• John Jantak

Pointe-du-Moulin windmill undergoing major renovation work


The iconic windmill at the Parc-Historique-de-la-Pointe-du-Moulin along the shoreline of Lac Saint-Louis in Notre-Dame-de-l’île-Perrot (NDIP) is undergoing a major renovation to its roof which has been removed from the stone base. A large tarpaulin currently covers the opening to prevent rain from entering the structure.

The restoration work is being done by the provincial government’s Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC) which manages several historic buildings throughout the province. For the city, the windmill is an important part of its history and identity and is a prominent part of the city’s logo.

Big part of city’s heritage

“It’s very important for us,” Mayor Danie Deschênes told The Journal. “It’s a big part of our city and heritage. SODEC is the not-for-profit organization that manages it but Notre-Dame has always been a partner. All the funds that go to SODEC which owns Pointe-du-Moulin go through the city.”

Built in 1702, the windmill is one of 20 documented historic windmills in Quebec.

“It’s a big job,” said Deschênes. “They’re redoing the roof but they will also be putting on the new windmill blades. Every year SODEC invests money in the Pointe-du-Moulin. They are very good at restoring everything the way it should be.”

PHOTO BY CARMEN MARIE FABIO

The over 300-year-old windmill in Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot is currently undergoing an extensive renovation to its roof and the addition of new blades and while that particular structure is off limits to visitors, the Parc-Historique-de-la-Pointe-du-Moulin and its other buildings are open to the public.

Late start

The renovation work only began in late spring because the construction industry shut down in mid-March. “We’re not sure when the windmill will be reopened because the renovation work started later than it was supposed to because of COVID-19 which prevented the workers from beginning the renovation work earlier,” said Deschênes.

This isn’t the first time renovation work has been done at the historic park. “Last year SODEC did major work on the main buildings too and this year they’re doing other things. We only know what will be done when they’re ready to tell us because they own the park,” Deschênes added.

Even though the windmill is closed, all other regular activities are taking place and visitors have complete access to the grounds and other buildings at the park.

Park still accessible

“The park is still accessible and it’s actually quite busy. There are staff that do some animation outside as much as possible in respect to the COVID-19 situation and the city is maintaining the property. We also have our nautical club that is run by the city and people are using the kayaks and everything else that’s available to our citizens,” said Deschênes.

Entrance to the park is free for all visitors while the renovation work takes place. Visitors are reminded to take all the necessary precautions to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19.

Enjoying the natural green spaces

“I think people know by now what they have to do. Enjoying and doing outdoor activities is really the best thing so we’re hoping that a visit to the Pointe-du-Moulin will be a good thing for the population,” said Deschênes.

“There are a lot of people from Vaudreuil-Soulanges, Montreal and Ontario who also come to the park and we’re glad to have them come and visit,” she added. “It’s great that we have these open spaces to help out people who may not have a backyard so that they can come and enjoy the natural green spaces.”

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