Société d’histoire et de généalogie de l’île Jésus, P29 – Fonds Napoléon Charbonneau, 2009-00-123_P29, Four men working on Mille Îles River, circa 1940
One of the flagship ice-cutting companies in our region was Glacières Sainte-Rose. It was run by the Bastien and Ouimet families. One of these entrepreneurs was Joseph Ouimet, mayor of the town of Sainte-Rose from 1936 to 1950. The family business was set up on the shores of the Mille Îles River. It had a fleet of four trucks and delivered ice to Montreal suppliers. The price depended on the season and demand. In winter, people paid up to $4 a ton, while the price could go up to $8 in summer. In 2016 prices, these 1940 prices would be the equivalent of $63 for a ton of ice in winter and $127 in summer. At the industry’s peak, up to 300 tons, or almost 300,000 kg of ice was cut in a day!