Traveller Lodgings through Time
Transformation of Tourist Lodgings in Metis
Lodging for the few earliest passing visitors in the Metis area usually was trying one’s luck at the home of a local settler – one might say the original bed ‘n’ breakfast. Needless to say, there were likely few comforts for guests (or hosts!) in the early years after Scottish and other emigrants began putting down roots in the area after 1818. Even the Seigneur’s establishment left one visitor with little to recommend.
“Of the comforts of Mr. McNider’s establishment at Metis, which stands upon a bleak naked point of rocky beach, you may judge when I tell you that there was no fresh food in the house – no bread but was dingy & sour – no wine glasses &, if there had been, nothing to put in them but the common rum of the country – & no candles. The oil lights in the house were a black, greasy, dungeon-looking, iron cresset, with a wick floating in oil, which was either carried in the hand, or stuck into the wall by a sharp hook contrived for the purpose & a make-shift expedient of a saucer accommodated also with a wick & oil. Yet there was an old sofa in the apartment – half a dozen books of a promiscuous description – & in the adjoining cabinet, a passable sort of bed.”
As commerce began to grow, it made good business sense for some residents to provide services to travelers en route. Enter inns.
With more competition and transportation options, more people came to visit, and the demand for more comforts and options expanded, giving birth to hotels, with better rooms, dining areas and sometimes entertainment, and boarding houses, with more basic amenities. Both also sometimes offered associated cottage accommodations.
The advent of the car brought even more change, with motor hotels (‘motels’) providing lodging and free parking along inter-town roads. Other options were camping, bed and breakfasts (B&Bs), and more.
As you read on, remember that there were no strict naming convention; the different types of accommodations overlapped each other over time; the structure and offerings of particular enterprises changed across the years, for example, a hotel became cottage accommodations became an auberge (inn); and names changed, even when management didn’t.
Most ‘original’ inns were established prior to the 19th century. Inns were not hotels, as we know them now, and were usually a small family-run establishment. The domestic services of the inn were overseen by a housekeeper, often the wife of the owner. For early travelers, an inn represented a generally comfortable accommodation where you could rest awhile, and have sustenance before continuing on your journey.
We think mostly of inns as a stagecoach stop to rest the horses, but there were also inns for the benefit of the crew of sailing vessels that went up and down on the St. Lawrence River.
The possibly fictional Jos Languille, in his Diary of a Beggar (Le Journal d`un quêteux), a logbook ostensibly written between 1822 and 1831), talks about an inn in Metis in his travels in the Bas-Saint-Laurent, Riviere-du-Loup area. He wrote:
“The area I know most in Lower Canada is that of the Lower St. Lawrence, I dragged my bag for whole season, I made friends and I almost take root “vermicelli”(slang meaning ‘attached’), I walk a lot, my shoes still retain the imprint of all these dusty grounds.
1822 at the mouth of the Metis River, there was a saw mill established upstream, near the falls. Further down the coast, the Lord of Metis, John Macnider was installed in 1817, forty families, Scottish majority. Their names Crawford, Craig, Page, McGugan, Campbell. Very nice people that I met on several occasions and with whom I had “gogailles” (to make merry) at the Inn.”
Did you know… ? Under historical English law, a beggar (or panhandler) was a person who was fit and able to work, but begged (asked others for money or food or even a place to stay for the night) for a living instead. The Vagabonds and Beggars Act (1494), passed in the reign of Henry VII, said that “vagabonds, idle and suspected persons shall be set in the stocks for three days and three nights and have none other sustenance but bread and water and then shall be put out of Town.” Mendicants, on the other hand, are paupers who live on alms from begging. Sound the same as beggars? There is a small but important difference: mendicants provide something in return: teaching the gospel, for example, or sharing information. Jos Languille was someone welcome in the communities he visited, receiving sustenance, a place to stay, and a rapt audience for his stories from other communities – he like a wandering minstrel, but with news rather than music
Alice Sharples Baldwin wrote in her book Metis – Wee Scotland of the Gaspé:
“Tales also persist of suspicious activities on the part of the proprietor of the Pilgrims Inn, which flourished towards the turn of the century. This colourful establishment situated at the entrance to Lighthouse Point Road catered to seafarers, sailors, pilots, fisherman and other waterfront characters. Board and lodging of a primitive type were available and a ship chandler business was carried on. Senior Metisians recall being sent as children to fetch coal-oil, which was sold in the small shop in the rear of the building. More important at their time of life, “bull’s eyes” (a kind of candy) also formed part of the stock in trade.”
