The Ottawa River runs south toward Montreal, where it flows into the St. Lawrence Seaway. The banks of the river are tree lined with a few small towns scattered along the way. The eastern bank is French-speaking Quebec and the western bank is English-speaking Ontario. About halfway between Ottawa and Montreal, Chateau Montebello lies on the Quebec shore. It is an upscale resort, housed in the largest log structure in the world, set on the river's edge of the 65,000 acres of property.
Even the marina building is constructed of logs. Boaters are afforded all the same amenities as guests staying in the large lodge. And, there is a seemingly endless list of activities and services.
The lodge has five wings arranged in a star pattern. It was built in 1930, at the beginning of the Great Depression, with a labor crew of 3500 men. This image is the end of one of the wings.
Where a sixth wing could have fit, a large restaurant and meeting hall is nestled between two of the wings. The Last Dance crew was fortunate to have been on the property on a Sunday for the reservations-only Sunday Brunch - an amazing display of delicious and artistically displayed food from every category.
The center of the building has a huge rotunda anchored by a six-sided fireplace and surrounded by two mezzanines.
The fireplace rises six stories high through a hexagonal roof structured with intricately formed log beams.
The list of activities ranges from the normal resort-fare of swimming pools, saunas, and massages, to some activities unusual for Florida natives, such as ice fishing and dog sledding. This sign lists the winter activities that are headquartered in one of the buildings, but only references a few of the cold climate offerings.
This outbuilding housed the unique resort activity most appealing to Glen. Sadly, it was not operating during Last Dance's visit. The Land Rover experience.
There is a video display in the rotunda explaining the Land Rover experience. It is an off-road driving school covering a wide variety of terrains.
Learning to drive sideways on ice would be a blast. But, summer is the wrong season for that experience. Will have to return.