School Album

École Sainte-Cécile

École Sainte-Cécile, institution founded in 1944, Alma, Quebec, [ca. 1955]. Archives Congrégation de Notre-Dame - Montréal.

École Saint-Thomas

École Saint-Thomas, institution founded in 1961, Pointe-Claire, Quebec.

École Sainte-Madeleine

École Sainte-Madeleine, institution founded in 1945, Alma, Quebec, [ca. 1955]. Photography : Jean le photographe. Archives Congrégation de Notre-Dame - Montréal.

École Saint-Thomas-Apôtre

École Saint-Thomas-Apôtre, institution founded in 1953, Montreal, Quebec, 1953. Archives Congrégation de Notre-Dame - Montréal.

Académie Saint-Urbain

Académie Saint-Urbain, institution founded in 1889, Montreal, Quebec, [18-?]. Archives Congrégation de Notre-Dame - Montréal.

In 1889, the pastor of Notre-Dame de Montréal Parish, Father Léon-Alfred Sentenne, decided to establish Académie Saint-Urbain on the corner of Prince-Arthur and Saint-Urbain Streets and asked the Congrégation de Notre-Dame sisters to teach at this school. On August 15, 1889, four sisters opened the school, which was bilingual at first. They were: Sister de la Nativité-de-Jésus (Marie-Thérèse-Elmire Pinsonneault), the superior, Sister Saint-Néré (Marie-Octavie Bernier), Sister Saint-Jérôme-Émilien (Marie-Eulalie Toupin) and Sister Sainte-Ida (Josephine McDougall). During the first weeks, the sisters of Académie Saint-Denis offered support by providing the sisters with food and furnishings. At the beginning of the 1889 school year, there were forty enrolled students. On September 8, Father Sentenne blessed the school. In addition to the regular curriculum, the students were offered music and drawing classes. Académie Saint-Urbain also received boarders. Over time, the school was modernized and went through many changes. As soon as it opened, one room was changed into a chapel. At the turn of the 20th century, there were one hundred fifteen young women enrolled. In 1918 and 1919, Quebec was hit by a serious Spanish flu epidemic. Notre-Dame de Montréal Parish was not spared. Churches were obliged to close on Sundays to prevent the spread of the disease. During this time and because the school was quiet, the sisters of Académie Saint-Urbain were very much involved with the sick – they visited and provided care for them.

From the 1920s, the population of the school’s English-speaking students progressively decreased while that of the French-speaking students steadily increased. In 1930, Notre-Dame-de-la-Fidélité Alumnae Association was established with one hundred twenty-five former students. In 1936, one hundred eighty-five students were enrolled, of whom twenty-six were boarders. In May 1939, the members of the Alumnae Association participated in Académie Saint-Urbain’s golden jubilee celebrations. In 1946, the school went from coal heating to oil heating. The two coal cellars were changed to serve as a vegetable cellar and an ironing room. In January 1942, a fire broke out at the school. Although the firefighters responded quickly, damage was considerable. In September 1945, due to the decrease in students, the English classes were closed. In 1947, the dormitory was enlarged to accommodate a dozen new boarders. The students’ and the sisters’ involvement in their school was significant. The students gave recitals, participated in student congresses organized by Comité central de l’Action Catholique and in various religious celebrations. On the other hand, the sisters also looked to improve their course selection. Therefore, the teachers of the Letters and Sciences program attended development courses on Saturdays at Collège Marguerite-Bourgeoys. In 1954, the school received nearly two hundred students. They considered moving Académie Saint-Urbain into a new and larger building. In 1955, the school was sold. The sisters who taught there were transferred to the new Collège Régina Assumpta in Montreal’s north end.

NB: This text was written using documents found in the archival holdings in our possession and does not constitute a complete administrative history of the teaching establishment.

École Saint-Vincent

École Saint-Vincent, institution founded in [1858], Montreal, Quebec.