Alan Smith, in his 2004 walk, “The Houses at the Lighthouse”, wrote:
Number 24 (Hansard family) on Lighthouse Road was built by John Ferguson and at one time served as an Inn for travelers getting off boats, which stopped at Lighthouse Point. Summer residents used to be rowed ashore and then taken by horse and buggy to their destinations in Grand and Little Metis. It was also a store run by John Candy.”
Today there is one inn open during the summer in the Les Boules sector of Métis-sur-Mer – Auberge du Grand Fleuve; ‘auberge’ translated to English means ‘inn’ – a hotel in its first incarnation (see Hôtel du village).
Hotels developed to give more importance to services over a longer stay than was typical in inns. The continued expansion in the ship, train, and road networks enabled more and more people to travel for pleasure rather than just business.
Did you know…? The year 1829 is considered a landmark in the hospitality industry in North America generally, because It saw the first of what we would consider a ‘real’ hotel – one with rooms that had a private attached bathroom and locks on the doors!
Hotels contained many rooms and several floors; they generally had staircases that lead to the rooms. They offered a wide array of guest services and had on-site facilities provided for the comfort of the guests, for example, meals served in a dining room, and a public gathering room, with a fireplace, to read, play card games, relax in and be entertained in.
In Metis, many hotels were built specifically as tourism resort hotels (although the season was short). They were places to which the moneyed families travelled every summer to escape the heat of the cities. All offered families time away from epidemics in the biggest cities where diseases like cholera, typhus, smallpox, and tuberculosis could spread quickly.
“Despite the appointment of a health officer in the 1870s and the creation of a Health Department in the 1880s, citizens of Montreal retained “their unenviable distinction as the dwellers in the city of wealth and death” throughout the nineteenth century.”
(Bradbury, Bettina. Working Families: Age, Gender, and Daily Survival in Industrializing Montreal. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1993, p. 73 as found cited in https://digital.library.mcgill.ca/industrial/sources.html, accessed Feb. 2, 2021
Metis had, at one time, over 10 hotels that catered to tourists. Some of the hotels were built before 1900 and others in the early 1900s. Over the years, some hotel owners renamed their hotels; as well, the hotels that were sold were usually renamed by the new owner.
Did you know… ? When the largest hotels built later in the 19th century were full, they brought the Metis and environs population from about 300 year-round to 1,800 as 1,500 or so visited for the summer.
Seigneur John Macnider’s Hotel
The earliest written recorded mention of a hotel in Metis is by John Macnider, who was involved in the naval sector. Macnider established at Mitis River a ‘cockpit’ (an area where the cockswain’s station was located; the cockswain piloted a smaller boat or tender from the ship to bring people to and from shore) for boats up the river to Montreal. The Mitis had become the centre of forest development in the region. In 1823, Macnider went before a committee of the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada and stated that he possessed the only hotel for fisheries between Green Island (Île verte) and Cap-Chat. A Miss Hay, daughter of the Scottish-born steward of the Metis Macnider Seigneury, drew this hotel.
By 1858, Robert Turriff had built a boarding house and began advertising in The Montreal Witness.
The Montreal Witness, 26 June, 1858
Sea Bathing – Metis
The undersigned having erected a new HOUSE expressly for the reception of visitors, will receive Borders on the following terms, viz : Adults $5 ; Youths $ 4 ; and Children under seven $ 3 per week. A liberal deduction will be made to Ministers. The House is pleasantly situated on a point in Little Metis Bay, where the water is as salt as can be desired, and the convenience for bathing excellent. R. Turriff.
Metis, June 1858.
The Morning Chronicle, 3 July, 1858
Good Accommodation for SEA BATHING at LITTLE METIS. Single Boarders $5 per week ; for Two, taking a room $4 each per week.
Metis, June 28, 1858
The success of the boarding house led Robert to build Turriff Hall a few years later.
