Le Mount Stephen
A historic monument erected by railway pioneer George Stephen has been reimagined as a contemporary hotel in Montréal’s Golden Square Mile. Designed by Lemay and Provencher Roy, Le Mount Stephen connects a new, 11-storey structure in the rear to the original mansion out front. Carefully introducing contemporary accents, the extension ensures that Stephen’s neo-Renaissance home — designed by architect William Tutin Thomas and built by J.F. Hutchison in 1880 — retains its character and charm.
George Stephen (1829-1921) was a Scottish immigrant who arrived in Montréal in his twenties. A figurehead of the financial community, he was appointed President of the Bank of Montréal before devoting his efforts to the development of the railway system. On the eve of the 20th century, he was one of the richest men in North America, and would receive the title of “baronet” before becoming a baron as “Lord Mount Stephen” in 1891.
The original Stephen house, which acts as the entrance to Le Mount Stephen hotel, served as a private residence until 1925. Two years later, the structure became home to a gentlemen’s club founded by businessmen in an effort to save the house from demolition. The club brought together Montréal and international elite, welcoming countless dignitaries before being purchased by the Tidan Hospitality & Real Estate Group in 2006. Recognized as a National Historic Site of Canada by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada and classified as a “heritage immovable” structure by the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec, work began to preserve the building’s heritage in 2015. Today, the hotel has been recognized as one of three in Canada among the ranks of “The Leading Hotels of the World.”
“We were deeply committed to this real estate development project, the biggest we have ever undertaken,” said Mike Yuval, co-founder of the Tidan Hospitality & Real Estate Group. “We wanted to revive this heritage site, while endowing Montréal with a new jewel.” The extension features an angled glass roof, marble-decked reception desk and lobby, and an overall modern palette of beige, grey, black and white tones. Discreet historical reminders dress the space, including period furniture from the Stephen home judiciously placed in corridors and suites. In addition to a 5,000-sq.-ft. ballroom and 1,800-sq.-ft. meeting space, the hotel features 90 rooms, a gym, spa, sky-loft and more.
“Le Mount Stephen is a matchless space, combining old and new,” says general manager Antoine Naoum. “The clientele will enjoy its geographic location, historical character and contemporary functionality.” As if repeating history, Le Mount Stephen welcomes travellers from all over the world today, just as Stephen did as a key figure in the construction of Canada’s transcontinental railway, over a hundred years ago.