Government Invests in the Future of Concordia University’s Grey Nuns Residence

News Release

October 12, 2017                         Montreal, Quebec                    Parks Canada Agency

Today, Marc Miller, Member of Parliament for Ville-Marie–Le Sud-Ouest–Île-des-Sœurs and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, on behalf of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna, announced that the Government of Canada will be investing $851,000 in the conservation of the Mother House of the Grey Nuns, acquired by Concordia University in 2007, through the National Cost-Sharing Program for Heritage Places. The program ensures the protection of national historic sites, heritage lighthouses and railway stations.

The aim of this conservation project is to maintain the restoration of this monumental building, built in 1869, which eloquently illustrates the scope of the charity work undertaken by the Grey Nuns. For more than 130 years, it served as the mother house and residence of the Grey Nuns and it was the place where they carried out their charity work serving society’s least fortunate. It therefore bears witness to the social work of this religious community.

This funding will help ensure the site remains vibrant and supports tourism and job creation in the community. Investing in Canada’s infrastructure today will bring Canadians good jobs, a cleaner environment and thriving communities for years to come. Infrastructure is key to helping the middle class get to work, while allowing Canada’s economy to grow and prosper over the long term.

Heritage places reflect the rich and varied heritage of our nation and provide an opportunity for Canadians to learn more about our diverse history. As we celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation, the Government of Canada invites Canadians to experience and learn more about our environment and our heritage.

Parks Canada is encouraging visitors to plan their trips and discover new and exciting destinations in 2017 by consulting its website or downloading the NEW Parks Canada Mobile App for a list of hidden gems and other unique and memorable ways to celebrate Canada 150.


“Our government has taken a leadership role in the protection and promotion of Canada’s invaluable and irreplaceable heritage such as the Mother House of the Grey Nuns in Montreal. This new funding will ensure the preservation of one of Montreal’s treasured heritage sites for future generations and help foster a healthy local economy and thriving tourism industry.” 

Marc Miller,
MP for Ville-Marie–Le Sud-Ouest–Île-des-Sœurs and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“The Grey Nuns Residence is an important part of Concordia University’s heritage. The investment promised here today will go a long way towards preserving the integrity of this Montreal landmark, which not only enriches the lives of the student residents who call it home, but also enhances the vibrancy and culture of our city. It is our hope that a newly restored Grey Nuns Residence will be a point of pride for the university and for the city at large.”

Alan Shepard,
President of Concordia University

Quick Facts

  • As part of the social infrastructure investments announced in Budget 2016, an additional $20 million was made available in 2016-17 and 2017-18 for the protection of heritage places.

  • Funding under this program is available to all heritage places that have been formally recognized, but are not administered, by the federal government. Eligible applicants include not-for-profit organizations, Indigenous organizations, and provincial, territorial, regional, or municipal governments who are either owners or long-term lessees of heritage places that have been formally recognized by the federal government, including associated lands, or parts of a heritage place or national historic site district.

  • Even though the construction of this large stone building took some thirty years to complete, it has remained in large part true to its original plan and eloquently illustrates convent architecture of the second half of the 19th century.

  • In 2007, Concordia University acquired the Grey Nuns property. This flagship building has now taken on an educational vocation; it accommodates a reading room and a new residence for students.

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