The Montreal Witness, 19 June, 1861
Sea Bathing. Turriff Hall, Little Metis. R. Turriff, returning thanks to the Montreal public for past patronage takes this means of informing them that by extensive improvements he is prepared for the increased demands of the coming season. Terms per week, from $4 to $6.
June 13, 1861
Turriff Hall, the first of the big Metis hotels, started as a boarding house and became a hotel by 1861, run by Robert Turriff. The walls of this 75-room hotel went from the east-side fence of the property opposite 434 Beach Road in Metis to the western wall of the garden shed. In the spring of 1941, the building was destroyed by fire, luckily before it opened for the short summer season, so no one was staying in the hotel at the time. Robert Turriff’s grandson, Lorn Turriff, tells us about the early days of Metis as a summer resort and his memories of the hotel.
Astle Bros. Hotel / Seaside House Hotel
Metis’s second hotel began as a private home belonging to John Muckle, who was a blacksmith. The first Fredrick Astle Sr. bought the land, and his sons opened the Astle Bros. Hotel in 1875. It wasn’t until 1903 that it was renamed the Seaside House Hotel.
Cascade House / Cascade Hotel
In 1886, the third of the big Metis hotels, Cascade House (later Cascade Hotel) was opened on a bluff overlooking the St. Lawrence River.
“Daily Witness, 15 May, 1886
Cascade House, Little Metis. This new and commodious hotel will be open for visitors June 1st. Unrivalled sea view, First-Class board. Opposite telegraph and Post Office.
For terms, apply to
Named after the small falls that cascade down just to the west of the MacNider and Beach Roads intersection, the Cascade Hotel was built and run for many years by the MacNider (Macnider) family, descendants of the first Seigneur of Metis. Rumor has it that a member of King George V of England’s close family stayed in the hotel in the early part of the 20th century. Pen Dobson recalls how the Cascade Hotel was of central importance even for non-guests.
Grant Hotels – Le Grand Metis and Victoria Hotel
There were two Grants – one W. Grant and the other James (or J.C.) Grant – and at least one Grant hotel, possibly two – one at Grand Metis and the other at Lighthouse Point/Little Metis Point. Whether two hotels or one with two different names. Whether either is the one captured in this 1899 tintype photo simply marked Metis Hotel, is not known and the hotel’s or hotels’ fate remain(s) a mystery.
From the Morning Chronicle of Thursday, June 26, 1873 (page 3, col. 3B) Country Boarding for the summer Season at “Le Grand Metis” (courtesy of Gilbert R. Bossé):
“Mr. James Grant begs to inform the tourists that he can dispose in their favor of his magnificent hotel, at Le Grand Metis, on the shore of the bay, next to St. Lawrence River. It is situated in the most splendid place for persons who wish to enjoy the pleasure of bathing, fishing and riding. It is surrounded with beautiful sceneries. Comfortable rooms and excellent table. James Grant, Le Grand Metis, June 18, 1873.”
The Metis Lighthouse relates:
“Mr. J.C. Grant, late of Rimouski, is building a hotel at the Point, not far from the landing place for steamers.”
An ad from the Morning Chronicle: Commercial and Shipping Gazette, Saturday, July 3, 1880, reads:
“Victoria Hotel, opens on the 25th June Instant. Little Metis Point, close to steamers landing. Good bathing, fishing and shooting in close proximity. Great comfort. Travelers are kindly invited to patronize. Carriage at every express train. Terms very moderate. For arther (sic) information apply to W. Grant. Little Metis Point, June 24, 1880.”
Leggatt’s Point House / Killiekrankie Hotel
This hotel had several owners over the years, but remained Leggatt’s Point House until the late 1950s. Then it was sold to Leslie McIntosh, who came up with the present name of Killiecrankie Hotel. It is the oldest remaining hotel in Leggatt’s Point, and is now a private residence owned by the Powell family (of Cadbury Schweppes Powell fame).