Around 1853, the neighbourhood known at the time as Pied-du-Courant numbered only a few households. A chapel was built on the corner of Sainte-Catherine and Fullum Streets, but there was no school. It was then that the sisters of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame started their work among the children in the area. The sisters taught in various wooden houses until they rented a stone house, in 1863, on Sainte-Marie Street which became Notre-Dame Street. In 1866, the Saint Vincent Convent also became a residence. The following year, the Pied-du-Courant neighbourhood broke away from Notre-Dame Parish and established its own parish which was named Saint-Vincent-de-Paul. The pastor of the new parish, Father Louis-Moïse Lavallée, built a church and convent on Sainte-Catherine Street. In 1881, Saint Vincent School was transferred there. The convent was divided into two sections: Saint Catherine Academy and the parish school. The stone building on Sainte-Marie Street was rented to individuals pending an offer to purchase. After many hardships because of insolvent debtors, the house was sold in 1888.

NB: This text was written using documents found in the archival holdings in our possession and does not constitute a complete administrative history of the teaching establishment.

École secondaire Sœur-Sainte-Anne-Marie

École secondaire Sœur-Sainte-Anne-Marie , institution founded in 1956, Montreal, Quebec, [between 1956 and 1967]. Archives Congrégation de Notre-Dame - Montréal.

On September 14, 1950, the Montreal Catholic School Commission bought land in Montreal between Christophe-Colomb, Gouin, Chambord and Henri-Bourassa Streets in Sainte-Madeleine-Sophie Barat Parish. In 1956, Sœur-Sainte-Anne-Marie High School was built on this land. The architect was Gaston Gagnier. The school was located on Christophe-Colomb Street (later Georges-Baril Street) and the residence was adjacent to it. The pastor of the parish, Father Augustin Lemay, asked the Congrégation de Notre-Dame sisters to teach at the new school, named in honour of Mother Sainte-Anne-Marie (Marie-Aveline Bengle), founder of the Institut Pédagogique, the first Catholic women’s classical college in Quebec. It was a large school for its time. When it opened in September 1957, six hundred sixty-two students were enrolled. The first school superior was Sister Sainte-Jeanne-Frémiot (Jeanne Clément). Three curriculums were offered in Sœur-Sainte-Anne-Marie High School: classical, general and business. Both sisters and lay teachers taught at the school.

However, around 1965, the number of lay teachers steadily increased. While many teachers taught every course in the general curriculum during a school year, some were specialized in certain subjects, such as, English, Physical Education, Music, and Arts and Crafts. From 1958 to 1967, there were also various student associations: Jeunesse des Écoles Catholiques, Union de la Sainte-Vierge, Service missionnaire and Union mariale, Congrégation mariale. The young women were also able to enjoy another special activity: Film-Club, an elective course given by an assigned teacher. The course was given to a limited number of students during class hours. It enabled students to become familiar with the different elements of film. At the beginning of the 1965-66 school year, the direction was ceded to lay personnel. In December 1966, the General Council decided to permanently withdraw the sisters from Sœur-Sainte-Anne-Marie High School. In July 1967, the last group of sisters departed and the Montreal Catholic School Commission took over the responsibility of administering the school.

NB: This text was written using documents found in the archival holdings in our possession and does not constitute a complete administrative history of the teaching establishment.

École secondaire Souart / École secondaire Gabriel-Souart

École secondaire Souart / École secondaire Gabriel-Souart, institution founded in 1960, Montreal, Quebec, [19-]. Archives Congrégation de Notre-Dame - Montréal.

In the spring of 1960, the Montreal School Commission announced the closure of Bourgeoys Academy and the transfer of the sisters to Souart High School, located two streets away in the same Sacré-Cœur-de-Jésus Parish. Souart School, located on the corner of Papineau and La Fontaine Streets, provided Grade 8 to Grade 12 education to young women. The numerous founding sisters were under the direction of Sister Saint-Charles-Garnier (Simonne Couillard), Superior. To help fulfill the mission, the sisters were accompanied by some thirty lay teachers and many collaborators. The school was named in honour of Gabriel Souart, one of the first four Sulpicians named to teach in Ville-Marie. Before becoming Souart High School, the building had served as a school for physically challenged children. It was called Victor Doré School. Victor Doré, the president of the School Commission, was a spokes-person for causes concerning handicapped children. The school received Bourgeoys Academy’s higher level classes.

