Héritage Saint-Bernard

Between earth, sky and water

Our mission

Héritage Saint-Bernard is an environmental non-profit organization whose purpose is to protect and enhance natural territories as well as offering touristic and educational activities. educational and recreational tourism.

Our values

Since its founding, Héritage Saint-Bernard has evolved with important social values, working among other things to enhance collective goods , that is, the natural environments it manages. In addition to natural resources, human resources are at the heart of the invaluable wealth of our organization. Although it is managed like a business, offering products and services, Héritage Saint-Bernard pursues its mission with the goal of collective wealth and social profitability . It is in fact the very foundation of a social economy enterprise.

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Visitor on île Saint-Bernard to date
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Hectares protected by Héritage Saint-Bernard

A rich historical past

To retrace the rich historical past of Saint-Bernard Island, we must go back
4,000 years, to the time when Native American groups occupied the territory. Several archaeological excavations carried out over the years have confirmed that this stopover on the St. Lawrence was greatly appreciated by these occupants.

Several centuries later, in 1673, Île Saint-Bernard welcomed its first seigneur, Sieur Charles Lemoyne de Longueuil. He was responsible for the construction of the first manor house, a wooden fortification with a chapel, and a windmill. As the years came and went, so did a succession of seigneurs.

In 1765, Marguerite d’Youville, the founder of the Sisters of Charity of Montréal, better known as the Grey Nuns, acquired the seigneury of Châteauguay and became its last “seigneuresse.” For over 200 years, the Grey Nuns lived on the island and protected the land. They planted an orchard, set up a small dairy farm and grew wheat, barley, oats, buckwheat and vegetables. Since the Grey Nuns believed in “protecting all life,” it was possible to preserve an exceptional natural area, the Refuge faunique Marguerite-D’Youville (wildlife sanctuary). It is protected in perpetuity.

A collective heritage

In 2011, the City of Châteauguay purchased the Gray Nuns “mound” comprising nearly ten buildings, including the Manoir D'Youville, a 115-room hotel, an imposing stone manor, a barn. , an old mill and even a cemetery. Héritage Saint-Bernard was mandated to ensure the property management (maintenance) of the buildings and buildings located on the mound of Île Saint-Bernard.

(French only)

In 2003, Sister Suzanne Olivier, of the Congregation of Grey Nuns of Montreal, wrote a fascinating text recounting the rich past of Île Saint-Bernard. 
To consult the document, click here.

(Archives des Sœurs Grises de Montréal, Olivier, Sœur Suzanne. Historique de Châteauguay, mai 2003, 138 pages.)

The Grey Nuns of Montreal were also kind enough to share another very interesting historical document, that of the story of Sister McMullen's trip to Châteauguay, written in 1838 during the rebellion! 
To consult the document, To consult the document, click here.

Have a pleasant reading!

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