The Mitchell House
Bistro Pointe-Claire is located at 252 Lakeshore Road, in the heart of Pointe-Claire Village, inside a historic house that was built in 1891 by the Mitchell family. The house, much like the Mitchell family, remains an important witness to the vibrant history of Pointe-Claire, and, more particularly, Pointe-Claire Village. This historic residence also stands as a testimonial to the vitality of Pointe-Claire Village, and to its continued evolution.
The Mitchells were several generations of skilled carpenters -- a family recognized for being merchants, shopkeepers and important builders who believed in the future of their community. The Mitchells were among the very first English pioneers to settle in the area, arriving in the village around 1790, and leaving their mark that can still be found today.
The Monsignor house is recognized for its Queen Anne style architecture and design, and for the fact that it was inhabited by Monsignor Robert Mitchell, the only Pointe-Claire-born member of the higher clergy to have the honour of holding such an esteemed title.
The building is adorned with Scottish bricks, which are porous and have darkened with the passage of time. This pale yellow type of brick was part of a popular importation wave that swept Montreal during the early part of the 19th century. These bricks were used to help stabilize ships sailing to Quebec to pick up wood exports. While Montreal companies began to manufacture their own bricks, the importation of Scottish bricks continued until the first quarter of the 20th century.
On September 15, 1986, André Charbonneau acquired the historic Mitchell house with plans of restoring the front gallery to its original state, using old photos of the residence, which showed its original exterior columns. Between 1988 and 1993, the house became an art gallery, and was occupied by Le Quartier des Arts. Then, between 1993 and 2004, the building served as a restaurant, first as Place Mira, and then Il Centro until 2015. In the end, André Charbonneau successfully restored the Mitchell house to its original state and helped preserve this precious heritage building to its current state of elegance and charm.
The Mitchell house leaves a solid legacy for future generations, and while part of that legacy is architectural, it is also a symbol of Pointe-Claire Village's rich heritage, compelling history and a witness to the evolution of this most unique community.
For more information on the Mitchell House and the history of the Pointe-Claire Village: http://www.patrimoinepointeclaire.org
© Société pour la Sauvegarde du Patrimoine de Pointe-Claire, 2015