Marie-Joséphine Hartford, heiress to the A&P (Atlantic & Pacific tea company) stores fortune, regularly visits St. Sauveur and its surrounding areas. When she is in the region, she stays at Nicolò degli Albizzi's pension. A&P supermarkets were privately owned by the Hartford family and were at one point the largest retail empire in the U.S. with 16 000 stores. In the 50's, A&P was the company that sold the most goods in the world! In 2007, A&P had a revenue of 6.9 billion dollars and was considered an American icon. In 2010, The Wall Street Journal said that ''A&P was as well-known as McDonalds or Google is today'' and that A&P was ''Walmart before Walmart''.
She has the habit of following Nicolò during his cross-country skiing escapades on local lands. During one of these excursions in 1934, the «Marquis» brought her to the summit of Mont Gabriel. She instantly fell under the charm and asked him to buy the land in her name.
In 1936, she gives Victor Nymark the task of constructing an Inn with a very large common room and 16 rooms.
Construction of Mont Gabriel Lodge
Marie-Joséphine Hartford and her guest while skiing
During this period, the main reason of this construction is to have a place to relax after a day of bobsleigh, alpine or cross-country skiing. Marie-Joséphine's personnal life is tumultuous and after two children, Nuella and Coloombus, and three husbands, she decides to sell the property to Mont Gabriel Resort Ltd.
Marie-Joséphine accompanied by Humphrey Bogart's sisters, Frances and Katherine
Nuala Hartford Pell (daughter of Marie-Joséphine Hartford) accompanied by Jackie Kennedy
Mont Gabriel Resort Ltd.
Mont Gabriel Club
In December 1941, a group of business men from Piedmont aquire the whole Mont Gabriel complex and surrounding land. This transaction was facilitated by Clarence Wentworth Honey, hotel manager in the Laurentians. During this period, only a ''select and priviledged group of customers were accepted. Not anyone was welcomed.'' In 1944, documents concerning Mont Gabriel Resort Ltd revealed that the owners were in fact a group of four american women including Anne Clark Scott Martindell, american ambassador.
Anne Clarke Scott Martindell
Activites on site were concentrated around Alpine and cross-country skiing, tennis, swimming and social events.
George Cole Scott
Almost the entire site is sold to George Cole Scott, Anne's ex-husband, when he returned from Second World War.
Mont Gabriel Club
Herbert John O'Connell
In 1951, H.J. O'Connell buys the Mont Gabriel mountain and most of its installations. He keeps buying surrounding land in order to develop the territory. Being a good friend of Maurice Duplessis, many favors were granted to him such as the deviation of Highway 15 so that it passes directly in front of the Ski hill!
Great equestrian, H.J. O'Connell's outings were always a show!
Hunting on Mont Gabriel's grounds
Under many pressures, Mont Gabriel even became its own town in 1956. H.J. O'Connell was unanimously voted mayor of the Town of Mont Gabriel. The commercial and real estate of the land is in full swing. O'Connell made many notable changes by developing the ski hill, the hotel as well as the surrounding land. Also, he is in part responsible of creating the excellent reputation of the hotel with events like fashion shows and national tennis tournaments.
Donald M. Mumford & Raymond Waleau
Family of goats grooming Mont Gabriel's roof
In 1960, Donald M. Mumford purchased the town of Mont Gabriel from H.J. O'Connell Ltd. At the time, Mumford was President and General Manager of the Queen Elizabeth Hotel and decided to mix his passion for skiing and his love for hotel management. He added two new wings, the Marquise and Tyrol, for an added 110 rooms. Raymond Waleau became owner in August 1970 and proceeded to the construction of many townhouses.
Queen Elizabeth II, Raymond Waleau and Donald Mumford at the unveiling of the Queen Elizabeth Hotel plans.
Hotel Mont Gabriel during the 1970s
From 1960 to 1975, Mont Gabriel was the priviledged destination for many national, political, cultural or social celebrities! Notorious visitors such as Pierre-Elliott Trudeau, Robert Bourrassa, Ted Kennedy, Caroline Kennedy, Jackie Kennedy, Claude Ryan and many more!
The 1970s: Period of important visits!
Pierre-Elliott Trudeau's visit
Claude Ryan's visit
September 20th 1975, Laurent Dupras becomes owner of the assets of Mont Gabriel. His contributions were very important for the resort. On the ski level, he installed many ski lifts and attracted world renowned races. In regards to the Hotel, he added a magnificent indoor pool, spa, sauna, bar as well as an 18 hole mountain golf course.
Laurent Dupras and his wife
Golf Mont Gabriel, 1992
Tidan Group - Mike Yuval & Jack Sofer
On February 1st 1998, Tidan Group purchases Hotel Mont Gabriel. From the start, they chose to add a spa and to modernise the installations with a major wave of renovations. As well as adding many meeting rooms and condos on the golf, a project of 70 condos with a breathtaking vue of the Saint-Sauveur Valley is in the making. The Tidan Group owns commercial and industrial buildings of more than 3 000 000 quare feet, appartment buildings, an important hotel collection and much more! In 2016, Martin B. Lavallée became an associate in order to help the site grow!
Jack Sofer & Mike Yuval at the Mount Stephen Hotel's opening