The following information is
gleaned from The Aylmer Road - An Illustrated History,
by Diane Aldred.
Gatineau Bus Line owner, Alfred Aubry
purchased the Hull Country Club from Aylmer Mayor George
Nash in 1926. Aubry and his partner, Alexis Carrière
changed the name to Gatineau Golf and Country Club in
1929, and hired golf professional, Gus Mullen to design
the course. A stone house, built by the original
property owner, William Grimes, was used as the
clubhouse for golfers, and an enormous, barn-like,
wooden structure was built behind the house as a night
club for dancing and entertainment. The golf club closed
annually in November, but the night club, which could
hold 1,200 people, stayed open year round.
In 1939, the
business was bought by three partners: Joe Saxe, owner
of Saxe Shoes on Sparks Street; Hymie Kurt, of Evans and
Kurt, stationers in Ottawa; and Harold Copeland, of Hull
Iron and Steel. Saxe bought out his partners ten years
In its heyday, the night club claimed to have
"the second best show to Broadway". In fact, the stars
couldn't have been bigger: Louis Armstrong, Cab
Calloway, Oscar Peterson, the Mills Brothers, the
Inkspots, Josephine Baker, Duke Ellington, Lionel
Hampton and Dizzy Gillespie among them. During the '40’s
and '50’s, "The Gatineau" was a top supper club drawing
patrons from miles around to eat, enjoy the
entertainment, and dance to band music.
In a spectacular
blaze that could be seen for miles, the club burned to
the ground on September 24, 1960. The rebuilt club was
run more as a banquet hall than a night club.
the Saxe family sold the golf course property to G.J.
Richcraft Group of Companies, one
of Ottawa’s largest home builders, bought the property
in 1984 to construct a housing development in conjunction
with a redesigned, 18-hole golf course and new
Gatineau Golf and Country
Club clubhouse and rear night club, circa 1935.
The iconic Cab Calloway,
Josephine Baker and Louis Armstrong were among the
entertainers who performed at “The Gatineau” during the
'40's and '50’s.