The Simon Fraser House
Development of the building
Located on 153 Ste-Anne Street in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, the house has been constructed around 1800 probably for the fur trader Simon Fraser, who was an associate of the North-West Company and owner of the property. In any case he is the first known occupant and lived there at the time of his death in 1839.
The Frasers kept staying in the house for several years still. Between 1850 and 1890, they had constructed a front porche in gothic style. At the end of the century, the house is rented and between 1892 and1893, it was divided into two units. The central entry door was condemned and two side windows changed to doors. A gallery accessible by two staircases was constructed and the upper part of the fire-break walls demolished. New dormers with half-moon shaped loaders were also constructed during that time.
From 1906 to 1952, the Bank of Montréal occupies the premises. The interior is developed to house its offices and the front facade on the first floor changed back to its original appearance, pre-dating the works of 1890.
The enlargement of the Galipeault Bridge in 1961 threatens the building. Steps are undertaken to ensure its protection. In 1962, the house is classified as Monument and Historical Site by the Quebec government. The Fraser heirs sell the property to The Canadian Heritage of Quebec (HCQ) in 1965. The following year, it becomes subject to restoration under the directive of architect P. Roy Wilson. In 1986, the roof is redone and between 2004 and 2005, additional work touches on the restoration of its wooden and exterior structures.
The Simon-Fraser house borrows architectural elements of the traditional Quebecois houses at the beginning of the 19th century. Of rectangular floor plan, it is built of stone rubble and was once covered with roughcast. His two-sloped roof and two chimneys are embedded in gabled walls. It is possible that the dormers were to ensure sufficient light in the lofts since its construction. Today they are decorated with arched loaders exhibiting wood dentures.
The principal entry is above the ground and the actual porch reminiscent of the Gothic inspired porch that was constructed around 1850. Though situated in the shadow of the Galipeault Bridge, the residence nevertheless profits from the picturesque ambiance of the ancient village and historic canal of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue. Its terrain being protected by the statute of Historical Site ensures preservation of its surroundings which are moreover nicely landscaped.
The building is protected by the Law on Cultural Heritage, in force since October 19th 2012, and in particular by the following statute:
- Formerly classified historical monument (1962-01-24) (provincial juridsiction)
The building is identified in the documents evaluation of urbain heritage in the following categories:
The organisation Canadian Heritage in Quebec is owner since 1962. Since 2013, the house and garden are rented by the Coopérative de solidarité en environnement du Grand Orme.