In the heart of Downtown Montreal, in what was known as the Golden Square Mile sits one of the last of the Great Estates of the early 20th century. This real-life Downton Abbey is believed to be the only home outside the US designed by the renowned architect Charles Platt, who is credited for having worked on homes for the Astor’s, Rockefeller’s and Vandebuilts. This great home sits on an incredible 2 ½ acre lot with Mount-Royal as its backdrop. The completion of this architectural marvel was undertaken by businessman and philanthropist J.W. McConnell in 1924. Inspired by the architecture of Mediterranean villas, the 67 room mansion celebrates the past while looking decidedly to the future.
-This spectacular Estate has no equals in Quebec and perhaps in all of Canada. It has been host to many a gala and has received dignitaries the world-over including Queen Elizabeth II. The magnificent home has been designated a Landmark building by the Government of Québec (“Immeuble patrimonial classé”);
-The current owners spent over 10 years restoring the home at great expense after acquiring it, bringing it back to its original turn-of-the-century splendor while renovating it to fit today’s needs;
-Architecturally, the interiors are as exquisite as the exterior. Rich in detail and artisan rarely available today, it has been said that many of the details including the numerous fireplace mantles, doors, woodwork and morever, were “imported” from great Italian villas during the construction process;
-While decidedly spacious and luxurious, this sumptuous residence was designed as its contemporaries to include grand formal spaces on the ground floor and generous private quarters on the second floor including his and hers dressing rooms and ensuite bathrooms. To fit today’s lifestyle, former service quarters located on the second and third floors have been converted into additional bedrooms for the owners’ family and friends. The basement, which contained a ballroom and a billiard room was transformed to accommodate more casual living areas with a decidedly contemporary twist, including a lounge/bar and a board/entertainment room;
-The superb features of this grand home are too numerous to count. However, particularly worthy of mention is the outstanding double-height Great Room that remains “consecrated” from the time the Benedictine monks had possession of the Estate. This spectacular room is rich in history with its imported details such as the hand-painted coffered ceiling, magnificent stone fireplace mantle, 14th century religious artwork and a bench that is said to originate from the Doges’ Palace in Venice.
-Other notable features are the grand stone staircase connecting the ground and second floors, the exquisite use of various stone and marble throughout, the ultra-spacious dining and living rooms and the magnificent adjacent sunroom all of which are flooded with Southern light, the jaw-dropping 2nd floor hallway with it’s gorgeous Chevron woods floors around which the bedrooms are distributed. The list goes on and on...
-Beyond the grandeur and beauty of the home is the magnificence of the 2 1/2 acres of breathtaking gardens that surrounds it. Walking around the property, you will discover lush gardens, picturesque waterfalls and magical ponds which are hosts to diverse fauna rarely seen in the City. Standing in the gardens, one is hard-pressed to believe that he or she is located in the heart of a bustling Metropolitan city. Due to its vastness and configuration, the Estate could accommodate a second home.
-Finally, a description of this one-of-a-kind architectural marvel would not be complete without mention of today’s modern amenities which include a top-of-the-line chef’s kitchen, a second full catering kitchen and family den conceived to respect the traditional architecture of the home, a mechanically updated elevator with original turn of the century wood and brass work, smart home wiring throughout, recessed lighting, central heat/ac, and 2 separate garages allowing for interior parking for up to 7 cars.