The Maison O’Neill (O’Neill House), built around 1860, is situated at 3160 Wilfred-Hamel boulevard in Québec City. Thomas John (Jack) O’Neill’s daughters inhabited the House until the summer of 1991. It was then that the city of Québec purchased the House and its vast property, with the aim of opening this remarkable domain for public use and providing access to the river.
Even though its original dimensions were reduced following urbanisation of the surrounding area, the property still bears witness to the large agricultural domains that surrounded Québec City towards the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. Situated along the Saint Charles River, the property extends over an area of approximately 1 700 000 square feet.
The Comité de sauvegarde de la Maison O’Neill et de son site (Committee for the Preservation of the O’Neill House and its site) was formed in 1999. It adopted as a mission the exploitation of the site, making it accessible to the public as a municipal property for recreational purposes, while respecting the natural and architectural elements of its rural agricultural heritage. The wonderful location of the domain next to the Saint Charles River and vastness of its territory make possible an interesting recreational and touristic development for families from local neighbourhoods and the surrounding region.
A non-profit organisation, as defined under Part III of the Loi sur les compagnies (Law on Companies), succeeded the Committee in the spring of 2002. More specifically, it was on May 22 that the Société de la mise en valeur de la maison O’Neill et de son site (Society for the Exploitation of the O’Neill House and Site) received its charter.