HISTORY OF THE OLD QUEBEC INN
The museum aisle of the hotel
The Museum Wing of the hotel was first built in the heart of Old Québec City by Martin Boutet, who came to Canada in 1640. First mathematician, surveyor and master cantor of the young colony, he became professor in the Jesuit College of Québec City.
The house was considered one of the nicest in the old town. Between 1649 and 1652, Anne Gasnier also lived at that address. Intendant Talon had made her responsible of the operation to populate Nouvelle-France through the recruting of girls of marrying age.
Rebuilt in 1732 for the merchant Charles Berthelot, the Old Québec City house later saw Pierre-Joseph-Olivier Chauveau grow up and live there until his death, even while leader of the conservative party and premier of the province of Québec between 1867 and 1873.
In the late 1920, the building housed the Québec City branch of the Paris’ Grévin Wax Museum (other branches were in Montréal and Miami). Two artists made their mark in this venture, the sculptor Albert Chartier and the painter Robert Tancrède. The museum closed in 2007.
The Auberge was built in Old Québec City in 1853 by the architect Edward Staveley, who built a number of opulent residences in Québec City, including the Cataraqui domain.
The house was for Henry Black who was lawyer, judge, unionist and tory deputy in Parliament. He sold it in 1875 to Richard Renfrew, who founded in 1843 with his cousin John Henderson Holt a fur trading house named Holt Renfrew situated on Buade street.
They even became official purveyor to the Queen Victoria. A number of Holt Renfrew stores are in operation in Québec and in Canada.
Having lived in the house for a number of years, Renfrew turned it over to the Holt Renfrew company which turned it into the Renfrew House, an apartment building in 1927. It became a hotel in 1957.
The Couillard-Doré family acquired the Auberge in 2003 and the Wax Museum in 2007.
In Quebec City, in 1621, their direct ancestor, Guillaume Couillard wed Guillemette Hébert, daughter of the first settler. Until 1634, the Hébert and Couillard were the only two families with their own house in the city of Quebec. The cathedral, the Petit Séminaire, the Hotel-Dieu are all built on Guillaume’s land. The Couillard have now come back home, 400 years and 13 generations later ! Both buildings have been thoroughly renovated, with a special effort to respect the historical integrity of the old stones and the old town of Quebec.