It seems to have been torn from horizons with more generous sun to be repotted in the heart of a forest of century-old maple trees in Saint-Sauveur. And if the transplant succeeded, it is thanks in particular to its owner, who had made it his mission to pamper it while instilling in it how to marry our winters.

“That house, when I saw it, it’s like some women I’ve met in my life: I knew I’d be in trouble, but I went ahead anyway,” confesses , half-amused, Raynald Mercille, who fell in love with this Laurentian home with its unique architecture more than 25 years ago. Even though the first date went off the rails: another suitor snatched the first sale of the property from under her nose.

When it was put back on the market, Mr. Mercille had his chance this time. The problem is that she had been completely stripped of her finery. “The house had been cannibalized, there were holes everywhere, everything that came off had been dismantled: baths, sinks, etc. “, remembers the new occupant, aware that massive investments would be necessary to put it back on its feet. At valiant heart nothing impossible ; captivated by the charm of his atypical style, he has, over a quarter of a century, provided him with the necessary care for his integration.

We are talking about integration here, because for Raynald Mercille, this house has been catapulted from distant horizons.

Let’s mention the 18 skylights installed on the roof – a daring bet for such a climate – as well as the abundant windows and bay windows, not to mention the large volumes, with high ceilings and very wide passages.

To multiply the already very penetrating exterior light, the initial whiteness of the walls and ceilings has been restored in all the rooms. Accentuating these southern airs even more, Mexican terracotta tiles cover the entire floor. “There are animal paw prints there, a sign that they dried on the beaches of Mexico. When they come, my granddaughters Alice and Florence always have fun looking for these footprints. They will have to mourn their childhood excursions, “said Mr. Mercille somewhat. Moreover, what a strange coincidence that the house is located on the way to La Calaca! – you know, those Mexican skeleton figures.

In addition to the need to “dress” this southern Laurentians, it also had to be prepared for the cold season. On a solid base layer (concrete walls boast a thickness of more than 40cm, on which many workmen have broken their teeth; or rather, broken their drill bits), an array of Improvements have been made: replacement of all doors, windows and French windows, now equipped with triple panes, and total redesign of the 18 skylights, reduced to 9 units at double the size, allowing the same surface to be covered.

Protected by this new shell, the interior layout is no slouch, with all 16 rooms having been meticulously maintained and draped; one example among many others, the former rooms of Julien and Étienne, sons of Mr. Mercille, have been converted, one of them housing an impressive built-in library in solid maple. Note that all the work carried out in the last decade was carried out under the leadership of designer Lorna Gordon.

As much as the building has southern airs, its natural environment is resolutely northern, since it was erected in the heart of a vast and old maple grove, where many hundred-year-old specimens are still planted, in perfect health, or even a superb Canadian lime tree. The future owners could very well complete one of the (rare) unfinished projects of Mr. Mercille, by setting up facilities for harvesting and producing maple syrup.

Unless they prefer to tackle this other outstanding project, the development of an aquatic basin thanks to the stream taking its source on the ground. What’s more, visual pollution is greatly reduced.

Outdoor investment was also on the menu, with a complete landscaping done six years ago, showcasing cut stone walls, underground lighting and irrigation areas.

After 26 years of a flourishing relationship with her pampered home, the time for a parting of the ways has finally arrived, precipitated by the departure of the owner’s children. Perhaps inspired by this Californian idyll, the latter responded to the sirens of exodus to settle further south. Florida? Mexico ? Let’s not exaggerate: by way of new tropics, a new condo in Mirabel will do the trick. While waiting for the day of the move, the beauty of Saint-Sauveur watches for her next spouse to warm his heart.

Asking price: $1,595,000

Year built: 1988

Rooms: 16, including 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and 2 shower rooms; 2 floors, finished basement

Building dimensions: 27m by 11m

Land area: 12,352 m⁠2

Municipal assessment: $589,200

Property tax: $3975 (2023)

School tax: $531 (2022)

Annual Common Fee: $650

Annual energy expenditure: $7426

Broker: Marie-Claire Rémillard (Profusion Immobilier)