If we had to summarize the history of this castle house, it would go a little like this. Once upon a time, there was a Montrealer who loved a woman from L’Assomption. One day he said to her: “My dear, we’re going to build there, right in front of your parents’ cottage. I have the plan in mind. » This is how in the year 1974 of the last century this sumptuous residence was born in the Bas-de-L’Assomption region, where they lived happily and had two children.
“In 1975, when I left the Santa Cabrini hospital after my birth, I came directly here, to this house,” relates David-Alexandre Coiteux, the youngest of the couple’s sons. The house had also just come into existence, after two years of work under the direction of his father, Robert Coiteux, who had also designed the plans.
This was another facet of his father’s talents, who was above all a “tank guy”. Robert Coiteux had been a racing driver before hanging up his helmet on the death of his own father, to take over the company that the latter had founded in 1945, Coiteux automobiles, avenue Papineau. The beautiful British Leyland cars (Triumph, Rover, Mini Cooper, etc.) were found there in the 1960s and 1970s. Robert, who had studied in England, “to learn English”, and had traveled quite a bit in many countries. Other European countries were fascinated by castles. He was therefore inspired to design the house where he would live with his sweetheart, Pierrette Vanier, and their children.
Stones imported from Indiana and Israel, Italian marble, oak doors, finely chiseled porcelain and copper handles, sinks decorated with delicate flowers… The man did not skimp on the means to make his project term and give it luster. He retained the services of craftsmen, including an Italian who painted the ceiling coffers of the dining room, created faux finishes elsewhere in the house and made a large canvas illustrating the eldest son, in an epic scene. Little Jean-Sébastien was not yet 2 years old, but the painter drew him as if he was 6. “At 6, my brother looked like he looked in the painting,” David-Alexandre is still surprised.
Outside, the landscaping elegantly matches the typical architecture of the house.
The ceiling vaults in the entrance and living room give the impression of being in another century, on another continent. However, we are here, about forty minutes from Montreal, and two or three kilometers from Highway 40, which you can see from afar, but which you cannot hear. And the house offers all modern comforts.
Such a residence in the municipality of L’Assomption caused a lot of talk, recognizes David-Alexandre, who remembers that there were newspaper articles on the “castle of the East”. For him and his brother, who grew up there, it was a normal house, but people’s reactions made them aware of its specialness. “The young people wanted to know what was in the tower. There were often wedding couples who came to have their photos taken in front of the house, with their procession of honor…”
Robert Coiteux loved this house that he had shaped to his taste and never thought of moving, according to his son. He maintained it meticulously, but aside from the kitchen, which was renovated three times, and the garage, which was converted into a movie theater, little had changed in 50 years. The decor of several rooms is original, as is the carpet that runs along the staircase and the bedroom corridor. The one in the master bedroom was changed some time ago. In one place on the rug, the couple’s initials are engraved in the wool, entwined.
Robert Coiteux died on January 9, 2023, four years after his wife. He was 77 years old, still living in his house in L’Assomption and still managing the automobile dealership on Papineau Avenue, Hyundai, of which he had become one of the first dealers in Canada. “He did his chemo treatments in the morning and went to work in the afternoon,” says David-Alexandre.
The castle house is therefore the subject of an inheritance sale. The two sons made their lives elsewhere than at L’Assomption. David-Alexandre, who works in cinema, travels regularly between Montreal and Los Angeles, while Jean-Sébastien runs the car dealership in Montreal. Despite this, the attachment to the house of L’Assomption is very present.
“It’s difficult to sell it,” admits David-Alexandre, with emotion. There has been so much love here and there are so many memories. If you want a real life test, empty your parents’ house, go through all the memories…”
The story of this house is not over, but it will be up to the next owner to write the new chapter. Castles have a long life, it is well known.