Audio content - Île-des-Moulins

Presentation of Île-des-Moulins

Île-des-Moulins is located in the heart of Vieux-Terrebonne. Many historical monuments have remained on the island, which has retained much of its charm. This site is the second most important site in terms of its historical reconstitution in Quebec, the first being Place Royale of Quebec.

Seigneur Louis Lepage of Sainte-Claire builds the flour mill and the sawmill in 1721. They are built on a roadway that links the island and the mainland. The site is selected based on the hydraulic potential of the river’s strong water flow. In 1803, Seigneur McTavish builds a bakery. It sells "sailors’ biscuits," a kind of very dry bread that is used to feed the voyageurs heading in canoes toward Pays d'en haut, what they called Western Canada back then.The constitution of this dry bread allows it to be kept for a very long time, although it needs to be soaked in water for a while before being edible.

In 1832, Joseph Masson buys the seigneurie; the area also included the island. He restores the buildings and the mills. 

Presentation of Île-des-Moulins - Part 2

Thereafter, the island is experiencing a slow decline. The buildings are not maintained and the place becomes abandoned. In 1955, the owner of the island, Louis-Armand Dufour, builds an artificial lake in the centre in order to establish a fish farm. The artificial lake is transformed into a beach, and later a campground emerges. During the 1967 Expo, several people move there and the place becomes a trailer park. The monuments are not immune to the new occupation of the land. The bakery becomes a music bar and the municipal office rooms are used as a dwelling.

In 1973, Terrebonne attempts to buy the island in order to preserve the historical site that we know today, but the population prevents it from achieving its goal. However, the MP and Minister of Cultural Affairs, Denis Hardy, manages to acquire the island and its buildings in 1974, which he had classified as an "historical monument" the previous year.

The fierce opposition from residents of the trailer park fails to halt the project. Many of them will be relocated to La Plaine.

Today, Île-des-Moulins is a vibrant part of Vieux-Terrebonne. The public library is located in part in the old flour mill and sawmill. We can also see some of the mechanisms of the time. At the other end, the Moulin Neuf houses the venue Le Moulinet, where the SODECT offers rich and varied content. This gave a second life to the bakery and a gastronomic pub has opened as well.
The outdoor theatre offers musical performances during the summer. In winter, you can skate on the sluice basin.

Question #22


1) Because it was not useful anymore.
2) Because the weakness of the lock increased the risk of flooding.
3) Because it was threatening the ecosystem of the fish sanctuary.
4) To reduce the risk of drowning for reckless adventurers.

Answer and explanation - Question #22

2) Because the weakness of the lock increased the risk of flooding.

The owner of the of Île-Des-Moulins dynamites the dam because of the risk of flooding; at least that's the official version. But the back story shed light on a long negotiation between him and the City with regard to the acquisition of the island. The negotiations is dragging on and the owner destroys the dam as a pressure tactic!

To answer the last question, you will have to travel across Île-des-Moulins. Feel free to use the trails that allow you to go up to the second dam. Keep your eyes open!

Question #23


1) The legend of the tragic destiny of a Terrebonne couple.
2) One of the tales from A Thousand and One Nights.
3) The legend of Madeleine de Verchères.
4) The legend of a young woman grieving the death of her fiancé.

Answer and explanation #23

4) The legend of a young woman grieving the death of her fiancé.

If you have not yet come across the statue, go near the second dam at the other end of the park. At the centre of the lock basin is the floating sculpture the "White Lady" by Germain Bergeron. Designed in 1978, it is composed of methane and fibreglass. It illustrates the legend of a beautiful woman grieving the death of her fiancé, who died near the Montmorency Falls during a battle. Legend has it that you can sometimes see a white shadow wander near the falls, shouting his name, on nights with no moon.

A few years ago, in the centre of Île-des-Moulins, stood another statue by Germain Bergeron. The sculpture entitled Don Quichotte is of a knight and his horse. It was first created for La Terre des Hommes of Expo 67 before being installed on the island and later moved to L'Assomption. The works of Germain Bergeron are scattered across several municipalities in Quebec and are easily recognized by their bold and humorous style, but also by the committed art style.

You have arrived!

You have arrived!

You have completed the rally and can now say you have walked through the history of Vieux-Terrebonne. Now that you are on Île-des-Moulins, we invite you to continue your day here. Several thematic gardens are accessible, in addition to various exhibitions and activities for the whole family. The pontoon offers three daily departures for you to discover all the secrets of the sluice basin (note that this activity is not free).

Would you like to continue your discovery of the history of Vieux-Terrebonne? During the summer season, the Maison d’histoire de Terrebonne offers several different tours to discover the importance of this jewel. (Info and reservations: www.shrt.qc.ca)

If you'd rather visit by yourself, during the summer you can go see the the information kiosks at the entrance of Île-Des-Moulins. You can get a map of Vieux-Terrebonne and the region at the tourist information booth or go online to find about the various attractions, shops and events at www.tourismedesmoulins.com.

Extract of
The Tale of Vieux-Terrebonne

The Tale of Vieux-Terrebonne image circuit

Presented by : Tourisme des Moulins

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