HISTORY OF VANIER COLLEGE

FIRST, AN INTRODUCTION...



Welcome! Bienvenue!

Vanier College has a rich and fascinating history. To fully understand this history, we need to go back to the year 1837...

In that year, the Sainte-Croix Congregation was founded by Father Basile Moreau, in Le Mans, France.

In 1841, Father Moreau added a group of Sisters to his Congregation. In 1847, a small group of these Sisters (Soeurs Marianites) were sent to Canada to create an educational institution for girls in the small village of Saint-Laurent. Their first school was named Maison Sainte-Marie. This school, once located on the grounds of Vanier's E Building, would eventually evolve into two large institutions: Pensionnat Notre-Dame-des-Anges and Collège Basile-Moreau. For more information on the construction, demolition, renovation and sale of specific buildings, please consult this timeline written by Sisters Thérèse Roy and Hermine Laurin.

In 1967, Notre-Dame-des-Anges was closed, followed by Basile-Moreau in 1968. Both schools were replaced by Vanier College, part of Quebec's secular post-secondary education system called CÉGEP. Vanier College officially opened for its first semester in September, 1970.

This web site is designed to provide its visitors with an historical guided tour of Vanier College. But first, we invite you to view this introductory page so that you can get a better understanding of the many changes that have taken place on the campus since the late 1840s. At the bottom of this page, you will find several links that will allow to enhance your experience even further. Note that the sources of the many images found in this web site are listed here.

Enjoy your trip back in time!



Our trip through history begins with this building, the first known to have been built on land that constitutes our current campus.

At left, we see the Village de Saint-Laurent chapel which was erected in 1817 on the Sulpicians' land. It was primarily dedicated to celebrate May, the month of Mary, as well as the Feast of the Sacred Heart.

The 1832 and 1854 cholera epidemic victims were buried here. Located at the corner of avenue Sainte-Croix and rue Basile-Moreau, it was demolished in 1911 to make way for the construction of the Académie Saint-Alfred (the future H Building).

This photo was taken in the late 1800's.




This was the first convent building that was erected on our site. It was called Maison Sainte-Marie and was completed in 1847. It was run by the Sisters of Sainte-Croix. When the chapel was added in 1872-73, that specific chapel became known as Académie Sainte-Marie. Some sources also indicate that this original building may have been actually built in 1734, and was possibly used for many years by Sulpician priests.

 

By 1897, the convent had grown considerably. With a wing added to the left of the Académie Sainte-Marie (chapel) in 1889, the entire facility was renamed Pensionnat Notre-Dame-des-Anges. The above structure includes what we now call the C Building (left) the center chapel (now the F Building) and the Continuing Education Center or E Building on the right.

By the 1920s, we can recognize the shape of our present-day Vanier College. Noticeably different is the F Building (middle of the picture). In 1933, the Sisters of Sainte-Croix created a second academic institution called Collège Basile-Moreau. It was first housed in some existing locations and then expanded considerably in the 1940s and 1950s.

The new addition of what we call A building was originally called Collège Basile-Moreau, named after the founder of the Sisters of Sainte-Croix. This photo taken between 1955-57 shows the addition of the A Building on the left hand side. The old F Building visible at the end of the road was torn down and replaced with our much more modern F Building in the early 1960s.

Here's an aerial view of the campus taken in the early 1960's. Notice the new F Building (in the centre with the black roof) as well as the absence of the Sports Complex on the left side and the N Building on the far right. In the Fall of 1970, The College opened its doors, taking the name Vanier College after Georges P. Vanier, the former Governor General of Canada.

The front of our campus as it appears today. From left to right are the B, C and F Buildings.



CONTINUE YOUR EXPLORATIONS OF VANIER'S PAST:
PHOTOGRAPHIC AND HISTORICAL INFORMATION ON SPECIFIC VANIER BUILDINGS
THE SISTERS OF STE-CROIX AND THEIR STUDENTS FROM THE LATE 1800s TO THE 1960s
 
VANIER STUDENTS, FACULTY AND STAFF FROM THE 1970s TO THE 1990s
AMAZING AND UNKNOWN AREAS WITHIN THE COLLEGE
THE STORY OF MARIE ANNE ADOLPHE JUSTINE, THE BELL IN OUR SPIRE
VIDEOS AND NEWS CLIPS RELATING TO VANIER'S HISTORY
 
A VISUAL HISTORY OF SAINT-LAURENT
 
THE STORY OF GEORGES P. VANIER




SITE CREDITS:
Website Editor-in-Chief: Matthieu Sossoyan (Anthropology Faculty) Matthieu's roots.
Historical Researchers: Matthieu Sossoyan, Louis Phillip Belle-Isle and Denis Lafontaine
Web Design, Graphics and Archivist: Denis Lafontaine, I.T. Support Services Media Specialist


This site was last updated on February 4, 2016