The City of Dorval officially finalized an $8 million purchase of a historical property once resided by the first mayor of the Dorval Village in 1892, Désiré Girouard. The house has been used as a retirement home for the sisters of the Congrégation de Note Dame since 1976.
The 10,450 meters squared property with direct waterfront access overlooking Lake St. Louis, located at 12 Avenue Dahlia is named the “Quatre Vents house” (Four Winds) as the geographical location of the property allows wind to come from four cardinal points.
The house was listed for sale after all of the nuns who previously resided on the property had been relocated at the end of last year. The City of Dorval purchased it “Simply because it was on sale at that time”, according to Sébastien Gauthier, the Communication Officer of Dorval.
According to the book “Dorval, Then and Now” from the Dorval Historical Society, “Several successive owners since then have renovated and transformed the building. From 1958 to 1969 it was owned by the Sours missionnaires Notre-Dame des Apôtres”.
Furthermore, “The original wooden house was built by Jacques Morin (1685), Jean-Baptiste Bouchard Dorval (1691), and Antoine Picard (1732). The current stone house was built by Jean-Baptiste Picard, Antoine's son, in 1803. When his grandson Désiré Girouard inherited it in 1873, he enlarged and renovated it”.
This purchase emphasizes the “City’s desire is to protect the historic and heritage character of the manor, as established by the municipal by-law”, further commented Gauthier.
In a recent announcement, Dorval’s mayor Marc Doret briefly mentioned the city’s plans to repurpose and restore the historically significant property. For instance, on Monday, June 20th, the city council held its monthly meeting in the old chapel room as the regular chamber at the city hall undergoes renovations.
The city outlined plans to transform part of the property into general green space, installing benches for visitors, and eventually granting public waterfront access. The possibility of adding a dock for paddle boards and kayaks, and for the people of Dorval to visit council members at the Dahlia property instead of the Sarto-Desnoyers Community Centre has also been considered. Mayor Marc Doret reaffirms that the public’s opinion will be consulted regarding plans. Nevertheless, the exact nature of future use, especially for the building is yet to be determined at this point.