Mathieu Courtemanche aka Les Barbares

Mon Côté Laval
by Tourisme Laval

From barbershops and corner restaurants to public markets, neighborhood microbreweries and trippy activities, discover the favorites of proud Lavallois who love their suburbs.

Take a leap into their world and explore their "Laval side" in reading and video.

Are you ready to discover Laval's hidden treasures?


Mathieu Courtemanche has over 15 years' experience in the world of hairdressing and barbering. A proud Laval native, he had the good fortune to travel to Europe to be trained by the world's best, "the Schorem barbers". Today, he is the owner of Les Barbares, a company that already boasts five salons in Quebec, as well as a range of products, Laurier Montréal.

Credit: Dominic Renzetti

Credit: Dominic Renzetti

Tell me about yourself
First and foremost, I'm a passionate and determined barber. I opened
Les Barbares five years ago in the Sainte-Rose district and recently launched my own line of hair care products.

What's your hidden Laval treasure?
The Boating Club : a friendly, festive restaurant in Sainte-Rose. As soon as you walk through the doors, you feel right at home. You can feel the passion and energy of the owners. It's a warm place where you can enjoy a real experience... and not just for the food. We come here to have a good time, whether with family, friends or lovers.

Would you say you're a "regular here"?
When the restaurant first opened, I was here every night. Today, unfortunately, I don't come as often as I'd like, because I work too much!

My mother and I come here for Sunday brunch, which is a must. And sometimes, after work, we end the day here with my colleagues and friends. That's one of the qualities of the Boating Club: being able to bring together all age groups under one roof.

Why do you keep coming back to the Boating Club?
It's simply comforting. I feel like I'm in a culinary all-inclusive. The team is friendly, welcoming and always smiling. The plate presentation is amazing, the service is impeccable and the wine cellar is incredible. What more can you say?

Tell me about the owners
When I celebrated the official opening of the first Barbares, located a stone's throw from here, there were 150 people in attendance, and the people from the Boating Club, including Gary Sousa and Francis Lorrain, to name but a few, were the first to help us by lending us their parking lot to accommodate all these people. The connection was instantaneous. I felt like I was with old friends. They're just perfect!

If you had to introduce someone to your hidden treasure, what would you say?
It's my favorite. You come here for the experience, but also for the staff. The staff are proud of the reputation of the place, and do their utmost to ensure that customers have a unique experience.

If you had to introduce Laval to a foreigner in a few words, what would you say?
It's my hood. It's balance and comfort. Laval has all the qualities of a big city, but without the pressure, stress and traffic. And the Sainte-Rose district is a bit like our Plateau Mont-Royal, with the energy of young entrepreneurs.

Some highlights:

  • What Mathieu eats at the Boating Club: homemade gnocchi
  • Her favourite cocktail: a Tom Collins
  • He has styled the world's biggest stars at festivals such as Osheaga and the Montreal F1 Grand Prix.
  • Customized salon training