I-60958 | "Monklands", Villa Maria Convent, Montreal, QC, 1870-71

"Monklands", Villa Maria Convent, Montreal, QC, 1870-71
William Notman (1826-1891)
1870-1871, 19th century
Silver salts on glass - Wet collodion process
20 x 25 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Architecture (8646) , Photograph (77678) , residential (1255)
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In a rural setting on the slopes of Mount Royal, the Monklands estate was one of the favourite destinations of visitors and Montrealers on beautiful summer days. You could breathe the fresh air there and the site offered a magnificent view of the city.

At first a private home, then briefly the official residence of the Governor General Lord Elgin, Monklands became in 1854 a private school for girls called Villa Maria. This boarding school of the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame educated the young ladies of the Montreal elite. In 1864, during her stay in Montreal, Frances Monck went there to attend an awards ceremony presided over by the wife of the Governor General of the time. The guests included the mayor of Montreal, politicians, military officers, members of the bench and businessmen, along with their wives.

Villa Maria was an exceptional educational institution, but it exhibited nonetheless basic characteristics of the Montreal school system in the 19th century. Education was then structured according to religion, sex and social status. Catholics and Protestants, boys and girls, rich and poor did not go to the same schools.

Source: Urban Life through Two Lenses (Consult the See Also box on this page)