After five years of being out of commission, the Pointe-du-Moulin Historic Park’s main attraction, the three-century-old windmill, is back up and running.
Located west of the Island of Montreal, the long-standing waterfront monument has been fully restored.
Mounted with brand-new, massive, historically accurate wooden sail blades, the stone mill has returned to its former glory.
Work crews also fortified the wooden beams supporting the interior of the structure, as well as sections of the roof, all while fully refurbishing the interior, according to Bertrand Deziel, lead contractor on the project.
“It was a long and hard job but looking at it now, it turned out beautiful,” Deziel said, staring up at the mill.
Deziel says the mill was restored to function and looks the same as it did three centuries ago.
Many of the pieces were either taken from the previous mill or remade to fit the specifications.
The Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC), a provincial organization responsible for restoration projects of the historical monuments, is overseeing the project.
The off-island windmill, located in Notre-Dame-de-l’Île Perrot about 40 minutes away from downtown Montreal, is a rare structure, only one of 20 historical windmills in Quebec.
This mill in particular is unique, as it is the oldest one of its kind that is still fully functional in the country, according to Charles-Olivier Bellerose-Bélanger, general manager of Pointe-du-Moulin Historic Park.
However, it has not been operational since a storm in 2016 wreaked havoc, breaking the wooden sail blades.
The work was slated to happen in 2019 but flooding caused it to be pushed back.
Cost overruns related to price increases due to the pandemic also forced interruptions and pauses in the restoration project.
Bellerose-Bélanger says having the mill operational again is great news for the park.
“This is the main attraction and people come from all over to see it,” Bellerose-Bélanger said.
The mill will be undergoing a number of structural tests over the next few weeks.
The park plans to invite the public to mark the grand reopening with a celebration scheduled for Oct. 28.
Global News reached out to the SODEC but no one was available for comment.