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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

Concession of land to Jacques Laroë, carpenter, by the governor at the time. It is on this land that stand today the Hotel Clarendon and the Price building.


On a map representing the city of Quebec, we can see a house located where the Hotel Clarendon stands today. 

According to this map, the pitched roof and the facade of the house was on the Des Jardin street. A small stream runs behind it.


On the corner of Saint-Anne et Des Jardins, on a land of 35 by 80 feet, the surgeon Antoine Briault owns a house, 38 by 35 feet. 


Province of Quebec (1763-1791)


Historic Facts


Inauguration of the Hay Market Theater, the first theater in Quebec city. A two-storey building built after the conquest of 1760, the theater occupies only the second floor. On the ground floor, there is a billiard room and a tavern.

The name of the theater comes from the fact that the hay market was nearby. The bishopric tried to prevent the opening of the theater because he considered that the promoters did not offer satisfactory guarantees from a moral point of view. He failed to do it however.

The first play performed was the Barber of Seville by Beaumarchais (March 2, 1791). The Hay Market Theater was bilingual and could offer performances in both English and French.


Hôtel et histoire
Hôtel et histoire

Lower Canada (1791-1840)


Historic Facts


The relief map of Duberger locates an imposing 3 storey house on the corner of Sainte-Anne and Des Jardins street.


The theater closes and is replaced by the Quebec Free School


Reopening of the theater.


The Methodists use the room for their reunions.


Freemasons use the room for their reunions. The building name at that time is the Masonic Hall.


Reopening of the theater under the name Royal Theater of the Hay Market.


The theater becomes an auction house.


An auction house becomes a gymnasium : The Provincial Gymnasium.


The main room seems to have served as an art gallery and music concerts as well.


Theater closed its doors permanently.

United Canada (1840-1867)


Historic Facts


The building is home to the tinsmith shop of John Kane, the trustees of the Baptist Church and of the painter J.W. McKay.


Notary Siméon Lelièvre built a 4-storey house in stones and bricks. The house has an 80 foot frontage on Des Jardins Street. The plans are from the architect Charles Baillargé.

The house of Siméon Lelièvre was sold by the sheriff in 1858 to Georges-Édouard Desbarats and Stewart Derbishire who wanted to change the building to welcome the Queen's printing press. However, plans are made to convert the building into a residential building if the government does not stay in Quebec.

The building has an "L" shape and a long facade overlooking Sainte-Anne.

The works only take 10 weeks, ends in November and December.

Baillargé uses the neo-Renaissance style of Italian inspiration.


At the corner of rue Sainte-Anne and rue Des Jardins, we find the printing workshop of Desbarats and Derbishire and the restaurant of John l'Hoist. In the neighboring building, we find the residence of John Provan Sr., confectioner.

Hôtel et histoire
Canadian Confederation (1867-today)

Canadian Confederation (1867 - today)


Historic Facts


Georges-Édouard Desbarats had the building converted into a hotel by the architect Edward Staveley. The hotel is rented as Clarendon House. The reason for the name choice is unknown. The owner is Willis Russel, the owner of the Hôtel Clarendon on rue Saint-Louis. The Imprimerie Desbarats will occupy part of the hotel premises until 1895.


The hotel is rented to the company of Willis Russel (William Russell & Son), on of the pioneers of the hotel industry in Quebec, who also manages the Hotel Saint-Louis, on Rue Saint-Louis. The Clarendon hotel then took the name of Russell House.


The Hotel, known as Russell House, is owned by the heirs of Desbarats and Derbishire, but is owned by William Russell & Son.


According to John Gadsby, as a traveler who stayed at the Russell House, his room is "clean and comfortable" and costs only "10,60 $ per day".


John Provan, tailor, lived where the main entrance of the Clarendon is today.


The 1873-1874 directory reads: "Clarendon Hotel, formerly Clarendon House, W. Russell and Sons, proprietors, cor. Garden and St-Ann, U. T." 


The Consul General of Spain is staying at 57 rue Sainte-Anne.


Historic Facts


The Russell House establishment become the Hôtel Clarendon.

The ownership of the hotel is changing three times during this period.


Under the ownership of Mr. Thomas Hilaire Lizotte, a renovation project of approx. 6 000$ worth is taking place. Painting, carpeting, plumbing and water heating system are few items on the list. 


Rate of a room : from 2.00$ to 5.00$ per day.


On March 21st of 1912, around 00:30 AM, a fire is lit in a wardrobe.

The smoke is going through the 3rd and 4th floors. When the night guardian discovers the flames, they are already out of proportions and dangerous. The alarm is confirmed through the private box of the Hotel No 311. The firemen came quickly and the fire was put out quickly as well.

The building suffers many damages, due to the water. During the intervention, the firemen hit accidentally a main water pipe, causing significant damages to the 2nd and 1st floor. The residing guests which had a room spared by the situation have been able to regain access to their room, while others had to find an alternative for the night. The amount of damages are evaluated around 2 000$ to 4 000$

Hotel Clarendon 1890-1912
Clarendon Hotel1924-1927


Historic Facts


Joseph Drapeau buys the Hotel Clarendon and operate the business with his family.

Artémise Drapeau have been the first Quebecker to receive in 1959, the silver medal of the Order of the Hostelling Merit.

From 1924 to 1935, the Clarendon is keeping a residential front : many english families prefer to stay at the hotel during the cold winter months, instead from their own house..

