VIEW-5317 | Swimming pool, Manoir Richelieu, Pointe-au-Pic, QC, about 1915

Swimming pool, Manoir Richelieu, Pointe-au-Pic, QC, about 1915
Wm. Notman & Son
About 1915, 20th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
20 x 25 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Architecture (8646) , beach (94) , commercial (1771) , Figure (1339) , Figure (1339) , Photograph (77678)
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The Manoir Richelieu is located in scenic Charlevoix, a region of Quebec that had been attracting tourists since the middle of the 19th century. In the Victorian era, the wealthy fled polluted cities during summer to sail the St. Lawrence River and vacation along its banks. The Charlevoix region was all but inaccessible by land routes, and vacationers often travelled there by boat. After 1853 and the construction of its wharf, they disembarked in Pointe-au-Pic. The first company to offer steamship service on this route was the Richelieu & Ontario. After 1913, when the company amalgamated with Canada Steamship Lines, the latter began servicing this route.

The Manoir Richelieu, designed by the architect Edward Maxwell, was opened in 1898. A luxurious, four storey wooden hotel built by the Richelieu & Ontario steamship company, it overlooked the St. Lawrence River at the site where a small, 90-room hotel had once stood. The Manoir was named after Cardinal Richelieu of France. Many celebrities visited the famous hotel, including Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier and the American comedian and film director Charlie Chaplin.

Guests had a variety of activities to chose from, including swimming in the salt-water pool, playing lawn tennis on the grounds, canoeing and sailing in the river, playing bridge or pool and even bowling. The hotel also offered concerts and fine meals, prepared using fresh fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, this beautiful wooden hotel burned to the ground in 1928 during a spectacular fire. Rebuilt the following year using more fire-resistant materials, the new hotel was even more luxurious.