One of the oldest villages on the island of Montreal, Sault-au-Récollet still retains its village atmosphere with many houses dating from the 18th and 19th centuries. It was the original site of Fort Lorette, a trading post and mission for the conversion of the First Nations people of the area. It grew prosperous in the 18th century with the construction of a mill on the rapids on the Rivière des Prairies (from which the village derives its name: Sault-au-Récollet, or Recollet Falls). A dam was built on the narrow arm of the river that passes between the village and Visitation Island, which splits the river in two at that point. A museum and cultural centre, the Maison du Pressoir, perpetuates this memory.
The village and Île de la Visitation (Visitation Island) are surrounded by the green space of the Parc-Nature de l'Île de la Visitation. The village is noted for Visitation Church, one of the oldest churches in Montreal, which is a listed historical monument.