Mai 2021

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The deers love the flowers too!


Photo credit : Yves Rouleau


The April showers have come, and the first spring ephemerals have begun flowering at the Reserve. Spring ephemerals such as the Eastern Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica), Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum), and White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) are a welcome sight after a long winter. As the name suggests, these perennial plants emerge early in the spring and quickly flower and set seed before dying back to their root systems/bulbs.

This life-cycle strategy allows the plants to take advantage of the high amounts of sunlight before the trees grow leaves and shade the forest floor. By dying back to just their underground growth structures, spring ephemerals limit their exposure to being eaten by herbivores to just a few weeks of the year. However, during the weeks when the plants are growing and flowering, they represent an attractive meal to plant-eating animals such as deer.


Deer populations have seen large increases in recent years. As winters have become milder due to climate change, and natural predators such as wolves and cougars have been displaced by increasing urban development, the natural processes controlling deer populations have been diminished and deer populations throughout southern Canada have grown relatively unchecked.

Annual cards: new fee rates

Starting July 1, the Gault Nature Reserve is raising annual card fees.



New fee rates (taxes incl.) :



Annual Cost


$ 85

Adult - Mont-Saint-Hilaire resident

$ 77

65 and older

$ 72

65 and older - Mont-Saint-Hilaire resident

$ 65


Annual card – Adult

New members can purchase an Adult Annual Card online. Cards purchased online must be picked up in person at the Welcome Centre between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. To enter the Reserve, you need to show your proof of payment at the gatehouse, and a valid photo ID at the Welcome Centre. The card will have your name and photo, and is valid from the date of purchase. We cannot give any reimbursements for changes in membership level.


Reduced price cards

Cards for 65 and older and Mont-Saint-Hilaire resident membership levels are sold only at the Welcome Centre. You will need to show proof of residence/age. Before coming to the Reserve, you should buy a day pass online.


Renewing your card

A renewal link is sent one month before your card expires. Please write us if you do not receive a link. Please write us if you do not receive a link.


Annual card benefits

  • No reservation required
  • Exclusive access to the Reserve starting at 7 a.m., May 1 to Labour Day
  • Access to the cross country skiing network at no additional cost
  • Discounts on equipment rental and on select items at the Welcome Centre
  • For more details: Terms and conditions of the entry fees

Did you know ?



Ants are an integral part of the environment. They aerate soil and disperse the seeds of several plants, such as trilliums and violets.


The Gault Nature Reserve is host to 40 different ant species, or just over one third of the species that can be found in Quebec.


A particular type of ant was discovered on the Rocky summit; it keeps aphid colonies and drinks their honeydew, a thick viscous liquid that is excreted by the aphids, rich in sugar and amino acid. The honeydew is an energy source for ants. It is then, in their best interests to guard the aphids from predators. In return for this protection, aphids supply ants with tasty honeydew. Ants and aphids enjoy a mutually beneficial partnership, known as mutualism.

Dedication sprouts at the Reserve


This summer, two students from McGill will be learning about conservation and environment at the Gault Nature Reserve. For the students, this is a chance to immerse themselves in the realities of fieldwork, and to learn new things hands on, outside of the classroom.


Ellen Bidulka was one of the student interns in summer 2019. Her experiences at Gault have served her well in her career choices and have cemented her interest in protecting the environment. Gault’s white tailed deer were what initially led Ellen to apply for an internship with us.

Blast from the past

Hôtel Iroquois, 1874-1895


Archives Musée McCord, MP-0000.39.24

Archives McCord Museum, MP-0000.39.24


Construction of the luxurious Hôtel Iroquois was headed by the sons of Thomas Edmund Campbell (seigneur and owner of the mountain) and completed in 1874. If you stand on the path between the parking lot and the Welcome Centre and look to your right, you’ll be looking through the branches toward where the hotel used to stand, somewhere between the Manager’s House and the barn below. In its heyday, the 125 room hotel could sleep 400.


Open from May to October, the Hôtel Iroquois was a famed tourist destination and a favourite of the rich from Montréal and the eastern United States. Guests loved it for its banquets, games of billiards and croquet, and rowboat rides. It prospered until it was destroyed by a fire in 1895.


About our Blasts from the Past
As owner and guardian of the Gault Nature Reserve, we plan to celebrate the university’s bicentennial by publishing a monthly photo in InfoGault. Each photo will capture a moment from the history of this beautiful site.


The Future, Imagined by McGill’s Top Researchers


Two-hundred years of trailblazing research has taken place on our campuses. In a time of rapid and far-reaching transformation, the future of research presents opportunities for important change. With the goal of imagining this exciting time to come, the Digital Time Capsule brings together over 50 of McGill’s top researchers to answer the question: What will be the biggest change in your field over the next 25 years?


Check out the activities planned to celebrate McGill’s Bicentennial.



422, chemin des Moulins

Mont-Saint-Hilaire (Quebec) J3G 4S6


Téléphone : 450 467-4010


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