Parks and gardens
Domaine Saint-Paul, Boisé de l'Île-des-Sœurs
Located at the southern tip of L'Île-des-Soeurs neighbourhood, this woodland has been designated by the Ministère des Ressources naturelles du Québec as an “exceptional forest ecosystem.” Domaine Saint-Paul is one of the last large woodlands in the southwestern portion of the Island of Montréal. The area totals 26 hectares, thanks to the efforts of Lyon and Nina Gould and to a donation they made to preserve two additional hectares in 2001.
In 2006, the borough of Verdun makes transfer, on a purely free basis, of a real constraint of perpetual conservation of the grounds in the wooded one of the Domaine Saint-Paul and the Lac des Battures. The borough is also committed not making any assignment change to the protected surfaces, that it is by the means of a sale, an exchange or a transaction without the Ministère du Développement durable, de l'Environnement et des Parcs not being consulted beforehand. The maintenance of biological diversity and the ecological integrity of the natural environments of this part of the island, as well as the fact of these surfaces are used as buffer zone between the natural environments and developed spaces L'Île-des-Soeurs are thus protected.
The woodland is part of the Lachine Rapids eco-territory that Montréal has sought protect by adopting the Policy on the Protection and Enhancement of Natural Habitats.
Abundant flora and fauna
A real bird sanctuary, the woodland serves as home to a dozen species of birds of prey, two of which have nested there over the past 20 years, the short-eared owl and the eastern screech-owl. Other migratory species visit or winter with relative regularity. At least 128 species of forest birds may be found in the woodland. Another source claims to have observed 282 species over the years.
Domaine Saint-Paul abounds in plant life. Silver maples, American lime trees, red ash stands and certain marsh plants are the most common plant species. Many vulnerable and endangered plants also live there, including hairy wild rye, a graminaecous plant considered to be very rare in Québec.
Lac des Battures was created in the 1990s following the abandonment of plans to create a landfill site on L'Île-des-Soeurs. The lake is, in fact, an extension of one of the island’s largest wetlands, and constitutes an important attraction for bird life travelling the St. Lawrence River corridor.
To prevent human activity from interfering with the park's dynamic ecological processes, certain rules must be followed:
Walk on marked trails only;
Enter and leave the area using the identified entrances and exits;
Do not use bicycles, skis, sleds, snowshoes, snowmobiles, skateboards or motorcycles, and do not build tree houses, campfires, barbecues, camps, or anything similar;
Always keep your pets on a leash inside the wooded area;
Pick up your trash;
Do not pick plants.
Elgar Community Centre: 514 765-7270