Rock House / Boule Rock Hotel
Also part of the Astle Bros. Holdings, the 100-room Boule Rock Hotel, a grand building with a panoramic view of the water, was built in 1900 by William Astle and run by the Astle family. This hotel was named Rock House for a season, but the name did not take. It then became the Boule Rock Hotel, a nod to the large rock (‘boule’ in French) offshore. What is now 273 Beach was once the change house for the large salt-water swimming pool just to the east of the hotel – so close that on hot days, daring kitchen staff would jump off the hotel veranda and into the pool to cool down. As it was one of the few hotels remaining in Metis in the late 1960s, and as most people did not have a television in their home, the Boule Rock Hotel invited hotel guests and community members into the hotel living room on July 20, 1969 to watch the moon landing. It finally closed its doors in 1975, when developments in transport and changing trends in tourism meant that fewer people spent their summers in Metis.
Did you know …? The story is that an English-speaker in the area pointed to the largest of the three offshore rocks, asking what it was called. A francophone, thinking he was being asked for the French word for ‘rock’, responded ‘boule’ (the three impossible-to-miss rocks are why the little village to the east of Metis Beach was originally called Les Boules (‘The Rocks’). The English speaker, however, heard ‘Bull’, and so the nearby rocks that diminished in size became known as ‘Cow Rock’ and ‘Calf Rock’.
Green Hill House / St. Lawrence House
Built in 1891, Green Hill House belonged to W. and A. Turriff. It was later sold and became known (circa 1910?) as the St. Lawrence House owned by J. D. Campbell. Today, the only traces remaining of the St. Lawrence House hotel are the low stone walls that bordered its entrance at what is now 474 Beach. The original building was demolished in the 1950s, but you need only look across the road to the west to see why this was such a good spot for a hotel: the view of the bay and Metis Lighthouse, a well-known and loved feature of the local landscape, is stunning.
Green Gables Hotel
This hotel was named after the famous Anne of Green Gables. It was built in 1910 by Mr. and Mrs. William Meikle. Initially, it was used as a summer-rental cottage. Eventually the house became a hotel when an east wing was added in the early decades of 1900. Later, in 1930, Mrs. Meikle built a west wing with 12 additional bedrooms. Green Gables was bought by David Barr in 1944. Later, Golf de la Pointe Métis-sur-Mer was built on the land.
Chez Donat Hotel / Sunny Bay Hotel / Place Petit Miami
Chez Donat was constructed at the end of the 1920s on the bank of the Saint Lawrence River, with a unique dancehall on pillars, stretching out over the water. Chez Donat was a local hotspot for several generations of Metis youth. Moved to the south side of Beach Road in Metis in the mid-20th century, it was renamed Sunny Bay Hotel, and its unusual turret made the hotel popular with photographers. A change of ownership brought the name Petit Miami some years later. Sadly, the hotel burned down in February 2002. Although nothing of the original building remains, the site is now home to the Place Petit Miami restaurant, motel and chalets (see Motels below).
Originally the homestead of William Astle and his wife Annie Brough, the property was left to their daughter Gertrude. She married William Turner and, after World War I, they converted the property into a 42-room hotel. They advertised it as an “ideal location on pleasant grounds overlooking the St. Lawrence, suites with private bath and running hot and cold water in every room.” Cottages were also available. It was passed on to their son, W. Benson Turner. In 1967, it was torn down.
In 1929, Fred A. Astle built the 45-room Metis Lodge, using a house already situated on the lot. The brochure at the time described the benefits of vacationing in Metis, and advertised private baths, running hot and cold water in all rooms, electrical lights, central heating, open fireplaces, and excellent cuisine. In 1956, Metis Lodge was sold, only to be destroyed by fire two years later.
Parkwood Hotel / Le Goéland / Auberge Métis-sur-Mer / Domaine Annie-sur-Mer
In 1927-1931, Georges Abousaffy began the construction of this hotel and, by 1931, the building and cabins were completed. In 1940, a fire destroyed the main building, but left the cabins intact and four cabins remain to this day. The property was left to Georges Abousaffy’s daughter in his estate and her uncle managed it for a while. The land was eventually sold to Rosaire Beauchemin, who built a restaurant as well as upgraded the cabins, and it became known as the Le Goéland (The Seagull). Sold once more, it became known as Auberge Métis-sur-Mer. Today, it is called Domaine Annie-sur-Mer. Located at 378 chemin Patton Road, the Domaine is open during the summer and is wonderfully located on the shores of the St. Lawrence, with prime views of the Metis Lighthouse.
