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418 692.2480

57, Rue Sainte-Anne, Québec QC G1R 3X4

History of the Hotel Clarendon

New France (1534-1760)


Historic Facts

Between 1661 and 1667

Land concession by the government of the time to Jacques Laroe, carpenter. It is on this same land that stand the Hotel Clarendon and the Price building today.


On a Quebec city map, we can see a house at the location of the Hotel Clarendon itself. 

The house had two roof slopes and was facing Des jardins street. There was a small stream behind the house.


At St-Anne & Des Jardins corner, Antoine Briault, a surgeon, owned a 35 by 38 ft one-story house. Build on a 35 by 80 ft land. 


Province of Quebec (1763-1791)


Historic Facts


Inauguration of the first theater in Quebec city, the hay market theater, in a two-story building, that was erected after the 1760 conquest. Only the second floor is occupied by the theater. The ground floor is occupied by a billiard room and a tavern. 

The theater name comes from the nearby hay market. The Diocese back then tried to stop the theater from opening, opposing it because they did not considered it offered enough  guarantee on a moral ground.

The first play performed was '' Le Barbier de Séville''  by Beaumarchais (March 2nd 1791). The theater was bilingual and played both English and French plays.


Hôtel et histoire
Hôtel et histoire

Lower Canada (1791-1840)


Historic Facts


According to a relief map an imposing three-story house was  standing on the corner of St-Anne and Des Jardins street.


The theater is closing and the building becomes the Quebec Free School.


Reopening of the theater, which will stay open until 1825.


The Methodists use the space for their meethings.


The Freemasons use the space for their meetings. The building is known under the name of Masonic Hall.


Reopening of the theater under the name Hay market royal theater.


The theater becomes an auction room.


The auction house becomes a gym : The Provincial Gymnasium.


It appeas the room was used to expose paintings and as a concert venue.


Definitive closure of the theater,  either in 1839 or 1840.

United Canada (1840-1867)


Historic Facts


Inside the building we can find; John Kane a tinsmith, the baptist church's trustees and the painter J.W. Mckay.


A notary named Siméon Lelièvre built a four story house with bricks and stones.It has a 80  ft. facade facing Des Jardins street. Plans are by architect Charles Baillargé.

Siméon Lelièvre's house is sold by the sheriff to Georges-Édouard Desbarats & Stewart Derbishire who made plans to host the Queen's printing press.

However it was also planned to convert the building to a residential one if the Government did not stay in Quebec.

The plan was shaped as an « L » with a long facade facing St-Anne street. Works took ten weeks and was over by December of that year.

Baillargé used a neo-renaissance style of Italian inspiration.


At the corner of St-Anne & Des Jardins streets, stands the Desbarats and Derbishire printing aswell as John l'Hoist restaurant. The neighbouring building host John Provan sr. who was a confectionner.

Hôtel et histoire
Canadian Confederation (1867-today)

Canadian Confederation (1867 - today)


Historic Facts


Georges-Édouard Desbarats ask the architect Edward Staveley to convert the building into an hotel.

The hotel is rent under the name Clarendon House. The reason for the choice is unknown.

The hotelkeeper is Willis Russel, owner of the St-Louis hotel, on St-Louis street.

The Desbarats printing occupy a part of the hotel premises until 1895.


The hotel is rent to Willis Russell society ( William Russell & Son), a pioneer of the hotel industry in Quebec city, that also manages the St-Louis hotel. The Clarendon house takes the name of Russell house.


The heirs of Desbarats and Derbishire are the official owners of the Hotel, but it is administered by William Russell & Son, under the name of Russell house.


John Gadsby a patron of Russel house, said of his room « clean an comfortable » and that it only cost « 10 shillings sixpence per day ».


Where the Hotel Clarendon's lobby stands today, used to be the house of John Provan, confectioner.


The 1873- 1874 directory says : « Clarendon Hotel, formerly Clarendon house, W. Russell and Sons, proprietors, cor. Garden and St-Ann, U.T. ». It is probably the Russell house but both the old and new name are written in the directory.


The Spain general consul can be found at the 57, St-Anne street.


Historic Facts


The Russell house hotel becomes the Clarendon hotel.

There is three different owners during that period.


Under Thomas Hilaire Lizotte supervision renovations are under way for a cost of 6000$ : Paint and wallpapers, plombing and water heating.


Room rates are about 2$ to 5$ per day.


On thursday march 21st 1912, around 0h30 a fire started in a wardrobe.

The smoke invades the 3rd and the 4th floor. When the night guardian discovers the flames, they are already out of proportions and dangerous.

The alarm is confirmed through the private box no 311. The firefighters arrived quickly and due to a powerful water stream, the fire is also put out quickly.

To be able to get to the fire between floors they had to knock down the 2nd floor, damaging the ceiling of the dining room just beneath it.

Most of damages are due to the water, the firefighters accidentally hit a main water pipe, causing significant damages to the 2nd and 1st floor.

Guests whose room were spared by the fire were able to regain access to their room, some had to find an alternative for the night. The cost of all the damages is around 2000$ and 4000$.


Hotel Clarendon 1890-1912
Clarendon Hotel1924-1927


Historic Facts


The hotel is purchased by Joseph Drapeau who manages it with his family.

Artémise Drapeau was the first Quebecer to receive the silver medal of the Order of the Hostelling merit, in 1959.

From 1924 to 1935, the Clarendon keeps a residential front, since so many anglophones families prefers to stay at the Hotel for the cold winter seasons instead of staying in their own houses.

