In 1916 brothers Oscar and Marius Dufresne commissioned this beautiful beaux-arts mansion, along the lines of the Versailles Palace in France. The interiors are stunning – tiled marble floors, coffered ceilings in Italian Renaissance style, stained-glass windows – and are open for the public to explore. Italian artist Guido Nincheri was in charge of interior decoration and painted many murals, including one of dainty nymphs in the Petit Salon.
They moved in with their families – Oscar on one side and Marius on the other. Marius’ side of the building is furnished in a more masculine style, with a smoking room fitted to look like a Turkish lounge with hookah pipes. The furniture, art and other objects reflect the tastes of Montréal’s bourgeoisie of the period, and the building has been declared a national monument.
A new permanent exhibition opened in the Château in late 2014. Dubbed the Mémoire des objets, Parcours de collectioneurs (Collectors' hall, items to remember), the collection comprises some 47 artworks and historical items that belonged to famous figures from the past, including Louis XV, Joan of Arc, Marie Antoinette and Napoleon Bonaparte.