L’Hôtel du village / Auberge du Grand Fleuve
This hotel, constructed in Metis as a residence, was then sold and moved by its new owner Arthur Castonguay to its current location at 131 rue Principale in 1934. Acquired by Jean-Baptiste Jean in 1941, he operated it as a general store, gradually transforming it into a restaurant and hotel. Some equipped cabins facing the beach also could be rented. The next owner, Henriot Boudreault, bought the property immediately to the east to convert into motel units. He also introduced a bowling alley in 1967. He was the first to obtain a liquor license in what was then still Les Boules. The bar clientèle reportedly was made up of men ‘d’âge mûr’, that is, of a ripe age. It is now an inn, called Auberge du Grand Fleuve (see also Inns).
(L’Auberge du Grand Fleuve, 131, rue Principale, Métis-sur-Mer, Québec, Canada, G0J 1S0, Tel : 1 418 936 3332 or toll-free/sans frais: 1 866 936 3332, E-mail/Courriel : firstname.lastname@example.org)
Did you know …? The debate about liquor in Metis ebbed and flowed over the years like the tides. For more information visit Bootleg and Booze, Prohibition and Pastimes.
Boarding houses were common in the 19th century. Frequently a family home, they helped bring in a source of extra income for the homeowners. Lodgers could rent a room and received some services, such as laundry, cleaning, and meals. The boarding houses were an alternative inexpensive respectable place to stay for young male or female workers, vacationers, even newlyweds, for extended periods of weeks or months.
Woodlands Guest House
While called a guest house, this lodging at Leggatt’s Point was referred to as a boarding house by those who stayed there. Agnes Bohm, a Lighthouse Point resident, wrote in 1987 that her grandmother, Angelina Hedge Nowers, spent summers at a boarding house at Leggatt’s Point. The Rev. William Macalister had been conceded a farm on the Leggatt’s property, which he named “Woodlands.” After his death, his widow and then a Mrs. Featherston(e) operated it as a guest house for summer visitors for some years. This building was destroyed by fire in the early 1890s.
Woodlands Guest House was just one of many boarding houses in Metis as many families opened their homes. Some of the best-remembered boarding homes were those run by Mr. Leggatt in the mid-1880s, the Meikles’ in the early 1900s (now a private home called ‘Sunnyside’), and Maria Astle in the 1920s.
Campbell’s Guest House
A building constructed by Peter Leggatt in 1820, at one time belonging to the Carpenter family, became known as the Carpenter House. Between the 1930s and 1960s, it became known as Campbell’s Guest House Hotel and was run by Gertrude Campbell.
Ocean House / Hotel Santerre
In the 1930s, there was a guest house situated close to the United Church in Metis, called the Ocean House. It was owned by A. Hamilton (Ham) McLaren. For a short period, it operated under the name of Hotel Santerre. It was later sold as a private residence by Ham’s grandson, Garth McLaren, to Reno Isabel who demolished it in 1990 to build a new home.
Did you know… ? One particular variation of a guest house deserves mention: There were two Hostess Houses in Metis rented by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) during the Second World War. RCAF Station Mont-Joli, used as an RCAF bombing and gunnery school until 1945, rented these houses so British Commonwealth pilots training at the airbase, living too far to be sent home when on leave, could relax in an English-speaking environment for a few days. One of the houses was at 387 Beach Road and can be seen on the Metis West Trail and the other was on Station Road.
The Tuggey family also ran a boarding house in the 1940s and 50s, in a building that has had about as many different uses as any in the Metis area (post office, telegraph office, bus depot, doctor’s office, … (See Metis West Trail)
The old-style boarding house concept is less common today.
The word cottage is from the Latin cotagium; in the medieval era, it referred to a humble rural detached dwelling owned by a cotter, a term understood to mean a tenant who was renting land from a farmer or landlord. It would have been built with locally available materials and in local style.
By the late 1800s and early 1900s, what constituted a cottage had changed considerably. Cottage life was solely for the upper class and used for temporary holiday vacations for less than 30 days, usually rented directly from the landowner. In Metis, a good number of local residents’ homes here transformed into rental cottages for the summer and the owners would move into other accommodations or in with family members), as this was another source of income for the local families.
