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A village within a village

To accommodate visitors, Gilles Mathieu built some housing that he rented to friends, artists and tourists. Raymond Lévesque, who presented his famous and outrageous reviews, stayed there for entire summers. The log-cabin style houses formed a new kind of motel called Les poutres d’antan.

Black and white photo of Marie-Josée Longchamp and Gilles Mathieu in front of his residence on La Butte grounds.

Gilles Mathieu and Marie-Josée Longchamp in front of his residence


A restaurant provided meals and organized thematic dinners and many a memorable party. Other buildings were also being put up on the site to provide guests with an up-to-date cultural experience.

Colour photo of the exterior of La Butte à Mathieu. Several buildings provide accommodation for tourists. A carriage is installed in the middle of a walkway.

Lots of people!


During the day, craft workshops were organized for children. Gilles Mathieu hired young artists Claude Sarrazin, Hélène de Montigny and Claude Lafortune who would become famous painters, ceramists and paper sculptors. The production from these budding artists was displayed on the walls of the Butte. Infants and youngsters were invited to shows by Bobino, Fanfan Dédé and Monsieur Surprise, the TV idols of the 1960s and 70s. Children could also visit a farm and a stable.

Black and white photo of a woman and a man in a horse-drawn carriage at a wedding at La Butte.

A wedding celebrated at the Butte


Gilles Mathieu was a collector of antiques and would embellish any building with typical Québec-made furniture, artwork and decor. If you have ever decorated your apartment with a checkered tablecloth, a candle stuck in a wine bottle, some fish netting and a burlap curtain, it must be because you’ve been influenced by Gilles Mathieu and his Butte!

Colour photo of the main room of La Butte. Several tables with checkered tablecloths are set up in front of the main stage.

The main hall of the Butte. In the background, the scene. On each side, two mezzanines with coffee tables and cushions.