Oratory (Oratoire Saint-Joseph) and the Belvedere (Belvédère). The Olympic Stadium (Stade Olympique) in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district, used for the 1976 Olympics, has the the world's tallest inclined tower, at 175 metres.

...

How to get there: Air Canada flies to Montreal (Aéroport international Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau de Montréal; distance from Saint-Eustache: 26.1 kilometres) from Toronto-Pearson, and from New York-Newark and New York-La Guardia, with wide connections. A number of car rental companies offer service at Montreal-Trudeau airport; road access is possible via QC-13/QC-QC-344 or QC-148. You are advised to check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

Map location of Municipalité régionale de comté de Deux-Montagnes / Deux-Montagnes Regional County Municipality, Quebec
Map location of Municipalité régionale de comté de Deux-Montagnes / Deux-Montagnes Regional County Municipality, Quebec | Source

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