Historical background

On 12 May 1840, it was decided to create the parish of St-Irénée. It was incorporated as a municipality fifteen years later. This riverside small town later became the center of attraction of Charlevoix.

The exceptional site of the holiday cottages Le Sablon has been chosen by the Honorable Joseph Lavergne, judge of the superior court of Ottawa and colleague of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, to build in 1902 the «Villa des Sablons». It was attended by many personalities including Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Prime Minister of the time, Sir Rodolphe Forget, businessman and member of parliament for Charlevoix, and Sir Adolphe- Basile Routhier, a judge and poet, author of the lyrics of our national anthem, to name a few.

Around the same time, obviously delighted by this place, Sir Rodolphe Forget and Sir Adolphe- Basile Routhier settled in its immediate vicinity. Their properties were sold in 1945 to the Little Franciscans of Mary of Baie Saint-Paul to serve the education of young girls for over 30 years. In 1977, a non-profit organization initiated by the late Françoys Bernier acquired these properties to establish the Domaine Forget, International Academy of Music and Dance, recognized worldwide.


One can read on the website of Domaine Forget that the Villa des Sablons, Judge Lavergne property, had also been sold to the Little Franciscans of Mary in 1945. Still, the Villa des Sablons was acquired by the family Jean-Guy Alain in 1986 to make an inn, Auberge des Sablons, recognized as a jewel of the built heritage of Charlevoix. The hostel was the winner of the Grand Prix du Tourisme in 1988 and 1991. In 1999, the chef Alain Guillemant and wife Brigitte Dubois became joint owners. On February 7, 2003, fire ended 101 years of precious memories and confidences received by its walls.

The present real estate complex of Le Sablon, finished building in 2008, broke with the tradition of a catering accommodation. However, it perpetuates the century old vocation of St-Irenees’s internationally recognized tourist accomodation.