Did you know …? Even the last Seigneur, John H. Ferguson, would rent out his Manor House in the summer and move into another home he had close by on Lighthouse Road. One family, the Griers, rented the Manor House for five years, starting in 1889. They later built their own homes in Little Metis. (See Metis West Trail).
In 1893, the following offerings were located at Leggatt’s Point: Gleniffer Cottage, Belvor Cottage, Meikle Cottage, Grant Cottage, Seaview Cottage and Rosemount. One of the tea rooms – Blue’s – also offered Blue’s Cabins.
In Metis Beach, in the 1930s through the 1950s, Idlewilde Tourist Home – “A home away from home” – was run by the McEwing family.
Many of the hotel owners in Metis also had rental cottages. For example, Cascade Hotel had cottages that were rented out; many were on the Cascade Road (teasingly called ‘Skid Row’) and on Beach Road. Turriff Hall Hotel also had cottages that they rented out on Beach Road. The four Astle family hotels at one time had 16 cottages they rented to tourists on Beach Road and Astle Road.
One of the tea rooms – Blue’s – also offered Blue’s Cabins.
Riverside Cottage, owned by R. J. Turriff, was situated close to the water in Metis Beach. Today the home is owned by the Pearce family. (See Metis West Trail)
Was cottage life all what we think of today? While likely exciting for at least kids, some mothers might not have found it the dream vacation. Heather (Attridge) Niderost describes her family’s experiences:
“From 1940 … onwards, we stayed several summers at “Gertrude Campbell’s Guest House”, now the Dieners’ “Point House”, and then migrated to “Glenafer” right behind, then to the “Doll’s House” – now the Pentinga’s “Bowsprit”, and finally to “The Bungalow” – the Motley’s “Westwind”. None of Gertrude’s rented cottages had kitchens, and precious few had real toilets either! We all trouped down to the Guest House for all our meals. … [finally, Dad] looked around for a cottage with its own kitchen, and lighted on the Patton cottage. …“Outremer” [which] was not exactly paradise for my mother that first summer!!!! No sirreeee!!!! She must have asked herself a hundred times how frail Mrs. Patton had ever survived to old age …. It was 1947 and “Outremer” had no plumbing other than a hand pump, no electricity, and a latrine whose pail was taken out regularly at high tide in the dinghy by our caretaker.”
Today Turriff sur le Fleuve, on Chemin Leggatt Road in Grand Metis, is a small summer cottage that is rented out fully equipped. It is owned by Vernon Turriff and run by his mother, Rita.
(Turriff sur le Fleuve, B-32, chemin Leggatt, Grand-Métis (Québec), G0J1Z0 (Canada), 418 936-3929)
More recently, as things to do in the Gaspé increase, and the cost of maintaining some of the historic houses has also, there has been a resurgence in Metisians renting out homes that have been in their families for a hundred years or more. To unearth which of these unique homes is available, Cottages Canada, Airbnb, and other modern online sources may not be enough: the age-old ‘word-of-mouth’ often remains the best method (try finding a staunch Metisian to ask!).
Did you know … ? By the 1950s, the term ‘cottage’ was redefined to mean also week-end getaways by city dwellers, a home away from home, and a new part of Canadian culture. A person could live where they worked, and head to their small residence or cottage in their free time, having the best of both worlds. This is, of course, more easily done by people living in the greater Lower Saint Lawrence area than those who make the trek only in summer months from much further afield!
Designed with motorists in mind, motels at first tended to be a single building with connected rooms, but no hallways, because the rooms opened onto an outside parking lot. Later, motels also could be a series of cabins with a common parking area.
Cars became extremely popular in the mid-20th century. Intercity traveling became more convenient because of the network of large highway systems developed in the 1920s and later. Long-distance road journeys became more common, and the need for inexpensive, easily accessible overnight accommodation sites, close to the main routes, led to the growth of the motel concept.
The Jolly Roger and Coin de La Baie Motels
The Jolly Roger and Coin de La Baie Motel were popular places to go from the late 1940s to the 1970s.
Sometimes called Jolly Rogers, this motel had a pool to swim in and live entertainment on Saturday night, which many of the local and summer residents remember. In the 1960s, The Jolly Roger was operated by Mr. M. Bureau and his wife, and it was sold in the 1970s to Mr. M. Boffard.
