Located on the south shore of the lower St. Lawrence River, Métis-sur-Mer (also referred to as Little Métis or simply Métis) was a summer retreat frequented by many of Montreal's English elite from the second half of the nineteenth century through the first half of the twentieth. Connected to Montreal and Quebec City by a branch line of the Intercolonial Railway, as well as by water, the village boasted not only the private summer homes and cottages of the English elite, but several large hotels by the early twentieth century.

Many of those who vacationed at Métis were members of McGill's University's faculty and the institution's benefactors. Summer residents included the Dawson family, the Harringtons, Trenholmes, Pecks, Fleets, and Redpaths. Thus, it was natural that Gwendolen Marjorie Howard vacationed there for several Summers in the early twentieth century with many of her friends who were either directly or indirectly connected to McGill University and the English elite of Quebec City and Montreal.

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