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© McCord Museum
Priests farm.
Charles Dawson Shanly
1847, 19th century
Graphite on paper
23.5 x 30.2 cm
Gift of Miss Mary Shanly
© McCord Museum


This signed and dated view looks north-west from just below what is now Sherbrooke Street towards the towers and buildings of the Sulpician farm, which was situated on the western slopes of Mount Royal. Today, this is the site of the Grand Séminaire. In his Hochelaga Depicta, Newton Bosworth describes the farm in the following terms : " The Priest's Farm is situated on the side of the Mountain, a little to the left of the road leading to Côte des Neiges and St. Laurent. It consists of extensive gardens and orchards, and several acres of land which are cultivated as a farm for the benefit of the Seminary, to which it belongs. The buildings are substantial and commodious, and occupy a position which commands a lovely view of the city, the River St. Lawrence, and the fine country in front. They are in summer the weekly resort of professors and pupils of the Seminary and College; and nothing can be better adapted for exercice, and recreation from sedentary employment. They march to and from the place in regular order, and are generally accompanied by a band of music, formed from amateurs of their own body. The place was formerly known by the appellation of the Chateau des Seigneurs de Montréal, but is now frequently called La Maison des Prêtres". The complex was originally founded in 1683 as a mission to convert Quebec's native people. Today, all that remain of the original buildings are the twin towers that were part of the surrounding wall. Although Bosworth's description was published prior to the execution of this drawing, it nevertheless corresponds closely to the view the artist saw some years later. (Excerpt from: GRAHAM, Conrad. Mont-Royal - Ville Marie : Early Plans and Views of Montreal, McCord Museum of Canadian History, p.104.)

© Musée McCord Museum