Wrought iron gates for Celine Dion’s island paradise
Céline’s island paradise
Singer’s 24,000-square-foot residence north of Montreal can be yours, for almost $30 million
By Robert Galbraith
Two huge gated fences and a guard house maintained by a 24-hour-a-day security officer stand at the entranceway. The property is virtually impregnable if you’re not invited in. Sotheby’s
Photograph by: Robert J. Galbraith , Montreal Gazette
Singer Céline Dion and her husband/manager René Angélil have put their Quebec mansion up for sale, saying her concert schedule meant the fabulous island retreat was seldom used.
At $29,655,500, including all the furnishings, the Île Gagnon property is hailed as the most expensive property ever listed on the Quebec housing market. Located about 25 kilometres north of downtown Montreal the secluded 19-acre paradise is surrounded on all sides by the Riviere des Mille Îles. A short stone causeway allows access from the mainland to the island, where you pass through two huge gated fences and a guardhouse manned 24 hours a day. The property is virtually impregnable if you’re not invited in.Once on the island, you get the sense of being in a well-groomed park or a tastefully landscaped forest. A short drive down the crushed stone driveway, the forest opens up and to reveal the first glimpse the mansion, in all its grey stone glory.
First-century Roman statues and other intricately carved 2,000-year-old artifacts adorn the landscape, close to the residence’s entranceway. “At one time, there were 200 people working on the house during its building,” says Joseph Montanaro, Quebec broker with Sotheby’s International Realty. “It took two years to build and was completed in 2001.”
The three-storey French Normandy-styled château is a modern, private castle, topped with a slate roof and surrounded by glorious landscaping features.
Entering the grand foyer of the 24,000-square-foot residence, one is dazzled, feeling at first as though you are entering a super-luxurious opera house. An exquisite, polished wood and wrought-iron staircase winds upwards, opening onto three levels.
The first floor is largely sheathed in fine white and grey marble detailing and custom Persian rugs. Overhead, a lavish onyx-and-gold gilded chandelier hangs from the coffered ceiling. The place is a Canadian version of Buckingham Palace or Château Versailles, albeit on a smaller scale. But the entrance hall is just a teaser for what is to follow.
The first floor features a formal dining room that seats 18 on silk upholstered chairs and oversized windows draped in gold silk. There is also a smaller, informal dining room for intimate family dinners. The main living room, with its ceiling a hand-painted blue sky and white clouds, is made for entertaining guests. And the custom “La Cornue” hardwood-panelled kitchen features three granite-topped islands, a 62-inch’ cooktop, four prep sinks, built-in rotisserie, three ovens, four fridges and an Elektra espresso machine.
Flooring includes marble and custom wood with herringbone and basket-weave patterns that incorporate intricate figurative and floral inlays.
to be continued