The Baroness of the bistro
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Too few people know that Fort-Coulonge is home to one of the most precious diamonds in the Outaouais. Jane Toller, owner of the Bryson’s Bistro du Bucheron and the Spruceholme Inn, has made it her mission to make you fall in love with the Pontiac. Beware! She is a very determined woman!
A GREAT-GRANDDAUGHTER’S LEGACY
Jane Toller’s life changed completely when her father died in 2007. After 35 years in Toronto, the businesswoman and politician returned to the Pontiac to take over the inn that had belonged to her great-grandfather. The woman who had left Fort-Coulonge at the age of 18 expanded the inn from five to forty rooms. She and her team dismantled the barn built in 1850 by her ancestor, George Bryson Sr., relocated it a few steps from the inn, and opened it as the Bistro du Bûcheron.
“I wanted to create a special place for local residents, and to highlight the legacy of the lumbermen who built the area,” says Jane. Every time she makes a decision, she asks herself two questions: How will the community benefit from it? How will it honour my family?
The inn and the bistro clearly demonstrate that Jane has been successful all down the line. Some nights, the restaurant’s 84 seats are filled by visiting families, local workers, and entrepreneurs dreaming of new projects for the sector. From the decorative wood carvings at the entrance to the bistro to the tools that recall the hard work of the lumberjacks and the menu featuring local products, everything is designed to provide an authentic experience.
Jane Toller’s ultimate goal being “to attract the whole world to the Pontiac,” she wants to charm tourists into settling there for life. After a meal at the Bistro du Bûcheron and a night at the Spruceholme Inn, you may decide that her plan isn’t as crazy as it sounds!
Discover more inspiring profiles on our Ambassadors page!