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Canada Explorer Montebello Quebec

Montebello, Quebec – A Glimpse at the Village

Montebello, Quebec – A Glimpse at the Village

We stayed overnight at the Chateau Montebello, had some breakfast there and then walked along the wooded path over to the village of Montebello, Quebec. The path that we took, passed through the Manoir Papineau National Historic Site so I was able to take a few more photos to add to the blog entry relating specifically to the Manoir Papineau. Once we arrived at the village, we stopped for a few moments in the tourist centre which is housed in the old train station. Then we headed off on our self-guided walking tour down the main street of the village. The street used to be heavy with traffic but the recent completion of the the #50 route from Montreal to Gatineau/Ottawa, had diverted most of the truck traffic, in particular, away from the village. Still plenty to see but without as much danger of being run over by a truck.

The Quebec government has erected small placards/signs in front of many of the buildings and businesses. The placards are unilingual French and, although I can read them just fine, I don’t have the time at the moment to translate the information for this blog entry, I have included a thumbnail image of the placard beside each image. (Sorry, didn’t photograph all of them). Clicking on the placard will open a larger version of the placard in another window for those who are comfortable reading the information in French.

 

With a central location on Montebello’s main street, the Catholic Church, Our Lady of Good Hope, is an impressive structure.  The attached presbytery is currently up for sale as is another adjacent building but Saturdays the building is used for a very successful magic show. Not sure what this might all mean for the the future of the building itself but at present it is certainly a prominent feature of the architectural landscape of the village of Montebello.

 

One of the fascinating features that we found on our self-guided walking tour of Montebello was a stainless steel sun dial.  This sundial is much different than the traditional sun dial and in addition to a different shape, it is also able to display both standard time and daylight savings time.

Click to enlarge 

Click to enlarge

 

As we walked along the main route and read the information about the history of the various buildings and the people who had lived in them, I couldn’t help but think that it was a shame that the signage wasn’t multilingual so that the information would be more readily available to the very important international tourist population that is drawn to Montebello by the Fairmont Chateau Montebello and internationally known events such as the Canadian Ski Marathon. There was a lot of local history captured in those little placards along the street. Fun to walk, read and get a glimpse of what Montebello’s past might have been like.

 

 

 

Each winter, cross-country skis are fashionable on the wooded trails throughout Eastern Ontario and Quebec, and the village of Montebello is the center of a great deal of attention as the planning and organizing of the longest annual ski marathon/tour in North America gets underway and everyone starts to pray for the right amount of snow to fall at the right time of the year.

For those who want to ski the entire 160 km distance from LaChute to Gatineau, the Canadian Ski Marathon is a two day event with a stop-ever night in Montebello. For others, it might just be a more leisurely  ski of one or a two of the 5 sections.  Whatever the case, those who participate, get to ski through Laurentian country on trails that may only be groomed once a year specifically for the Canadian Ski Marathon. Visit their website directly for more information on the 2013 edition of this great event: Canadian Ski Marathon.

 

   

 

 

The Village of Montebello has a wide array of dining options ranging from quick take-out or pub food to more relaxed dining in elegance so we were happy to drive back into town after dark for an enjoyable meal at Le Napoléon.

In addition to hiking in the hills and boating on the Ottawa River, the area around Montebello is still an important area for fishing, trapping and hunting, and for a small store, Jo’s Cabane is chock full of interesting things for the hunter or fisherman to consider adding to their collection of gear.

 

According to the clock in front of one of the pubs, it was just about 4PM if you were heading north and only shortly after lunch time if you were heading south.  In any case, we had a tee-off time at the Chateau Montebello Golf Course to think about so it was time to walk back to the Chateau Montebello.

For those who follow my blogs and might be a bit worried that I didn’t photograph a Montebello fire hydrant, here is what you have been waiting for :-).

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X-Country Ski equipment from Amazon.com

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Canada Explorer Montebello Quebec

Le Chateau Montebello Club de Golf, Montebello. Quebec

Le Chateau Montebello Club de Golf, Montebello. Quebec

The Fairmont Chateau Montebello golf course is an 18 hole golf course (Par 70) nestled in the woods on the hillside above the Fairmont Chateau Montebello.. The course was designed by Stanley Thompson in 1929 as a private course and only became open to the public starting in 1970. According to the club’s website, “In 1998, this Montebello golf course was ranked as the 2nd Best Public Course in Quebec and more recently was awarded the prestigious Double Platinum Award by Canada’s Golf Ranking Magazine. The course was also designated as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary in 1998.”

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Canada Explorer Montebello Quebec

Manoir Papineau National Historic Site, Montebello, Quebec

Manoir Papineau National Historic Site, Montebello, Quebec

While we were visiting at the Chateau Montebello, we decided that it would be nice to take the short stroll over to the grounds of the Manoir Papineau National Historic Site directly adjacent to the Chateau properties. (Location) It was late in the day as we explored the exterior properties in the setting sun and then we returned in the morning expecting that we would be able to see the inside of the building. Unfortunately, it was the first week that the Fall hours were instituted and, being a Monday, this was the first day that the buildings were not open for viewing.

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Canada Explorer Montebello Quebec

Le Fairmont Chateau Montebello, Montebello, Quebec

Le Fairmont Chateau Montebello, Montebello, Quebec

The Fairmont Chateau Montebello is located approximately 1/2 way between Montreal and Ottawa on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River.  It is now part of the Fairmont chain of hotels and resorts.  The facility is a well maintained original log building with four wings extending out from a central meeting area with a large fireplace.  Each wing consists of approximately 50 rooms.  On this occasion, we had one of the river facing rooms, in the same alcove that George W. Bush used during his stay in 2007 for the NAFTA Summit.  His Seigniory Room accommodation (Rm 219) had a nicer view of the marina :-). I don’t think that they will be putting up a sign announcing that I stayed there though!