This small community on the banks of the Ottawa River is 77 km east of Gatineau / Hull. The community was named by the former leader of Lower Canada, Louis-Joseph Papineau, who had property in the area. Back in 1855, he called is lands “Monte Bello”. The area became a municipality in 1878, following the arrival of the railway. The town has two marinas on the Ottawa River, and is home to the famous Château Montibello.
Louis-Joseph Papineau was born in 1786, the son of a Montreal notary and politician. His father bought land in the Petite-Nation area from the church and in 1817, Louis-Joseph bought the land from his father. From then until 1845, his brother Denis-Benjamin managed the seigneurie (plus a shop and a post office) while Louis-Joseph focused on his political career. He was one of the leaders of the Rebellion of 1837, and exiled himself to Europe for several years. Upon his return in 1845, Louis-Joseph began construction of his manor house Monte Bello, which was completed in 1850.
Canadian Ski Marathon (mid February),
Papineau Memorial Chapel
Hwy 148, accessible from the train station
This understated stone chapel was built by Louis-Joseph Papineau in 1855, is where the former leader of Lower Canada is buried with his wife, his father, and several of their descendants. Inside the chapel are a number of religious artifacts, plus the flag used by Papineau in the 1837 rebellion. Open summers daily 11 am to 6 pm; closed Dec-March; open by appointment remainder of year. Donation accepted.
Montebello Train Station
502A Notre-Dame St., Montebello
Built in 1931, this train station now houses the visitor information centre and the interpretations centre commemorating the railway era in the Petite-Nation region. Life size characters represent those who regularly used the train station. In its day, including a dairy farmer sending his milk in to Montreal. Open year round, daily.
Manoir-Papineau National Historic Site (Parks Canada)
500 Notre-Dame St, accessible from the train station
This site is a unique example of a seignioral manor, built in 1850 by Louis-Joseph Papineau, lord of the Petite-Nation. The house was built in the Regency style and features an unusual roof and roof overhand, flanked by two corner towers.
The chapel and the grain shed are pen to the public. Open may 12 – Labour Day Wed-Sun 10 to 5 pm; to Thanksgiving Weekends only 10 am to 5 pm, Admission: adults $6, seniors $4,50, children $6, families $15. Special rates for groups over 20 people. You need to get your tickets at the Montibello train station
Fairmont Le Château Montebello
392 Rue Notre Dame, Montebello, QC J0V 1L0
The Château Montebello is the world’s largest log cabin building, shaped like a star. It was built by the Seignory Club in 1930 in only four month, using an amazing 10,000 logs of red cedar, brought in by the CPR from British Columbia. It is in an idyllic location, and serves up classic Fairmont Hotels & Resorts hospitality.
Hwy 423, 3 km north of Montebello
819-423-5487 fax: 819-423-5427
Ten kilometres of road wind through 1500 acres of free ranging wildlife, including bison, elk, bighorn sheep, black bear, ibex, moose, wolves., boars, and small native species. Listed to FM 90.1 for information during your drive. End with dining at our panoramic restaurant with summer patio terrace, and a 2 km hike on nature interpretive trails. Open year-found. Summer hours daily 9:30 am to 6pm; admission: $13 adults, youths (6 to 15) $7, children (2 to 5) $3. Winter hours daily 10 am to 5 pm; admission: $10 adults, youths (6 to 15) $6, children (2 to 5) $2.
545 Notre-Dame Street
Toward the end of the 1800s the existing chapel was too small for the growing population. The bishop accepted the project to build a new church, and hired Napoleon Bourassa (J-L Papineau’s son-in-law) as the architect. The church as interesting bells.
20 Boureois Street, Saint-Andre-Avelin, north on highway 321
The Pioneer Museum, on the banks of the Petite-Nation River, offers many artifacts from the area’s seigneural time. There are a variety of farm implement I the building next door. There is a footbridge across the river, with an angel of protection statue, originally erected in 1923.