Artémise Drapeau insist on using local products in the Clarendon kitchen and to serve traditional Canadian meals : meat pie, Quebec style braised chicken, bacon and pancakes, pig's feet stew, Orleans island's black pudding, small channel fish, ''Farlouche'' (raisins) pie, ''grand-pères'' in maple syrup, etc.

Every morning Joseph Drapeau wakes up early to go to the market and the butcher because The Clarendon only offers fresh products.


An additional story is constructed. Former Henchey hotel sites is bought by Joseph Drapeau. 30 additional rooms are added to the 40 already existing. 

Construction of a 7 story extension, on the site of the former Henchey hotel. Designs are by architect Raoul Chenevert, who's inspired by an art-deco style. The main entrance is now facing St-Anne street. 50 new rooms are then added to the hotel.


Historic Facts


The Hotel now goes under the name « Hôtel Clarendon Taverne ».


During the Quebec conference between United Kingdom prime minister ; Winston Churchill, United States of America president; Franklin D. Roosevelt and Canadian prime minister; William Lyon Mackenzie King, The Clarendon accommodate an international team of journalists.


Major repairs are accomplished inside the hotel. 


A reconstruction of the main entrance is under way, to give it it's 1927 appearance back.


 A cafe terrace is installed for the cost of 30 000$.


The owners, the Drapeau Family, sell the hotel to Mr. Isaac L. Gelber.


 During that period the Hotel is sold at two occasions.


An extension is added to the building.


The restaurant is renamed and now goes by the name of « Le Charles-Baillargé ».


La famille Dufour associates with Mr. Jacques Cyr.

Significant maintenance work is undergone : vents, plumbing, plumbing, electricity and installation of a sprinkler network, additionnal doors and stairs are added in the rear section also the installation of a refrigeration unit on the roof, to name a few.

Clarendon 1926-1992
Clarendon 1993-2009


Historic Facts


The Dufour Family is now sole owner of the Clarendon Hotel.


The Charles-Baillargé restaurant offers a lunch menu with choices going from $ 6.50 to  $ 9.50 (dessert included) to accommodate business people.

Diner menu is a bit more sophisticated: $ 24.95 to $ 30.95 (full table d'hôte).

The Hotel now have 96 rooms. 


Expension works is done and two more floor are added to the hotel.


A 7th floor is built as well as a mansard roof.


 Expansion works is done to accomodate the installation of telecommunications equipement  ( 13 antennas on the roof and the walls) and plastering.


Spa Santé l'Antalgie offers massage therapy services.


Croisière Groupe Dufour owns The Clarendon hotel.


A new era (2012-today)


Historic Facts


Le Groupe Dufour sells the property to Mr. Marcel Beaulieu.

Mr. Marcel Beaulieu then sells it to Michel & Marc-Olivier Côté, father and son. They have been the owners ever since.


Major renovations are undertaken in order to restore the Hotel to its former glory.

Ambitious projects are underway: rooms renovation and an upgrade of the furnitures to give guests more comfort and more modern amenities are added. The restaurant is redesigned, revival of the jazz nights friday and saturday evening.

A new branding as well as a reevaluating the positioning of the Hotel Clarendon allow it to enter new markets and to develop around Quebec, Canada and even on the international scene.

A study project about the history of the hotel is born.

Clarendon 2012-2019
Clarendon 2019


Historic Facts


A fire broke on the 6th floor on January 23rd around 1h45pm. Firefighters are called and at work in less than 10 minutes. The fire and smokes caused damages to the higher floors, the roof; the water sprinklers as well as those used by the firefighters in their fight against the blaze on their part causes great damages to the rooms, the bar, the restaurants and the basement.

Fortunately, all damages were material, and no one got hurt in the fire. Guests and staff went to the Anglican church across from Des Jardins street.

Firefighters were at work until very late in the evening. They had to saw the roof right in the middle to spill water they had to make sure the flames were handled . It wasn't until 9m that the firefighters could give the hotel back to the owners.

The flames made the most damages on the 5th and 6th floor whereas the water made the most damages for the lower floors as well as the bar, the restaurant and the basement. Giving no choice to the owners bu to close entireley.


Historic Facts


Some major works are done as soon as February following the fire.

Not every room were damaged, but a decision was reached to do works everywhere to ensure nothing is forget.

It's a worksite of about 10 million dollars that starts right after the fire. It's an ambitious project to deliver an entirely renovated hotel inside a year. Works are done on the plumbing, electricity, conditioning and of course the rooms designs.

During the years 2019, the floors are stripped and the walls are knocked down. Some interesting discoveries are made, old fireplaces, forgotten doors and even some old newspapers dating from the 1920's.

At some point during all the works there is no room anymore and the floors are just wide open spaces exposing the century old hotel frame.

Clarendon 2019-2020
Clarendon 2019-2020


Historic Facts


Mr. Jacques Gauthier, a seasoned restaurant owner, suggest to the Clarendon owners a new restaurant concept that he would take care of with is associates.

A new restaurant, with a fish and seafood speciality, welcomes is first costumers on December 11th 2019.

It is the beginnng of Brasserie les Mordus. The restaurant is quickly becoming a fixture of the Old Quebec scenery with is local ingredients and colorful flavors.


The Clarendon reopen it's doors on January 31st after a year of works.

Unfortunately a few weeks after reopening, the global pandemic link to the Covid-19 stops the Hotel activities for about three months.

The second reopening of 2020, on June 23rd, marks the comeback of the Clarendon team in a new context to which the hotel industry must adapt.