Want to run a boutique hotel in Gatineau Park? Now's your chance

The NCC is now looking for a new tenant for a historic hotel in Gatineau Park less than two years after it reopened.

O'Brien House back up for lease after NCC paid nearly $4M to renovate historic mansion

O'Brien House is in the heart of Gatineau Park, a 15-minute drive from downtown Ottawa. (NCC)

Less than two years after Gatineau Park's historic O'Brien House reopened as a boutique hotel and event space, the National Capital Commission is looking for a new tenant.

The owners of the Wakefield Mill took over the property, which overlooks Meech Lake, in March 2018 after the NCC spent $3.9 million renovating the stately building. In September 2016, the NCC said it was a five-year lease.

Reached by phone Wednesday morning, Wakefield Mill general manager Robert Milling declined to say why the lease ended early or whose decision it was, saying his team is focusing on running their original business.

According to a Facebook post in July, O'Brien House wasn't making enough money through hotel bookings, and would focus instead on events.


The last event currently booked at O'Brien House is on Halloween, Milling said.

The main house was built in 1930 for Renfrew, Ont., businessman Ambrose O'Brien, who founded the National Hockey Association, the predecessor of the NHL, and was a founding owner of the Montreal Canadiens. 

Renovations on O'Brien House were completed in 2018. (NCC)

The home was purchased by the federal government in 1964 and used as a conference centre, but had been vacant since the late 1980s and had fallen into disrepair.

According to the NCC's lease fact sheet, the annual rent for O'Brien House is $150,000, or $12,500 per month, plus eight per cent of revenues over $1 million.

It's available as of Nov. 1.

According to an email from an NCC spokesperson, the search for a new tenant is already generating interest within the hospitality industry.

The NCC's board approved plans in September 2016 for O'Brien House on Meech Lake in Gatineau Park to be restored and turned into a boutique hotel. (National Capital Commission)

With files from Jennifer Beard


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