280, rue Notre-Dame Est (East)
It is known that the location of a company will help the development and prosperity of your enterprise. Well, the setting of the castle was so well planned that it was at one point threatened to be demolished. Fortunately, it was preserved. This historical building (built in 1705) has been sitting on Notre-Dame Street long before the City Hall (built in 1878) across the street.
While some might expect the huge gated multi-story building to be imposing, the Chateau Ramezay is a more modest representation of the wealthy. At the time, it was an undeveloped region.
What makes it so special today is the fact that the place housed different people and organizations that enriched the historical reasons to keep this castle alive.
First, it was the residential home of Claude Ramezay from 1705 to 1724. The estate was comprised of the building and also a large garden. Over time and development in the neighbourhood, the garden was partly “given” away for other construction.
After Governor Ramezay’s passing, the place was rented by the government and different organizations. Over time and needs, the castle was renovated, improved, and extended.
French, English and Americans have moved or used this building for different lengths of time which contributes to the unique and rich history of this place. When visiting, the museum brings out these aspects, including the pride of having welcomed the poet Emile Nelligan and Benjamin Franklin in this house.
Built under the French regime, it was the house of the governor of Montreal, home of the Office of English governors of Lower Canada, a court house, and the Faculty of medicine of Laval University in Montreal. Since 1895, it is a history museum where artifacts and paintings are presented to the public to capture the time of the daily lives in the early settlement of the city along with the different occupants of the building and notable moments.
While not in its original format, the gardens have been reconstructed with the same sense and tradition.
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