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The mills of Île de la Visitation at the Sault-au-Récollet

Celebrating 300 years of history in 2026!

Did you know that in 1726, the strong currents of the Des Prairies River were already powering Sault-au-Récollet’s first watermills? They produced flour, planks of wood and also carded wool. 

Chosen by the Sulpicians to build their seigneurial mills, the Sault-au-Récollet site began attracting more and more inhabitants after the evangelical mission of Nouvelle-Lorette had moved to Kanesatake (Oka). More came when the construction of the Visitation-de-la-Bienheureuse-Vierge-Marie parish Church started in 1751. 

In 1850, the seigneurial mills were gradually replaced by the workshops and factories of the industrial era, namely the Back River Power Company and later the Milmont Fibreboards Limited, which would be the last active company on the dike. Today, this heritage site is now part of the Île-de-la-Visitation Nature Park.

Come discover the history of the Sault-au-Récollet’s watermills through their stories and images. Written after his stay in the Sault in 1749, the commentary left by Pehr Kalm, a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, introduces us to life during the first decades of the village’s existence.

Meet four great figures who contributed to its livelihood: millers and builders Simon Sicard and Didier Joubert; entrepreneur and bridge-builder Paschal Persillier dit Lachapelle; as well as his son Pascal, who followed in his father’s footsteps. Short video clips present the testimonies of Milmont workers and its main shareholder Fred Oberlander. Come listen to Jacques Paquette, one of the island’s last ice cutters, as well as other residents of Île de la Visitation telling you all about this exceptional neighbourhood. 

Have a great visit!

A lonely cast-iron column still stands amidst the ruins.

This solitary iron column is a reminder of the floor that once existed above  this space. © Jacques Lebleu, SHAC, 2009


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