The story of Le Manoir d’Auteuil is a tale of politics, industry, art and architecture. The beautiful historic building and location inside the Old Quebec City walls makes the hotel the perfect place to start exploring the cultural, historical and romantic Quebec City tourist attractions.
The story begins in 1775 when Jonathan Sewell II (1729 – 1796), the last of the Crown’s Attorney Generals of Massachusetts, fled the American Revolution after his wife thwarted an attack by 50 American patriots by giving away the contents of his wine cellar. His son, Jonathan Sewell Jr., studied law and moved to Quebec in 1786. He became an important and influential citizen — a lawyer, judge, musician, politician and author. He served as the Chief Justice of Lower Canada from 1808 to 1838. Sheriff William Smith Sewell was one of the 13 children he raised within the St. Louis Gate of Quebec City.
In 1835 Sheriff William Smith Sewell (1798 – 1866) commissioned the architect Frederick Hacker to design a four story stone house in “the London style” for his family. He hired the stonemason Pierre Bélanger to build stonewalls and the arched stone entrance that exists to this day. The cost of construction was 565 English pounds. A fire in 1853 destroyed most of the house, leaving only the stonewalls and the archway. The Sheriff rebuilt his home and kept it in his family until 1871.
Geoge-Élie Amyot bought the building in 1912. He was the founder of the Dominion Corset Company, Quebec Paper Box Company and the Canada Corset Steel Co. He also served as president of the Banque Nationale, and in 1914, he was made a knight of the order of St John of Jerusalem. He contracted architects Tanguay and Lebon to remodel the portico. In 1913 he gave the house to his daughter Alice and her husband Dr. Jos A. Paquet — the chief surgeon of both the hospitals L’Enfant -Jésus and Sainte François d’Assie.
Dr. Paquet made extensive renovations to the house in 1933, adding his art deco infused aesthetic to the original structure. He spared no expense and employed the premiere Beaux-Arts architect of Canada — J. Omer Marchand (a graduate of L’École des Beaux-Arts de Paris). Marchand is remembered most for his work on the reconstruction of the Canadian Parliament building in Ottawa.
Marchand’s inspired use of art deco ironwork doors and stairway railings, and marble bathrooms and intricate woodwork, set the style for Le Manoir d’Auteuil today. Suites incorporating Marchand’s detailed designs give hotel guests the opportunity to experience the elegance of a bygone era.
When the house was converted into a hotel in 1953, guests were enchanted by the luxurious and stylish accommodations that continue to distinguish Le Manoir d’Auteuil from other hotels in Quebec City. The famous French singer, Edith Piaf, was among the early fans of Le Manoir d’Auteuil’s opulent French art deco style. She chose to stay in the beautiful suite with a blue tiled bathroom whenever she visited Quebec City.
The art deco style woodwork and ornate bathrooms that garnered the admiration of Dr. Paquet’s visitors, continues to enthrall design-savvy guests. Le Manoir d’Auteuil welcomes travelers with the warm and personal attention of Quebec City bed and breakfasts in art deco luxury. With so many hotels in Quebec City to choose from, Le Manoir d’Auteuil offers a unique combination of style, elegance and service in a historic setting.