Posted on April 9
Dangerous research sometimes leads to special projects, as demonstrated by Louis Lespérance, who bought this exceptional home with his family at the beginning of 2021. “We came across this unique place while watching ads on Centris and we said there was something to do. Frankly, I was still a little hesitant before actually seeing it, but once I got there it was clear that I had to buy it,” recalled the young lawyer, seeing a great opportunity to start a prestigious project of “corporate retreat” and family development. festivities, while enhancing the heritage.
Bringing neglected heritage back to life by renovating them to bring pages of history to life for the public has also become a business model for Louis Lespérance, who acquired the Maplewood Manor in Waterloo a few months later.
Second residence of Sir Mortimer Barnett Davis, the Château de Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts was built circa 1910. “He was an extremely influential Jewish businessman, president of Imperial Tobacco, who was nicknamed Tobacco King. He left a large portion of his fortune to build the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, where I was born,” said Mr. Lesperance.
The history of the mansion after Sir Davis’ death in 1928 remains obscure.
Promoters tried to do something in the 1990s and then at the turn of the new millennium, but it didn’t really work. When I bought it, the lady who lived there had done colossal work on the envelope, but a lot still needed to be done inside.
Louis Lespérance, one of the owners of the manor
“We wanted the renovations to emphasize the magnificence of the rooms while creating an environment with modern comfort,” explains Louis Lespérance. For example, the kitchen shows a current design, but the anthracite color of the cabinets is reminiscent of the color of the exterior bricks.
A “family home” spirit
Several family members have actively participated in the whole project from the business plan to the architectural planning, including the long-term vision and the decoration. ” My father [François Lespérance] got up at night to draw plans! My uncle [Bernard Lespérance] and my aunt [Lucie Major] were very involved as well as my cousin Jean-Philippe, who brought us even closer. My mother [Louise Poissant] took care of the furniture and decoration,” he explains.
The decorative choices reflect their heterogeneous flavors well. The time spent in antique shops, estate sales and flea markets is countless. “We started these purchases before we took possession of the mansion, because it takes a lot of time to furnish 10,000 square meters.2, especially because it was essential for us to take special care of it. We wanted to find elements that fit well in place while respecting the budget. †
Each element is printed on a neutral background dominated by noble materials, such as wood and marble. Curved architectural ornaments correspond to the classical spirit of the building. Louis Lespérance says he is particularly proud of the eight bathrooms, which are all different but perfectly in harmony with the overall decor. “The bathtubs are positioned to give a view of the lake; it is also the panorama that we have in different rooms. †
For good times
From now on, the mansion has regained all its shine and is available for rent to organize events. “We have a list of trusted suppliers including caterers, florists, photographers, videographers, makeup artists that we highly recommend to our clients to organize their wedding, for example, but they can call on whoever they want. Most of all, we rent the space and what we want is for people to have a good time there,” explains the lawyer.
The next step will be devoted to outdoor facilities, as a large terrace built on the mountainside will be able to accommodate beautiful receptions. Between the lake and the forest, the setting seems idyllic for a holiday or a great occasion. Mr. Lespérance and his family, who believe deeply in their business model, continue to explore Quebec in search of other heritage gems and even consider investing beyond its borders.