Monique Tremblay and Jean-Claude Paquet met 50 years ago close to Château Frontenac. They never wanted to leave Old Quebec again. Today, the couple is selling the condo they have occupied since 2005 at the top of Cap Diamant.
It is impossible to visit Old Quebec without taking Rue Saint-Louis, which leads to Promenade Dufferin, or without stopping on Rue Saint-Jean. But it is quite possible to visit the old town without taking Avenue Saint-Denis.
This discreet and quiet street is bordered on one side by stone houses and on the other by the Parc Pierre-Dugua-De Mons and the Citadelle. The avenue ends in a cul-de-sac where stairs lead to the Dufferin slide in winter. This is where Monique Tremblay and Jean-Claude Paquet’s condo is nestled.
The couple knew the area well. He met at a protest outside the United States Consulate General, a few yards away, 50 years ago. The two professors lived in Old Quebec for a few years before settling outside the city for work. But Mrs. Tremblay had only one dream: to return.
“When the girls came back to Quebec for their studies, we rented a room in their apartment,” she says. We were roommates. It was like our cabin in town. »
Shortly after, Ms. Tremblay saw that the building next door, 6 Saint-Denis Street, was to be converted into a condo. She immediately contacted the promoter.
“There were 10 apartments, including one that had been inhabited by Robert Lepage when he was at the Conservatory,” continues Ms. Tremblay. The promoters have undone everything inside. They only kept the stone walls. »
The work lasted several years and the schedule was delayed due to the remains discovered in the basement. “Are these foundations from the time of Champlain?” A garage ? A military redoubt? the owner wonders again. We don’t really know what it was. We only know that this two-foot-thick wall dates from the French Regime, probably from the 17th century. »
As it is forbidden to cover the artefacts with concrete once cleared, the architect advised to highlight them under a lighted glass like in a museum. This magnificent layout is located in the basement.
The windows on the facade of the building overlook the Parc des Champs-de-Battles. Upstairs, the view is even clearer. It allows you to guess the river and the city of Lévis.
At the back of the building, the atmosphere is quite different. You can see the rooftops of Quebec, including that of Château Frontenac, which is 350 meters away.
The imposing wooden galleries at the back of the building often pique the curiosity of passers-by. Since the condo has two private balconies on these galleries as well as a terrace at the parking lot level, it was not uncommon for the owner to be stopped when she had an aperitif there.
“The neighborhood was destroyed by fire during the English conquest in 1760,” explains Ms. Tremblay. One side of the building is French style and the other side English Regime. We have both heritages, because it was rebuilt after the war. »
The majority of the condo walls are stone or brick. The incursions of wood into the stone walls bear witness to an ancient technique of insulation. In the kitchen, the brick wall still bears traces of the old bread oven.
The condo has a total area of 1615 sq. ft., spread over three levels. A full bathroom is fitted on each.
According to Ms. Tremblay, however, the asset of her residence is the basement. The space can be converted into an apartment, as it includes a kitchen, living room and bedroom. However, it cannot be rented separately since the co-ownership is undivided.
“It could become a two-generation condo, suggests the owner. With the independent entrance, we had a lot of visitors! It was much appreciated. »
After half a century, lovers must leave Old Quebec. But one thing is certain: they will return, as visitors.
Asking price: $775,000 Municipal assessment: $1,830,000 (for the four condo units) Year of renovation: historic building, major renovations in 2005 Main building area: 150 m2 (basement included) Lot area: 354, 5 m2 Annual condominium fees: $12,240 (which includes property tax, school tax, provident fund and building insurance) Broker: Martin Dostie, Sotheby’s International Realty Quebec