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Pointe-Claire approves funding for future windmill restoration project

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Pointe-Claire gives green light to fund windmill restoration
A windmill in desperate need of repair will be fixed up after the City of Pointe-Claire approved the funding for the restoration project. Global's Brayden Jagger Haines has more – Sep 7, 2022

After being left in disrepair for years, Pointe-Claire’s long-standing landmark will finally be getting some much-needed attention.

City council unanimously agreed to partially fund a future restoration project of the famous Pointe-Claire windmill Tuesday night.

The city has put aside $967,761 towards the project that would see a complete restoration of the mill to its former glory, according to the mayor, Tim Thomas.

“We had to find a way to restore it without getting too committed economically,” Thomas said. “I think we worked out the best deal.”

The funding will allow permanent access to the structure and the city will not have to look after the maintenance, which will fall under the duties of the Archdiocese of Montreal.

“It’s a win-win for both parties. I think it was the only deal that would work,” Thomas said.

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The agreement is between the city and the Archdiocese of Montreal, the current owners of the historical heritage site.

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“The collaboration of the City of Pointe-Claire and the Society for the Preservation of the Heritage of Pointe-Claire has been invaluable in moving this project forward over the past year,” says Stefano Marrone, head of real estate for the archdiocese.

“It has been a true community effort, and we are happy that the process has instilled confidence and garnered the support of all parties involved,” Marrone said.

The city’s contribution will only cover half of the $1.9 million needed for the project.

The archdiocese will look to government funding from Quebec’s Ministry of Culture and Communications to cover the remaining balance.

“We’re in the process of applying for the subsidy so it will take its due process. We are hoping to hear from them in the new year,” Marrone said.

Private fundraising efforts will also be put on by the Pointe-Claire Heritage Society, which looks to continue its efforts to resurrect the emblem of the city.

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“Residents want to come out and support this project. We are happy to help them do it and we will be (having a) fundraising drive to provide private funding,” Andrew Swidzinski, Pointe-Claire Heritage Preservation Society president, said.

No date has yet been established for when work could begin.

Swidzinski says he hopes the funding can be approved quickly so as to begin the much-needed work.

The expected work is said to be similar to the restoration project done to the stone mill at the Pointe-du-Moulin Historic Park, located in Notre-Dame-de-l’Île Perrot about 40 minutes away from downtown Montreal.

Being one of 10 remaining windmills in Quebec built during the French regime, Thomas remains hopeful the government will give the green light for the Pointe-Claire project.

“The government knows the structure’s historical importance for Quebec. We are hoping that there will be some goodwill and the government will look favourably on the project and it will happen quickly,” Thomas said.

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