The Manoir Papineau National Historic Site of Canada is located in Montebello, a municipality situated on the Québec side of the Ottawa River halfway between Ottawa/ Gatineau and Montréal. Declared to be of national architectural significance in 1986, the manor house – as well as part of the former seigneurial estate of the Papineau family – was transferred to Parks Canada in 1993 under an agreement reached between the Canadian government and Canadian Pacific Hotels Corporation1, today the Fairmont Corporation.
The agreement is in the form of a long-term lease lasting 42 years. It stipulates that “the leaseholder agrees to transform the Property into a national historic site, at its own expense, in order to acquaint the public with the life of Louis-Joseph Papineau and his family, according to the themes and objectives of the Property” (article 3.5) and for that purpose “agrees to make, within a reasonable timeframe and at its own expense, the Improvements...” 2 (article 3.1). [translation]
In accordance with one of the clauses in the lease, a consultation committee composed of representatives of the community groups3 involved was formed in the months following the signing of the agreement. Considered as a front-line stakeholder by Parks Canada, the committee’s mandate is essentially to inform project leaders of the community’s concerns and expectations, and to provide recommendations and counsel relative to the directions proposed in order to ensure the commemorative integrity of the site and to promote it as an attraction in the La Petite-Nation region.
The first key stage in the process of planning the site was completed in 1996 with the initial tabling of the commemorative integrity statement4 drawn up based on recommendations of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada and a direction-setting document5.
In the fall of 1997, an exhaustive background document6 was distributed to inform the public of the approach proposed by Parks Canada to preserve and present the Manoir Papineau National Historic Site of Canada. A formal presentation to the consultation committee and an open-house evening for the general public enabled interested parties to obtain clarifications regarding the proposed directions and to express their concerns, ideas and suggestions. A report outlining the points of view expressed during the consultations was drawn up in March 19987.
The Management Plan
The purpose of the management plan of a national historic site is essentially to ensure the commemorative integrity of the site and to ensure that the principles and practices of cultural resource management are applied.
The management plan states Parks Canada’s general policies as they apply to a specific site, and takes into account the opinions and proposals of the general public. The directions expressed in the plan are directly related to Parks Canada’s fundamental responsibilities: to ensure the commemorative integrity of the site, to offer quality services to visitors and to use public funds wisely. In implementing the directions contained in management plans, Parks Canada is fulfilling its duty to Canadians.
In accordance with terms of the Parks Canada Agency Act, management plans must be reviewed every five years. It is therefore to be expected that the present plan, the first to be drawn up for the Manoir Papineau National Historic Site of Canada, will be reviewed and updated in 2010.
In addition to giving a brief account of Louis- Joseph Papineau’s role in Canadian history as seigneur of La Petite-Nation and designer of the “Monte-Bello” estate and seigneurial manor, the first section of the plan presents the concept of commemorative integrity, and contains excerpts from the commemorative integrity statement pertaining to the site. The second section describes the present-day situation, painting a clear picture of the site in terms of its commemorative integrity and providing factual information concerning the site’s status from a legal standpoint, visitation, existing collaborative agreements, and the regional tourism context... The third section of the plan outlines the concept of conservation and presentation proposed to meet the objectives pursued, states Park Canada’s vision of the site fifteen years down the road and defines a series of strategic directions that will guide Parks Canada’s future actions and decisions relating to the site. A summary of the project’s environmental assessment is presented at the end of the management plan.
Manoir Papineau - Situation/Location
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© Parks Canada
- The map that appears on page 29 shows the present boundaries of the administered national historic site. It should be noted that agreements concluded to date still exclude the gardener's cottage from the administered place, as well as the entrance gate to Manor House Road; it had been agreed that the eventual transfer of these structures and land in the vicinity would be considered based on directions governing presentation defined in the management plan, and that the funeral chapel would remain the property of Heritage Canada.
- In the lease, the term “Improvements” “…means all additions and other improvements to and construction on the Property under the Lease, and all related restoration and reconstruction work, particularly that involving Manoir-Louis-Joseph Papineau, presently erected at the site, through its complete rehabilitation for purposes of commemoration as a national historic site to be enjoyed by the Canadian people, in accordance with the Historic Sites and Monuments Act. [translation] (R.S.C. (1985) c. H-4) and Canadian Parks Service policy”.
- The consultation committee is composed of the following organizations: the Municipality of Montebello, the Corporation de la Gare de Montebello, the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec, Heritage Canada, the Société historique Louis-Joseph Papineau and the Outaouais Regional Tourist Association.
- Parks Canada, Énoncé d'intégrité commémorative – LHN du Manoir-Papineau [Commemorative intent statement – Manoir Papineau NHS], March 1997, 24 pages + appendix.
- Parks Canada, Document d'orientation – LHN du Manoir-Papineau, [Direction-setting document – Manoir-Papineau NHS], May 1996, 16 pages.
- Parks Canada, Proposition de mise en valeur – LHN du Manoir-Papineau [Presentation proposal – Manoir-Papineau NHS], September 1997, 56 pages.
- Parks Canada, Compte-rendu du programme de participation du public – LHN du Manoir-Papineau, [Report on public consultations– Manoir-Papineau NHS], March 1998, 43 pages.