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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Young sensitized
Visitor on île Saint-Bernard to date
Number of bird species
Hectares protected by Héritage Saint-Bernard

A rich historical past

To retrace the rich historical past of Saint-Bernard Island, you have to go back
4,000 years, to the time when Amerindian groups occupied the territory. Several archaeological excavations carried out over the years have confirmed that this stopover on the St. Lawrence was highly appreciated by these occupants. Several centuries later, in 1673, Île Saint-Bernard welcomed its first lord, Sieur Charles Lemoyne de Longueuil. He had the first mansion built there, a wooden fortification accompanied by a chapel, as well as a windmill. Then, the years followed one another, as well as the lords. In 1765, Marguerite d'Youville, founder of the Gray Nuns of Montreal, acquired the seigneury of Châteauguay to become its last seigneuress. For more than 200 years, the Gray Nuns have inhabited the island and protected the territory. The nuns planted an orchard and a small dairy farm there, in addition to growing wheat, barley, oats, buckwheat and vegetables. “Protecting life in all its forms”, the adage of the Gray Nuns, has made it possible to preserve an exceptional natural territory, the Marguerite-D’Youville wildlife refuge, 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 Gray 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 Gray 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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