Artémise Drapeau insist that the Clarendon cuisine serves local products and traditionnal meals : Tourtière, Quebec-style braised chicken, bacon, pancakes, pig's feet stew, Orleans Island black pudding, small channel fish, pichoune pie, "Grand-Pères" in maple syrup, etc.

Each morning, Joseph Drapeau is waking up and visits the local market and butcher. The Clarendon offers only fresh products.


An additionnal story is constructed.. The site of the former Henchey hotel at 55-57, Sainte-Anne Street, was bought by Joseph Drapeau. 30 rooms are added to the 40 existing ones.

Construction of a 7-storey extension begins, on the site of the former Henchey hotel. The architect, Raoul Chênevert, is inspired by the art-deco style. The main entrance to the hotel is now on Sainte-Anne. 50 new rooms are added. 


Historic Facts


The Hotel is renamed "Hôtel Clarendon Taverne"


During the Quebec conferences between Churchill and Roosevelt, the Clarendon accommodates an international team of journalists.


Major repairs are accomplished inside the hotel. 


Reconstruction of the main entrance to the hotel, on Sainte-Anne Street, to give it back the appearance it had in 1927.


Installation of a sidewalk café at a cost of $ 30,000.


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


The Hotel Clarendon is sold at two occasions during these years.


An extension to the building is built. 


The restaurant is renamed and is known as Le Charles-Baillargé.


La famille Dufour associates with Mr. Jacques Cyr.

Significant maintenance is undergone. Vents, plumbing, plumbing, electricity, sprinkler network, additionnal doors, stairs added in the rear section and the installation of a refrigeration unit on the roof are examples of the major changes occuring during this period. 

Clarendon 1926-1992
Clarendon 1993-2009


Historic Facts


The Dufour Family is sole owner of the Clarendon Hotel.


The Charles-Baillargé restaurant offers a lunch menu with a choice of meals between $ 6.50 and $ 9.50 (dessert included) to accommodate business people.

The evening menu is a bit more sophisticated: $ 24.95 to $ 30.95 (full tables d'hôte).

The Hotel has 96 rooms.


Two additionnal floors are built and the hotel is adding an extension at the rear of the building.


A 7th floor is built, with a mansard roof.


An additionnal extension is created to accomodate the installation of telecommunications equipment (13 antennas on the roof and the wall). laying of a plaster on the roof.


Spa Santé l'Antalgie offers massotherapeutics services.


Croisière Groupe Dufour is the owner of Hôtel Clarendon.


A new era (2012-today)


Historic Facts


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

Mr. Marcel Beaulieu sells the hotel to Mr Côté & Côté, father and son. They remain to this date the actual owners of Hôtel Clarendon.


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

Ambitious projects to update and renovate spaces are initiated: the renovation of rooms and the upgrade of their furnitures in order to provide a better comfort and modern amenities to the guests, renovation and redesign of the restaurant and bar, restoration of our legendary jazz nights each Friday and Saturday evenings, boosting and improving service delivery.

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

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

Clarendon 2012-2019
Clarendon 2019


Historic Facts


A fire broke out on January 23rd, around 1:45 p.m. on the 6th floor. The flames were noted quickly and the firefighters were called and arrived on the scene in less than 10 minutes. The fire and smoke damaged the upper floors and the roof, and the water from the sprinklers as well as that used by the firefighters in their fight against the blaze damaged the rooms, the bar, the restaurant as well as the basement.

The damage was fortunately of a material nature, no one was injured in the fire. The customers and employees present at the time were able to escape and take refuge in the Anglican Church, across the rue Des Jardins.

The fire was fought until late in the evening and the firefighters had to saw the roof right in the middle, in order to water the remaining embers several times, to ensure that the fire was well under control. It was not until around 9 p.m. that the building was returned to the owners by the Quebec City fire department. 

The 5th and 6th floors were severely affected by the flames and the smoke and water from the sprinklers damaged the majority of the rooms on the lower floors, as well as the bar, restaurant and basement, forcing the owners to close the establishment for an unknown lenght of time.


Historic Facts


Major renovations are beginining in February 2019. Not all the rooms were damaged, but the decision was taken to renovate everything so that nothing is forgotten.

It is a project of approximately 10 million dollars which begins a few weeks after the fire. The objective is ambitious: to deliver a renovated hotel in less than a year, up to current standards and with a new style. The major changes planned mainly affect plumbing, electricity, ventilation and of course the redesign of the rooms.

During the year 2019, the floors are stripped and the walls are knocked down, in order to start again. In some places, the history of the building is revealed to us: old partitioned hearths, forgotten doors and even old copies of newspapers from the year 1920 are found.

At one point in the works, the rooms no longer exist and the floors are vast empty areas, exposing the hotel's century-old framework.

Clarendon 2019-2020
Clarendon 2019-2020


Historic Facts


Mr. Jacques Gauthier, experienced restaurateur, offers to the owners a restaurant concept overseen by him and his associates.

The type of restaurant is focused on fish and seafood and welcomes its first customers on December 11, 2019.

This is the beginning of Brasserie Les Mordus, a restaurant that quickly established itself in the landscape of Old Quebec with its local, affordable ingredients and dishes with original flavors..


The Clarendon Hotel officially reopens on January 31, after a little more than a year of work.

A few weeks later, the COVID-19 pandemic again halted hotel operations for three additionnal months.

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