Heritage protection organizations deplore the fact that the City of Vaudreuil-Dorion has given its approval to the subdivision of the land that houses Lionel-Groulx’s birthplace. A house built in 1892.

La Fondation Lionel-Groulx, an organization that promotes history, sent a letter to the Minister of Culture and Communications to inform her of the situation.

In the article entitled “Time is running out”, La Fondation Lionel-Groulx demonstrates its deep disappointment with the decision of the administration of the City of Vaudreuil-Dorion to consent to the ransacking of the heritage site of the Maison-du-Chanoine-Lionel-Groulx, located at 150, chemin des Chenaux.

“We are asking you today to suspend, as Minister of Culture and Communications and responsible for heritage preservation, the decision taken by the Municipality of Vaudreuil-Dorion to subdivide the property into three small, very narrow lots to allow construction, very close together, two new residences and cut down around thirty trees, some of which are hundred years old, thus removing all attraction to this exceptional site, filled with a rich history. As a reminder, Lionel Groulx, a prominent figure in Quebec history, lived there all his childhood and has testified throughout his life, particularly through his literary work, to his deep attachment to this house, as well as to its native region”, we can read in the letter.

The subdivision accepted by the City has not yet received ministry approval. This is also the reason why the signatories of the letter ask the Minister to postpone this decision and, at the same time, to repatriate the responsibility for the preservation of the heritage site of the Maison-du-Chanoine-Lionel-Groulx to the Ministry of Culture and Communications by modifying the status of the site so that it is now classified as heritage.

Vaudreuil-Dorion explains its position

Asked to respond, the City of Vaudreuil-Dorion indicates that in 2005, a citation by-law (under the power provided for in section 84 of the Cultural Property Act, since replaced by section 127 of the Culture Heritage Act) has been approved to identify this property as a heritage site in order to preserve and supervise the work on the residence and its outbuildings…

Although this is a heritage property cited by the City, this property is private and has been abandoned for several years. In fact, the City has received over the years several complaints from residents of the area regarding the dilapidated state of the premises.

A municipal bylaw has been passed and not used to provide a grant of $ 2,000 per year for renovations to the Abbot’s house. The new owner can therefore make a request to this effect.

Not the first time

This is not the first time that the land of Lionel Groulx’s birthplace has been coveted. A first subdivision project dated October 27th, 2015 was submitted for analysis to the CCU on February 14th, 2017 and refused by the resolution of council 17-03-183 since the latter did not meet the width prescribed in the subdivision by-law.

A new proposal was therefore submitted at the end of 2019 meeting the elements raised during the first refusal, namely lots that comply with the dimensions prescribed in Subdivision By-law no 1277, i.e. a width in front of chemin des Chenaux of at least 18 meters, and separate entrances for each land.

The City of Vaudreuil-Dorion informs us that under subsection 2 of the first paragraph of article 141 of the Cultural Heritage Act, before imposing conditions or refusing a project, the municipal council takes the opinion of the local heritage council which in this case is the town planning advisory committee. In this case, the local heritage council gave a favorable opinion and the decision was approved by the municipal council.

Finally, the City specifies that it currently has no restoration projects submitted, but that the new owners have indicated their intention to revive this building.

“We will then be able to ensure that its original character is preserved,» says Marie Claude Gauthier, director of the Land Use Planning Department at the City of Vaudreuil-Dorion. Regarding the possibility of construction on subdivided land, the City has objectives and criteria of site planning and architectural integration (PIIA) applicable for this sector which take into consideration the site and the architectural style of the new buildings. All files must be submitted to the CCU for analysis and recommendation and approved by the City Council.”

Steve Sauvé

Steve Sauvé


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