Set in stunning grounds in Montreal on the shores of Lake St. Louis, FOREST & STREAM CLUB is a haven where members are invited to experience luxury at its finest – while still feeling completely at home.
Imagine stepping back in time to a more gracious age, an age where impeccable service, luxurious furnishings, fine dining and exclusive wines could be taken for granted. An age where elegant salons furnished with luxuriously thick carpets and tasteful ornaments provided a welcome refuge.
Fortunately, to experience this cocooning luxury you won’t need the services of a time machine. All it takes is a 20-minute drive from downtown Montreal to reach Dorval, a suburb of Montreal that is said to be one of the oldest towns in Canada. In the 19th century, Dorval attracted many wealthy families from Montreal, who wanted a summerhouse in a leafy area that was still close to their city residence and place of work. It is here that the Forest & Stream Club is located, situated on what is possibly the most beautiful estate found along the shores of Lake St. Louis. The centrepiece of the property is an ivy-covered mansion dating back to 1887, set in beautifully kept grounds and gardens.
The club was originally founded in 1884 in Mapleband, a smaller cottage on the other side of Montreal Island, by Frank Stephen with several friends and associates. The charter stated that its purpose was “for the encouragement of driving, boating, fishing and other sports, and for the maintenance of a country place for social gathering and purposes of amusement”. Frank Stephen gave Mapleband to the club, along with all its contents and silverware; the latter was fortuitously engraved with the letters “FS”, which happened to be the initials of both Stephen and the new club. The Forest & Stream Club moved to its present location in Dorval in 1888, after purchasing a property from the heirs of Alfred Brown, a former railway director, who had made sure that his friends could visit him without undue inconvenience by having a railway station built nearby. This station, Pine Beach Station, is still in operation.
Forest & Stream Club, which is one of Canada’s premier member-owned private clubs, prides itself on combining the ambiance of old-world tradition with modern amenities required by today’s discerning member. Set in beautifully maintained grounds, offering tranquil outdoor seating under trees with a view of the lake, it’s little wonder that the club is one of the most popular venues in and around Montreal for weddings and corporate functions. The spacious clubhouse has numerous rooms and suites, and if that isn’t enough, there’s always the lakeside garden with a truly breath-taking view over the lake – which is strictly speaking a widening of the Saint Lawrence River – to enjoy. In any season, this view is magical.
The club is generally open for the use of members and reciprocal guests five days a week, from Tuesday to Saturday. It prides itself in providing fine dining and innovative menus: the restaurant serves lunch and dinner, as well as a selection of canapés as the ideal accompaniment for a drink from the bar with guests. Most dietary requirements can be catered for with advance notification. As well as having an impressive choice of fine wines, Forest & Stream also offers a unique feature: a private cellar for members, so they may enjoy their own wines at the club.
The staff, under the watchful and expert eye of chief steward Tuan Ha – who has been with Forest & Stream for over 25 years – are committed to ensuring that guests feel completely at home, providing services that include suggesting wine pairings or mixing the perfect whiskey sour.
The club’s calendar of events is very diverse; it hosts more than 40 member events per year; recent themes have included a lobster night, an oyster festival, Downton Abbey and British pub nights, Robbie Burns, and the club’s legendary Christmas buffet. Private rooms are available for meetings, presentations, negotiations and board retreats. Special menus for breakfast, lunch and Partner Clubs working meeting sessions are offered, and audio-visual equipment, projectors, screens and TVs can be provided. There are no bedrooms in the clubhouse, but there is a wide choice of hotels in the vicinity. The club is also conveniently located for access to the city’s main airport, which is a 10-minute drive away.
As befits the elegance of the surroundings, Forest & Stream has a dress code: gentlemen are required to wear a jacket, a tie is optional. Ladies are expected to dress appropriately and jeans are prohibited. Briefcases, mobile phones and business papers are permitted in meeting rooms only. Reciprocal members are asked to present a letter of recommendation for the manager of their club. If you are considering visiting our partner club in Montreal, ask our member service to provide a letter.
As an additional perk, the Club’s grounds also house the local history museum. Located in the former coach house, the Dorval Museum of Local History and Heritage offers a combination of multimedia installations and exhibitions to give visitors insight into the history of Dorval and the region. (Open Thursday to Sunday). Members and reciprocal guests can also enjoy a round of golf on the nearby private Beaconsfield Golf Club, which has a beautiful, mature course.