Did you know… ? Coin de la Baie, once owned by the Meikle family (see Hotels and Boarding Houses above) and then by Claude and his wife Carmen Cyr, was noted for its wonderful meals of Quebec cuisine. Of course, visiting places along the coast can have their share of risks! For a lesson on the importance of parking brakes, here’s a tale of a fellow who lost more than he bargained for on one visit.
Unfortunately, The Jolly Roger and Coin de La Baie closed their doors, but the memories of ‘the good old days’ still linger on for many residents of Metis. While permanent and summer residents didn’t need the rooms, they did enjoy both motels for food, drink, entertainment and the sharing of great stories.
Place Petit Miami
Place Petit Miami (once Hotel Chez Donat (see Hotels above), at 508 Beach Road, features four fully-equipped cabins with a fantastic St. Lawrence River view and access, with another two equipped cabins right on the shore. There is an on-site restaurant, and nearby attractions within a few minutes’ drive.
The 1950s and ‘60s were the pinnacle of the motel industry, but by the 1980s, motels were being squeezed out by another form of roadside accommodation. Camping grounds were starting to thrive, and welcomed not just traditional campers who came with a car and tent. Travel trailers of various sizes, some towed by a vehicle with their own personal traveling quarters or recreation vehicles, became the new way to cost-effectively travel.
Camping Annie is located on Route 132, between Lighthouse Road and the town of Metis-sur-Mer. Camping Annie allows you to spend a remarkable stay in a beautiful region of the Gaspé. The camping site has a heated swimming pool and access to the beach with great views of the Lighthouse.
Motel Métis Camping
Located on Route 132, close to Jardins de Metis/Reford Gardens, Motel Camping Metis is a camping site and a motel. It has access to the beach with beautiful sea views.
BED & BREAKFASTS GITES
Today, new small-scale types of accommodations have emerged.
B&Bs or guest houses (in French, maisons d’hôtes) are small lodging establishments that offer overnight accommodation and breakfast. These are now the more popular places to stay in while travelling. The gîte (pronounced ‘jeet’) is a specific type of holiday accommodation, usually furnished and equipped for self-catering.
The latest gîte in Métis-sur-Mer is managed by Brigitte Morin, on 146 rue Principale in sector Les Boules, formerly the Côté’s Bakery landmark that can be seen on the Metis East Trail. BriGîte has a magnificent view of the St. Lawrence River and is your home away from home, close to many of the activities going on in the village. Contact BriGîte at https://www.facebook.com/brigitte.morin.319452.
Le Domaine Bel-Azur
This motel is right on the 132 highway, between Metis-sur-Mer and Baie-des-Sables. It also offers incomparable views and sunsets from each chalet’s veranda. It has the added benefit of being within walking distance of Le Matelot, a popular local seafood restaurant.
(Le Domaine Bel-Azur; 13, route 132 Ouest, Baie-Des-Sables (Québec) G0J 1C0, T : 418 936-3417; C : 581 624-5233)
Did you know… ? The highway cabins that now form Le Domaine Bel-Azur were built in the 1940s and baptized the “Camp des Alliés” because it served men training at the 9th Bombing and Gunnery School in Mont-Joli. They came when in need of R&R (rest and relaxation) during their periods of leave.
- Heritage Lower Saint Lawrence Archives
- Pam Andersson with Barb Amsden
- Alexander Reford, Jardins de Métis
- Gilbert R. Bossé, Métis-sur-Mer
- Metis – First and Last Stop on the Gaspé Tourism Circuit
- Building a Road Network to Develop Tourism
- Getting there – Early travel and travellers to the Gaspé peninsula
- A Boulevard to the Future
- Metis – Wee Scotland of the Gaspé, Alice Sharples Baldwin, 1960
- The Metis Lighthouse, Alexander Reford, with Paul Gendron, 2008
- Alan Smith, “The Houses at the Lighthouse”, 2004
- Hotels vs Motels, Inns, & Other Lodging: The Definitive Guide – Upon Arriving, Daniel Gillaspia, November 6, 2020
- Evolution of the Hospitality Industry: A Brief Timeline
- Le Journal d`un quêteux, Journal de bord de Jos Languille, région du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Rivière-du-Loup, 1822-1831, Site officielle de la fédération des sociétés d’histoire du Québec