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Légaré Mill National Historic Site of Canada

232-236 Saint-Eustache Street, Saint-Eustache, Quebec, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2000/03/28

General view of the Légaré Mill, showing the viewscapes from the complex to the Rivière du Chêne, 1999.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1999.
General view
View of the miller's house at Légaré Mill, showing its vernacular early 20th century details such as carved window frames and roof brackets, 1999.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1999.
General view
Side view of the Légaré Mill, showing its heavy walls with small window openings, 1999.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1999.
Side view

Other Name(s)

Légaré Mill National Historic Site of Canada
Légaré Mill
Moulin Légaré

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1762/01/01 to 1763/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/05/22

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Légaré Mill National Historic Site of Canada is a milling site situated between the sloping north bank of the Rivière du Chêne and the main street of the village of St. Eustache, Quebec. Located just opposite the town hall, the site has functioned continuously since the French Régime. Now part of a complex, the flour mill is surrounded by a saw mill, a miller’s house, a dam, and a mill pond, all of which are encompassed by the designation. Official recognition refers to lot 194 in the village of St. Eustache.

Heritage Value

Légaré Mill was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1999 because:
- it is an outstanding representative example of the proto-industrial 18th-century building type erected during the development of seigneuries and the colonial agricultural economy;
- it is a successful example of a continuously operating and evolving mill for over 240 years; and,
- it is an excellent example of a small, rural Canadian industrial complex integrated into a natural environment, which has remained largely intact in the midst of a modern urban centre. (Minutes)

The heritage value of Légaré Mill lies in the physical and functional continuity of the cohesiveness of the complex, in the utilitarian forms and diverse vernacular traditions of its buildings, and in the evidence of continuous technological evolution it contains. Légaré Mill was constructed in 1762-63 by François Maisonneuve on land granted to him by the Seigneur of Mille Isles on condition that he build a mill complex. Today that complex contains a flour mill (1762-63), a saw mill (1880), a miller’s house (1902-1903), a dam and a mill pond (1762-63). These resources reflect different time periods of vernacular construction and milling technology. The name of the site comes from the Légaré family who owned the mill during the 20th century.

Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minute,1999; Commemorative Integrity Statement, 2004.

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements contributing to the heritage value of the site include:
- the setting of the complex on the edge of the historic village of St. Eustache, now the heart of modern St. Eustache, in Quebec;
- the completeness of the mill complex and its legibility as a cohesive functional grouping;
- its the juxtaposition of vernacular building traditions from different time periods;
- its portrayal of different technological time periods;
- the simple massing and T-shaped footprint of the combined grist and saw mill buildings;
- the grist mill with its rectangular massing, low elevation, and shallow gabled roof, wood siding, cut stone foundation and solid wall construction, simple interior layout and industrial finishes, remnants of different periods of technology (water wheel remains, interim conversions, the presence of turbines), and evidence of early vernacular French building traditions as seen in roof dormers, heavy walls with small window openings, and original living quarters within the building;
- the saw mill with its lighter rectangular massing under a more steeply pitched roof, its regular articulation of utilitarian apertures, its vertical wood siding and typical 19th-century wood frame construction;
- the rectangular, one-and-a-half storey massing of the miller’s house with its shallow mansard roof broken by window and door pediments, the balanced articulation of its façade, its vernacular early 20th century details such as carved window frames and roof brackets; its wood siding and shingled roof materials, the original wood finishes on the interior, the legibility of the original interior layout and functional use of space, and its siting at the edge of the street below the current street level;
- the integrity of the dike, particularly its footprint, elevation, construction materials and technology;
- the footprint and depth of the mill pond;
- archaeological evidence of earlier buildings and structures on the site, including an earlier saw mill on the south bank of the river;
- the spatial disposition of various components of the complex in relation to one another;
- the viewscapes from the complex across the Rivière du Chêne.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1762/01/01 to 2002/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Technology and Engineering

Function - Category and Type



Food and Beverage Manufacturing Facility

Architect / Designer



François Maisonneuve

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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