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Maison Robillard restoration in Ste. Anne’s to be completed by early fall

By John Jantak



THE JOURNAL FILE PHOTO/JOHN JANTAK

Following a fire in 2012, the historic Maison Robillard in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue fell into a state of disrepair after sitting abandoned.


The end of summer or beginning of autumn is the tentative time frame being set for the opening of the restored Maison Robillard historic building which will serve as a chalet to welcome visitors to the L’Anse-à-l'Orme nature reserve in the north sector of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue.

Mayor Paola Hawa made the announcement during the Monday evening council meeting March 15 in response to a question that was submitted by a resident before the start of the session asking how long it will take to have a new roof built and restore the exterior masonry work to what’s left of the remaining exterior structure.

Plans and specifications

A more precise time frame for when the project will be completed will be determined when the city receives the final plans and specifications for the restoration project which will include planning for the project, design, evaluating the cost and determining what can and can’t be done, said Hawa.

“This is what we have to do when we go to tender before the actual work is done,” Hawa told The Journal. “It’s a phase we do for almost every type of engineering contract and this is where we are with the Maison Robillard.”

While the exterior masonry work will be salvaged and restored, the inside will be completely revamped.

“The interior is not going to be the way it was,” said Hawa. “The old interior was two storeys. The new one will be just one storey. This is one way where we tried to cut costs. There’s a possibility of putting in a second storey add-on later. That’s the plan for now.”


THE JOURNAL FILE PHOTO/JOHN JANTAK

Pictured here in its heyday, the Maison Robillard – also known as the Braerob Farmhouse – will be restored as the welcoming point and official entrance for the planned L’Anse a l’Orme nature reserve.


Historic heritage site

The Maison Robillard, also formerly known as the Braerob Farmhouse, is a historic heritage site located on Chemin Sainte-Marie. The interior structure and roof were destroyed by a fire in 2012. The building has sat abandoned since then until the city recently decided to restore and preserve the remaining structure.

“It was open to the rain and snow and it deteriorated to the point where it couldn’t be salvaged,” said Hawa. “It’s a real shame because if we had access four years ago we could have preserved most of it. I’m happy we’re following through on this plan to restore it and so are the residents.”

Nature reserve entrance point

Once the restoration work is completed, the Maison Robillard will be the new official entrance point and welcoming centre for visitors to the L’Anse a l’Orme nature reserve. With its location close to the new REM terminus in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue-North, the restored farmhouse is expected to draw visitors from across the Island of Montreal and other outlying areas.

“People will be able to get information and maps about the woodlands and learn about the animals that live there and cyclists will be able to ride their bikes on the various trails,” said Hawa.

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