We are celebrating our 25th anniversary with a spotlight on what makes us so different and successful. Then, we realized that we’ve never shared the history of Pavillon.  

For example, did you know that Pavillon is much older than 25 years?

It’s true! Pavillon was an established addiction treatment center in Canada long before it moved to the U.S.  Here is the story of how it all began.

New Beginnings

Established by Gilles and Liliane Desjardins, Pavillon was originally called Pavillon Gilles Desjardins located in Val David, Quebec, Canada. Co-founder Liliane is a Certified Clinical addiction specialist responsible for developing a new approach to addiction treatment called the Desjardins Unified Model of Addiction Treatment.

With Gilles, she helped run the center for 24 years until the team decided to move to the U.S. During that time, Tom Edwards and a good friend of his, Chuck Hays, visited the Montreal location for addiction treatment. At the time, Chuck needed treatment, and Tom went along as his support. But little did Tom know that it was going to be a healing journey for him as well.

After successful treatment, both Tom and Chuck stayed with Pavillon as alumni and decided to help people at the center. When it was time for the center to move, Tom and Chuck helped raise money to make it possible.

Pavillon Moves to the U.S.

Before moving to the U.S., Pavillon was already treating many people from the states. The move was natural and a good one for the team.

Tom was part of the team tasked with finding a new location for the center in the states. He remembers the trip clearly. On one drive with co-founder Liliane, they drove up the beautiful mountains in North Carolina and stopped right next to a waterfall.

Liliane came out of the van and looked around at the beautiful property. She saw the waterfall, the nearby Oaktree, and instantly realized they had found the “spot.”

Pavillon’s Evolution

Initially, the Pavillon grounds included the primary building and the alumni house. Over the years, we expanded the facilities into new areas.

Today, we have 50 primary treatment beds at Pavillon. Our facilities include areas for young adult males, extended care for men, extended care for women, and the Hayes Lodge, which houses family members of patients for the Family Program.

Spiritual Foundations

Tom attributes the success of the center to the way the founders addressed the spiritual aspects of recovery.

 “It is a spiritual program, and they (founders) were not afraid to say that it was,” said Tom. “Is spirituality part of the 12 Steps? Yes, but it was so much deeper than that.”

Lillian remained active as the program director for Pavillon up until her retirement in 2007.  She moved to Austin, Texas, that year with her husband, Gilles.

Today, Pavillon prides itself on offering a holistic approach to recovery that includes the mind, body, and spirit.