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Arthabaskaville, a Refuge

Ah! These days so far from Arthabaska, so far that they seem like a dream; these days in Arthabaska, I would be happy to relive! [translation]

– Letter from Wilfrid to Mrs. Pacaud, 1918

Many times during his life, the village of Arthabaskaville would become a place of rest for the politician. The village was quiet, the air pure and it offered the much needed space for Laurier to rest. City life undermined his health. Wood and coal heating caused air pollution, refuse was managed poorly and crowded housing contaminated the air.  

Although he was a Member of Parliament in Ottawa, he returned to Arthabaskaville for peace and for rest. His entire life would be divided between the intense political life of Ottawa and the serenity of his home on Rue de l’Église.

Arthabaskaville also provided the private circle of his colleagues, Lavergne and Pacaud. Evenings spent at the Lauriers were commonplace, although Wilfrid was far from fond of the niceties required by his status. He surrounded himself with artists such as Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté, Roméo Poisson and a few others. Some artists even created pieces for him.

Framed painting of the church and homes of the village of Arthabaska near the top of the canvas with the sky overhead. Below the village, a field crossed by a river. The yellow, orange and green tones are indicative of the onset of fall. The gold-coloured frame features ribbon molding trim.