Chalet Bellevue

Bellevue House

27 Bellevue Street!
Source: MHHA archives

Originally from Basel, Switzerland, John Jakob Basler settled in Morin-Heights with his wife Marie Louise Coulombe in 1921. They bought the first Watchorn farm and transformed the house into a boarding house, the Bellevue House. The friendly atmosphere and Mrs. Basler's cooking quickly made the establishment popular. A 1935 Morin-Heights Chamber of Commerce brochure featured this advertisement.

«This unique farmhouse hotel is beautifully located, surrounded by a mountainous landscape. Five minutes walk from the train station and the village. The house is lit by electricity, has hot and cold running water in the rooms, a comfortable living room with fireplace. The Bellevue guesthouse is known for its very reasonable prices, both in summer and winter.»

Another era begins

Bellevue Hotel, 1953.!
Source: CN photo collection

In 1945, a fire destroyed the entire building. The reconstruction was undertaken quickly and at great expense with all the necessary upgrades to meet the comfort and safety standards of the time. Despite the shortage of materials due to the war ending, it only took eight months of work to get the new Bellevue Hotel ready to welcome its guests who were getting off the train for the Christmas vacation. The hotel had a bar and a dance floor.

Bellevue Hotel brochure.

Sources: Excerpt from the song Aglaé performed by Aglaé (Jocelyne Deslongchamps), 1953

Tourist effervescence

The village experienced a great tourist boom from the 20th century until the 1960s. Nearly a dozen guesthouses welcomed city dwellers in search of fresh air, leisure and relaxation.

After the war, there was strong demographic and economic growth. The number of cars in Quebec increased, and the road network followed. Tourists could now make a day trip to the Laurentians and back. The small deserted hotels gradually disappeared one after the other.

A community center

Morin-Heights Theatre, Glorious by Peter Quilter, 2018.

When Jakob and Marie Louise retired, their two sons, Albert and George (Bunny), took over for a few years. The Bellevue was one of the last hotels in the village to close its doors around 1990. It then became a seniors' residence, and in 2015, it was purchased by the Municipality and transformed into a community center.

Open since 2017, the Chalet Bellevue has regained its name and its place in the hearts of the residents of Morin-Heights. The Morin-Heights theatre performs there, Arts Morin-Heights presents exhibitions. It hosts many activities and events for the citizens and is still the starting point for the many cross-country ski trails maintained by the Municipality.

Extract of
Morin-Heights | In Harmony with Nature

Morin-Heights | In Harmony with Nature image circuit

Presented by : Municipalité de Morin-Heights
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