Photo by Chateau Dufresne-Nincheri Museum, courtesy of Tourisme Montréal
The Château Dufresne might not be high on most visitors' lists of sights to see in Montréal, but as it is just across the street from both the city's botanical garden and the Olympic Stadium, you may want to drop in if you are in the neighborhood. The mansion was constructed from 1915 to 1918 in the Beaux-Arts style popular in Montréal in those years. The 20,000-square-foot building is modeled on the Petit Trianon at Versailles and is actually two homes in one, as the brothers Oscar and Marius commissioned side-by-side mansions. The château served several different purposes after the Dufresne family lived there, first as a boarding school and later as the home of the Musée d'Art Contemporain. Today many of the rooms have been decorated with early 20th-century pieces, and a permanent exhibition provides an introduction of life in Montréal's East End a century ago. Temporary exhibitions cover a range of topics, including some that highlight the collections of prominent Montréal patrons and others that focus on leading artists in the city.