Located on the north-eastern tip of the Island of Montreal, the parish of Saint Joseph was founded in 1687. The Neo-Gothic church and its presbytery, built between 1872 and 1875 after plans prepared by Victor Bourgeau, formed the core of a small village on the banks of Riviere-des-Prairies. The relationship between St. Joseph’s religious ensemble and the surrounding landscape is marked by a soaring bell tower visible at great distances. Both the presbytery and the church are classified historic monuments and the village core is a national historic site.
Since many of the religious buildings’ original architectural elements had been lost over time, the mandate included a preparatory research phase consulting historic photographs and parish documents. The restoration approach is based on a comprehensive technical study of the artisanal techniques employed in the construction of the original structures.
The restoration program of the church included the repair of the substructure of the sanctuary floor, replacement of floor finishes, and re-jointing of cut and rubble stone masonry walls. Work carried out on the presbytery included the reconstruction of the original wood gallery, artisanal tinsmith work on the roof and the restoration of limestone masonry walls. Artisanal tinsmith work was also carried out on the sexton’s house. The project was realised in phases over a period of four years with specialised craftsmen.