Completed by 1886, for Hugh Paton (1852-1941) and his wife, Bella Robertson (d.1925), of Elmbank, Montreal. In 1880, Paton bought the island (then called Île Bourdeau) as a summer retreat for $2,800 from Arthur Bourdeau whose family had farmed it for several generations. He set about landscaping the gardens into a park, and being a true Scot, this included laying out a golf course too. Their fantastical, eclectically-styled mansion of 50-rooms sat at the centre of the 60-acre island estate that they connected to the mainland with a bridge guarded by a gatehouse. As Master of the Montreal Hunt, meets often gathered here in the season and polo was played in the summer. Paton stood out as being very popular with the local French-Canadians here....
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Mrs Paton died here in 1925, and when he died in 1941 the island estate overlooking the Riviere-des-Prairies was said to have changed hands on several occasions until 1963 when it became the summer retreat of the Du Tremblay family, owners of La Presse. Tragedy struck in 1966 when a fire broke out and destroyed the mansion. The following year, the Du Tremblays sold up and since then the island estate has been divided into a number of waterside properties, many with their own individual moorings. Paton's golf course has remained in tact and "The Island" is still known as the Île Paton.
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Contributed by Mark Meredith on 05/02/2019 and last updated on 29/07/2021.
All Images Courtesy of the Notman Photographic Archives at the McCord Museum, Montreal; https://fr.wikisource.org/wiki/Notice_historique_sur_L’Abord-à-Plouffe/Texte_entier; https://issuu.com/maclemarketing/docs/iq_ste-do_vol2_num3_web
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