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Villa Les Rochers: Summer Home of Sir John A. and Lady Agnes Macdonald

Fourteen summers in St. Patrick, Quebec between 1871 and 1890

On July 1st 1867, Scottish immigrant Sir John A. Macdonald became the first Prime Minister of the newly united Dominion of Canada. For 14 summers between 1871 and 1890, the Macdonalds left the capital city of Ottawa for the restorative surroundings of Villa Les Rochers, a house in the Parish of St. Patrick (known today as Old St. Patrick), on the south shore of the Saint Lawrence River four miles west of Rivière-du-Loup. Little has been revealed about these summers, until now.

During your visit, discover hidden facets of the Macdonald’s family life that have been little studied. We wish you a very pleasant stay with the Macdonald family at Villa Les Rochers!

This exhibit includes:

  • rare artefacts;
  • descriptions of daily life;
  • images of archival documents;
  • photos from public and private collections;
  • watercolour paintings by Lady Agnes Macdonald; and
  • exclusive views inside Villa Les Rochers.


Black and white portrait of Sir John A. Macdonald, a middle-aged man with dark hair, posing in a chair in a studio, his arms folded across his chest.

Sir John A. Macdonald photographed in an Ottawa studio by James Topley in 1872.

A head-and-shoulders portrait of Lady Agnes Macdonald, a young woman of about 30 to 35 years old, her dark hair pulled tightly into an arrangement of braids pinned behind her head. She wears a buttoned-up shirt, a cameo at her throat and a necklace the details of which are indistinguishable. Her expression is a mixture of thoughtful and stern.

Undated calling card photo of Lady Agnes Macdonald, by William Notman








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Canadian Heritage of Quebec