The City of Mascouche intends to realize, from a seigneurial domain of the XVIIe century, a vast modern recreational tourism complex focused on leisure and entertainment. In its center will be enthroned a pastiche of the residence of the former lords of the place, a stone building from 1795 with its dormers. Although the original still exists, the City intends to demolish it.
“But it will be rebuilt”, hastens to affirm the spokesperson for the City of Mascouche. The City nevertheless specifies that it will “not necessarily be a true copy”.
The mayor and former deputy of Quebec Party Guillaume Tremblay specifies that the original building, with its interior partitions, would not make it possible for it to be used as a performance, presentation and catering hall, as one would like for this project. “The exterior is going to be similar,” he says. But the old residence of the Lord is not able to constitute a place of diffusion, a bistro, a food court, an exhibition area, an outdoor terrace and an agora making it possible to host large events as desired by the City.
The entire project is valued at 49 million. The City of Mascouche is committed to investing 20 million in it.
“Not a baccalaureate”
Do independent engineers think the old house could be saved? According to the mayor, “it does not take a baccalaureate to understand that this building” does not hold, while recalling that his predecessor wanted, him, to make real estate development on these grounds. “For the mansion, we are in talks with the Ministry of Culture. Namely, do we keep a wall, do you keep some bricks ”?
During a visit to Mascouche on August 11, the Prime Minister Francois Legault, after being made aware of the project, indicated to his audience that “it is a beautiful, cultural project”. At the microphone, he added to want to make sure, with Minister Nathalie Roy, “that he travels as quickly as possible”.
At the Ministry of Culture and Communications, however, it was reported on Tuesday at Duty that “nothing has been confirmed” with Mascouche, while specifying that there has been no agreement or letter of intent to date in this regard.
A protected set?
The site has three main historic buildings: the manor house, the miller’s house and a mill. The whole is also officially cited, under the law, for its heritage character.
From 1647 to 1765, this site was part of the domain of the wealthy lords of Repentigny and La Chesnaye. A flour mill, outbuildings and a stately home will be erected there. The set has undergone several modifications over time.
The estate lost its statute of seigneury in the 19th centurye century, after an auction. The new owners, colonial operators, will make it the heart of an agricultural enterprise where there is also a sawmill supplied by water from the river.
For Mayor Tremblay, there is no doubt that “this is the last winter we can afford to spend” with such buildings. He says he is impatiently waiting for a check from Quebec and Ottawa to launch the calls for tenders and start the construction site which should last at least two years.
We know that in the state where [le manoir] is, we are going to have to destroy it, we are going to have to demolish it
According to the website of the Ministry of Culture and Communications, this stately manor must, by law, at least retain its gable roof, gabled dormers, double chimneys, stone and mortar walls as well as its wrought iron balustrade. But how can a demolition be reconciled with such indications of preservation?
For Mascouche, state subsidies could finance the demolition of the mansion, says the spokesperson for the city. “We know that in the state in which it is, we will have to destroy it, we will have to demolish it. What we are applying for a subsidy for: because the demolition may be able to fit directly into the subsidies we are able to receive for this file ”
This development project, the mayor readily compares it to nothing less than New York’s Central Park. Ultimately, indicate its promotional documents, the union of the various elements around the old seigniorial forest would create “an immense green recreational space in an urban environment: an area of more than 372 hectares, larger even than the Central Park of New York (334 hectares) ”.
From 1967 to 2000, this vast complex, located on the edge of a waterfall, was occupied by a secondary school which included in its supervision the historic buildings with a very different look from the strictly functional schools resulting from the Quiet Revolution. .
The police officers of the Sûreté du Québec subsequently had their offices there. There was also talk of a university installing a pavilion in a rural environment to conduct research activities. All this time, the old buildings were “well maintained” and in good condition, says the mayor. Then, in 2009, the historic ensemble passed into the hands of a Montreal investment company. In 2014, annexes were demolished. A decade later, the place is in a sorry state. There were also at least two fires there.