During one of the coldest days of the year (a tough feat because there have been a lot of cold days this year), we headed out to one of the windiest, unprotected, desolate, ice covered parts of the West Island… to see a windmill.

I’m sure it’s very beautiful in the summer but the stupidity of our planned trip was highlighted by the cut-through-your-body wind that dominated the whole experience. Just getting out of the Jeep was tortuous; I was afraid to turn it off so we kept it running.

This windmill must be tough to survive at this location and the people who live here must be equally as tough: the stone structure is next to a seminary owned by St-Joachim Parish (it’s for sale).

The windmill has been here a very long time (since 1710) and undoubtably seen many cold, windy winters. Like all French windmills from the 18th century, it’s rigged with gun slits and a moveable roof. The slits have never seen gunfire.

The stone mason who built this windmill was the same ones who was contracted to either build or renovate the Moulin de l’Île-Perrot (Jean Mars). The two windmills look at each other from across the St. Lawrence.

There was absolutely no one else around to enjoy the experience.