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PRESS RELEASE – The sale of Domaine Villa-Maria in support of the most disadvantaged students in Quebec

The call for tenders will be issued in the coming weeks

Montreal, April 15, 2024 – Les Sœurs de la Congrégation de Notre-Dame would like to announce that the net proceeds from the sale of Domaine Villa-Maria, unveiled last June, will be paid into the Marguerite-Bourgeoys Fund to create a program intended to support vulnerable students attending public primary and secondary schools in Quebec. The Congregation would also like to announce that the brokerage mandate for the sale of the Domaine, including all of the land and buildings, has been granted to Colliers International who will issue a call for tenders in the coming weeks.

The Congregation would like to reiterate that it will respect the current lease binding it to Villa Maria College, a private high school founded by the Congregation; this commitment constitutes an express condition of the sale. With the remaining lease term ending in December 2030, all current students and those admitted in 2024 will be able to complete their studies there. The Congregation will also make sure to expressly mention in the notice of sale the desire expressed by the management of the College to continue its activities on the site beyond the remaining term of its lease.

Regarding Marianopolis College, a private higher education establishment founded by the Congregation in 1908 and located on a separate lot within the Domaine, the NPO that manages the College has already acquired the building and land, as announced in June 2023, so that its educational mission can continue. The deed of sale was signed in March 2024.

In light of their advanced age, the sisters of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame carried out an important long-term strategic planning exercise over the past two years. They made choices and agreed on their legacies for the next hundred years in the different provinces and countries where they work. This choice of legacy is part of their educational mission and their desire to promote the development and educational success of students in vulnerable situations and contribute to reducing social inequalities. Since 1990, the Congregation has been prioritizing supporting the most vulnerable people, and the choice of legacy is part of this mission.

“The sisters of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame have created and run more than 240 schools in Quebec and helped the poorest and most disadvantaged people in the world for more than 366 years. Domaine Villa-Maria is our most important asset in Quebec, and we want its sale to support children living in poverty and ensure their academic success and development. The needs in this regard are significant: we must collectively be sensitive to them and make efforts to promote a better future for these children. The Congregation is very happy to announce this important support program for students in vulnerable situations attending public primary and secondary schools in Quebec. This is a collective orientation decided by the sisters in light of the glaring issues experienced by many Quebec families. This contribution, a natural extension of our fundamental mission of liberating education and support for the community, will constitute a concrete and hopeful legacy as we enter a new era with the sale of the Domaine and the upcoming move of the sisters to another house.” said Sister Ona Bessette, General Leader of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame de Montréal.

About Domaine Villa-Maria

Domaine Villa-Maria is a 1,669,320 square foot plot of land located in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce-Côte-des-Neiges neighbourhood of Montreal. Les Sœurs de la Congrégation de Notre-Dame have owned the property since 1854. As well as vast gardens and an old orchard, the land includes a residence for autonomous sisters, an infirmary with 150 beds, an administrative centre and a private high school (Villa Maria).

About the Congrégation de Notre-Dame

Les Soeurs de la Congrégation de Notre-Dame is a Catholic religious community founded in Ville-Marie (Montreal) in the 17th century by Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys. Marguerite Bourgeoys supported the Sieur de Maisonneuve in the development of the colony in 1653. She opened the first school in the colony in 1658 and welcomed and trained the Filles du Roy who came from France to marry the settlers, start families, colonize the territory and thus build the society of New France.

Women of faith and commitment, the sisters of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame are well known for their exceptional contributions to the education of girls and boys, for the creation and management of over 340 schools in Quebec and for the creation of the first schools of higher education and universities for women. In addition to promoting liberating education, the sisters also provide help to suffering and marginalized people. The work of the Congregation has several facets on four continents: teaching in schools, solidarity with women, pastoral care, social justice, protection of the environment, etc.

Currently, the Congregation has 500 sisters in a number of countries and regions, namely Canada, the United States, Central America (El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala), Cameroon, Japan, France and Belgium.

About liberating education

The goal of liberating education is to develop the full potential of students, preparing them to become agents of their own transformation. It also seeks to help students become citizens of the world who participate actively in and are committed to transforming society and preserving our planet.  It is a form of education that prioritizes humanizing relationships and promoting mutual and interdependent dialogue, while always taking into account the dignity of each person.

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Les Sœurs de la Congrégation de Notre-Dame

2330 Sherbrooke Street West

Montreal, QC H3H 1G8


For information:

Justin Meloche

514 995-9704