Our work

Sainte-Thérèse Island

With a surface area of 540 hectares, Sainte-Thérèse Island is a natural jewel in the St. Lawrence River. Situated in Varennes, the island has a rare degree of biodiversity and historical heritage, making it an especially interesting place to create a nature park for recreational tourism.

Why protect this place?

Sainte-Thérèse Island is home to numerous at-risk wildlife and plant species, as well as varied natural environments and important nesting sites for waterfowl and other aquatic bird species. However, the island is threatened in several ways, most particularly by habitat degradation and by shoreline erosion, which have already cost it more than a hundred metres of shoreline.

Protecting Sainte-Thérèse Island would be a wonderful opportunity for biodiversity in Greater Montreal’s east end, where there are too few protected areas and where the pressure on natural spaces is significant. Access to these natural spaces on land belonging to the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM) would also improve the quality of life of the region's residents, who experience a significant nature deficit.

Key information

540 hectares, between Varennes
and Montréal

An island with an incredible historical and
biological heritage

A potential recreational tourism park for
citizens of Montreal’s east end

A project to plant half a million trees

CPAWS Quebec’s work

For more than 10 years, the municipal authorities and citizens of Varennes have been reaffirming their desire to protect and develop Sainte-Thérèse Island.

In collaboration with the municipalities along the shoreline and the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM), CPAWS Quebec is working to create a new greenbelt. for Montreal’s east end, to benefit its citizens. CPAWS Quebec took part in public consultations, in addition to organizing a citizen forum on May 5, 2019, to gather the population’s views. The results of the consultations once again confirm the citizens’ desire to protect Sainte-Thérèse Island

CPAWS Quebec hopes to bring the island back to life through a project to plant half a million trees.

Tree Planting Project 

Since the fall of 2021, CPAWS Quebec has been coordinating a planting project that will promote a gradual return of biodiversity. The first phases of this renaturalization project have resulted in the planting of more than 15,000 trees of some twenty different species. A close collaboration with the municipalities along the river, the Communauté Métropolitaine de Montréal, numerous actors in the field and the precious help of nearly 700 volunteers (citizens, students, partner companies,...) participate each time a little more in the ecotouristic park project.

The next phase of the plantation is in the works, with an objective of 100,000 planted trees by 2030.

Project partners

The Île Sainte-Thérèse project is made possible thanks to the support of many partners, including the Government of Canada, the Government of Quebec, the Foundation of Greater Montreal, the Communauté Métropolitaine de Montréal, the City of Varennes, the borough of Rivières-des-Prairies--Pointe-aux-Trembles, the MRC de Marguerite-D'Youville, Arbre-Évolution and many others.


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