From the moment that you arrive at O’Brien Chelsea, you will inevitably be immersed in the rich history it has to offer.
Imagine the year 1930 when one of the first homes in Gatineau Park was built high up in the hills with a view of the lake below. This grand home, known then as Kincora Lodge, was built by Ambrose O’Brien, whose family was arguably one of the most influential of their time. Michael John “MJ” O’Brien, Ambrose O’Brien’s father, was a renowned entrepreneur who owned close to 200 companies, including Confederation Construction, which helped build the Transcontinental Railway.
Ambrose O’Brien took after his father as a successful businessman in his founding of the National Hockey Association, which later grew and expanded to become the NHL, the Renfrew Millionaires and the legendary Montreal Canadiens.
The O’Brien house acted even then as a retreat from everyday life for the O’Brien family. Ambrose O’Brien’s granddaughter, Kerry O’Brien, reminisces about “the best” summer days at the house, surrounded by family. The house is built upon 80+ years of memories in hopes of acquiring more.
Soon to be the “home away from home” for many guests, the O’Brien House has always been a special getaway for friends of the family. They invited many different groups to enjoy the splendour, such as The Women’s Canadian Historical Society for tea on their autumn outing in 1941.
The O’Brien family’s accomplishments are proudly displayed throughout O’Brien Chelsea. Ambrose’s picture sits on the front desk, keeping a watchful eye on what was once his living room. Honouring the rich history of this home was a high priority in the emergence of O’Brien Chelsea. To encourage the discovery of the property’s history, the hotel displays many period pieces, including a 1920’s Underwood typewriter, a grandfather clock that once belonged to former prime minister John Thompson, as well as many other antiques and artefacts of the times.
As a guest, you can uncover a series of brilliant Canadian stories during the course of their stay, which date back to the home’s establishment over 80 years ago. Robert Milling, the brains behind the restoration, believes “there will be some interesting stories told when we’re finished with the property” (Serebrin). It is safe to say that part of Maison O’Brien House’s charm rests in the decades of adventures.
As a history lover, you may be enthralled by the stories the O’Brien Chelsea has to offer. Starting March 30th 2018, reservations will be accepted for Friday to Sunday. As of May 10th, 2018, the hotel and restaurant will be open for full bookings.
Reservations can be made by calling 1-833-777-1930 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org