The area is enchanting. A headland which dominates the Lac Saint-Pierre and offers an exceptional view on this actual inland sea settles in the Saint-Laurent River, in the heart of Quebec. It is not surprising if, long before the arrival of the first Frenchmen, the Atikamekw Indians settled their summer camps here, hence the name given by the French: The Native American peak.
In 1738, a village was built under the name of La Pointe-du-Lac, 150 years before the Auberge du Lac Saint-Pierre opened. The couple Jean-Guy Morissette and Gisèle Poliquin was well aware of this area since they often visited Gisèle’s parents in La Pointe-du-Lac.
In 1920 a holiday resort was set up on the inn’s site, which included a restaurant, a ballroom on the river level and many furnished cabins to accommodate tourists. The promoters called it Tomoqua Beach from the name of the last Native American to have lived in this village, Marie Tomoqua, converted to the catholic religion. After years of business, Tomaqua Beach closed in 1960 and was an abandoned area until 1986, when Gisèle Poliquin’s father purchased the grounds and the old, rundown buildings.
Back then, the Mauricie region was not a touristic one like the Laurentides, Charlevoix and Estrie, who were starting to grow. Visitors only stopped in Trois-Rivières to have something to eat on the way. Mr Poliquin convinced his daughter and his son-in-law to set up a high standard inn which would become a touristic destination. They were all motivated by their desire to share their passion for the Lac Saint-Pierre, and for its breathtaking beauty.
This is how the couple Jean-Guy Morissette and Gisèle Poliquin proceeded, in 1987, to first clear the land that had been abandoned for many years, and then have plans created by young architects so that their inn couldhave the lovely appearance of a manor which matched the landscape offered by the Native American peak.
The big adventure and the important labour started for the couple, in their forties, who had a great challenge to accomplish. They wanted to offer a superior quality in accommodation, a restaurant which would distinguish itself by the originality of its fine dining, from French inspiration, and a warm welcome for the customers by managing the inn on their own, nonetheless surrounding themselves, from the start, with a qualified staff at the front desk, the restaurant and in the kitchen, since they did not have any experience in hospitality or restaurant industry.
They did not have to search for a long time to find the name they would give to their inn. Since the Lac Saint-Pierre was their vacation spot for many years now, and since it was this landscape that brought them to offer it to tourists, what other name could they have given to their inn except the Auberge du Lac Saint-Pierre. They officially opened in September 1988, trembling with worries for their future success.
The Auberge du Lac Saint-Pierre celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2013. “By striving for excellence,” always said by the innkeepers to their staff, “we are never on the wrong track. We continuously have to remember that we want to ensure a fulfilling and unique experience which will delight those who come here for a vacation, a one-on-one diner, or a productive conference.”
Jean-Guy Morissette et Gisèle Poliquin
Founders of the Auberge du Lac St-Pierre