The city of Pointe-Claire’s plan to declare the point in old Pointe-Claire Village a heritage site will be the topic of two information sessions being hosted by a local historical society this week and next.
The primer on heritage preservation will take place in French on Jan. 9, at 7 p.m. at St. Joachim Church on Ste. Anne St. and, in English on Jan. 16, at 7 p.m. at the COOP des Bons Voisins on Lakeshore Blvd.
Claude Arsenault, president of the Société pour la Sauvegarde du Patrimoine de Pointe-Claire, the group hosting the information meetings, said the idea is to bring residents up to speed on the issues before the city’s public consultation on the future of the point on Jan. 23.
“We want to make sure that the creation of a heritage site is only the first step in a sustained showcasing of history,” said Arsenault. “This project is critical to the future of the point.”
Under the plan announced by the city before Christmas, the heritage site would include the windmill (1709-1710), St. Joachim Catholic Church (1881-85), its presbytery (1848 and its 1913 enhancement), the Sisters of Congregation of Notre Dame convent (1867), cemetery land surrounding St. Joachim church and Marguerite Bourgeoys elementary school.
The city’s public consultation is the first step in the heritage-designation process. If everything goes as expected, Mayor Bill McMurchie said in an interview at that time that the designation could come into effect as early as March.
“We want to see buildings kept as close as possible to their original,” said Arsenault.
He explained three years ago asphalt shingles were used when one of the point’s historic buildings, the convent, had its tin roof redone.
Arsenault said the Société is now preparing a brief for the city’s public consultation that will outline the historical society’s vision for the point and include an inventory of the architectural features of the point’s historic buildings.
“You can’t correct your mistakes or restore buildings properly unless you know what was there before,” he said.
This year is the 300th anniversary of the founding of Pointe-Claire as a parish and an administrative entity under the old French regime.