The school’s façade, a very attractive classical academic architectural composition from 1916, was designed by Joseph-Omer Marchand, the first Canadian architect to graduate from the Beaux-arts School in Paris. The north wing, built in 1953, is named after Victor-Doré. The sisters’ residence, a building from 1918, was located just behind the school on Champlain Street. On the first day, the school received six hundred students from twenty-four neighbouring parishes. In April 1963, a Parent-Teacher Association was organized to: promote a complete and comprehensive education for young people, make parents aware of their priorities and responsibilities, and strengthen ties between parents and teachers. The 1960s brought about important changes and milestone events such as a teachers strike and Expo 67. In 1968, in response to the sisters’ requests, the School Commission renamed the school Gabriel-Souart High School. The school year, which ended in 1975, was the sisters’ last year at the school. In 1981, the school was renamed Garneau School.

NB: This text was written using documents found in the archival holdings in our possession and does not constitute a complete administrative history of the teaching establishment.

Superior School / Notre Dame Ladies College / Notre Dame Secretarial School / Collège de secrétariat Notre-Dame Secretarial College

Superior School / Notre Dame Ladies College / Notre Dame Secretarial School / Collège de secrétariat Notre-Dame Secretarial College, institution founded in 1908, Montreal, Quebec, [1909]. Archives Congrégation de Notre-Dame - Montréal.

Thomas D'Arcy McGee High School

Thomas D'Arcy McGee High School, institution founded in 1931, Montreal, Quebec.

September 21, 1931 saw the opening of the first high school for English speaking Catholic students in Montreal. The school was built on Pine Avenue between Jeanne-Mance and Sainte-Famille Streets, and was named in honour of the statesman and journalist of Irish descent, Thomas D’Arcy McGee. When it first opened, the school offered instruction to boys, under the direction of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, and to girls, under the direction of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame. Each section had its own classrooms but shared the auditorium, gymnasium and the laboratories. At the start of its first school year, it received 447 girls divided in 12 classes from secondary 1 to 4. Because the number of students exceeded the school’s capacity, about 300 girls were redirected to other English language schools in Montreal. The Sisters were first lodged in Saint-Patrick School, and then, in 1932, the School Commission rented a residence on Sainte-Famille Street. Among the founding Sisters there were Sister Sainte-Rose-Anne (Mary Booth), Superior, Sister Saint Thomas of the Angels (Mary Lee Fraser) and Sister Saint Agnes of the Sacred Heart (Emily Frances Finn). Although the school was under the jurisdiction of the Montreal Catholic School Commission, the Sisters were given a certain freedom relative to their choice of courses. They established their own educational programme, the D’Arcy McGee Course of Studies (before that it was the programme of the Université de Montréal).

On April 13, 1932 the students, with their teachers and parents, commemorated the 107th anniversary of the birth of Thomas D’Arcy McGee during an evening of recitals and readings. This first school event became, through the years, a tradition. On October 26, 1932, the first graduates received their diplomas during a graduation ceremony, which was held at the Université de Montréal. These students created a precedent because they were the first girls educated in an English Catholic school to pass the McGill Matriculation exams. Throughout its history, D’Arcy McGee High School offered its students numerous possibilities of involvement in cultural activities and sports. In 1931, the school had a newspaper, the Student Prints, which became The Darcian in 1960 and which continued to be published until the school closed. The D’Arcy McGee sport teams distinguished themselves at the provincial level. They won numerous championships and some of their athletes, including Gerry Heffernan, were drafted by the Montreal Canadiens. In 1946, the school was growing and new classes had to be opened. In the same year, the first high school reunion was held. At an official ceremony held on February 25, 1951, the school unveiled a monument to the memory of former students who had lost their lives during the Second World War. The 1971 school year was marked by an important change in the school, which is now to accommodate both boys and girls under a same administration, henceforth, of lay persons. The 50th anniversary of the school in 1981 was highlighted by various celebrations which reunited former and current students and teachers. During the 1980’s, because of a significant decrease in the secondary student population, the school became a Junior High School for students in grades 7 and 8. There was some worry that the school would close, which it did in 1992.

NB: This text was written using documents found in the archival holdings in our possession and does not constitute a complete administrative history of the teaching establishment.

Syndicate content