The old chapel
Estate of the Scottish Fathers

Estate of the Scottish Fathers

Estate of the Scottish Fathers

Rich estate of the past century

Great Montreal (Quebec), Canada

This domain’s history is rooted in the nineteenth century, back when industrialists in Canada are mostly English or Scottish men. At that time, French-Canadian people, who form the majority of the population, do not participate in the economic growth, except when these businessmen need cheap labor.

The history of this place begins in 1870 with the birth of a Scottish merchant’s son. Having made its fortune in the rubber industry, he is also a man with a poor health. At 38, he must leave the country for medical treatments in the United States because the required cares are not dispensed in Canada in 1908. During his forced retirement, he becomes friends with a doctor suffering from the same disease. Following up his discharge from the hospital, this new friend gets from our man a tidy sum to purchase a large lot in order to build a health facility in the Montreal area. So the next morning, he takes the train searching for the perfect place. The ideal lot must be huge (at least 200 acres) and surrounded by nature in order to create the perfect conditions to receive medical treatments. But mostly, municipal authorities must grant the building permits. This latter condition will be difficult to achieve and it will request, from our Scottish investor, a week-long trip for the whole city council to convince them of the benefits of his project.

Once the construction of this medical institution is completed, our Scottish man decides that it's time to build an estate equals to his wealth, a home to remind him not only of his homeland and ancestors, but also of his well-established social status. Five years and 200 men will be required for the work. Although our man was a benefactor for the city and its region, history will remember him especially for his fragile health ... and his downfall, brutally fast.

In 1920, noticing that the sale of his luxury mansion would not be enough to pay off his debts, our man prefers to address critics by organizing the biggest party the region has ever seen, to keep up appearances. Unaware of his financial troubles, most of the guests accept the invitation, honored by it.

Our man dies 7 years later, lumbered with debts. His wife has no other choice but to sell the 350 acres estate. A religious congregation will purchase it and will continue to fulfill the Scottish man’s mission. They will remain owners for more than 80 years before selling it to a group of investors who want to convert the site into a luxurious four star hotel.

After major investments of several million dollars, the hotel opens its doors ... to close them only two and a half years later. Since then, the place is abandoned, but not left to its own. Anxious to find new investors who could revive the institution, a guard was hired and was instructed to keep the place in impeccable condition.

This explains why, during our visit, there was not only sheets on the beds, cutlery on the tables, but also clean towels in the bathrooms. If it wouldn’t be for the dust found (and we had to search for it) in the administrative offices, you could swear the site was still in operation. In the kitchens, clean stoves that have been completely scrubbed are covered with plastic sheets, making them appeared as new. According to the guard who is very proud of the results produced by his work, they were washed with a pressure machine for many days. Frankly, many (opened) restaurants should take some notes here... Even the floors are kept impeccably clean and there is not a spider to be found throughout the establishment of four floors.

In fact, the only abandoned place worthy of being called abandoned, is the former guest house left to itself for ten years. Here, the traces of time are significant and the freezing winter raging outside has invited itself inside.

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