If buildings could speak… - A historical and architectural tour of Vaudreuil-Dorion

 

Former Saint-Michel College

Former Saint-Michel College, now Musée régional de Vaudreuil-Soulanges. © Bernard Bourbonnais – Musée régional de Vaudreuil-Soulanges, 2016.
Former Saint-Michel College and annexes (rear view). © Bernard Bourbonnais – Musée régional de Vaudreuil-Soulanges, 2017.
Detailed plan of the Saint-Michel de Vaudreuil Village (1850) and model school for boys (in red). © Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, William Teasdale. Plan of the Village of Vaudreuil. 23 février 1850, E21, S555,SS1,SSS23,PV.
Students and teachers in front of the Saint-Michel College with the Brothers of Christian Instruction, before 1908. © Centre d’archives de Vaudreuil-Soulanges, Jean-Paul Pilon et Lucille Vernier Fund, P25-2.
The Saint-Michel College after repairs in 1913 by architect Siméon Brais (expansion of two windows and relocation of the front door), around 1928. © Centre d’archives de Vaudreuil-Soulanges. Musée régional de Vaudreuil-Soulanges Fund.
The 1882 annex on the right hand side of the main stone building, around 1950. © Centre d’archives de Vaudreuil-Soulanges. Musée régional de Vaudreuil-Soulanges Fund, PM-77.
Prime Minister Jean Lesage, Minister of Education Paul Gérin-Lajoie, and the Mayor of Vaudreuil Gilles Brouillard at the inauguration of the Musée historique de Vaudreuil, the Cité-des-Jeunes campus and the Île aux Tourtes Bridge in 1965. © Centre d’archives de Vaudreuil-Soulanges, Paroisse Saint-Michel de Vaudreuil Fund.
The Musée historique de Vaudreuil in 1967 after its complete restoration. © Musée régional de Vaudreuil-Soulanges Collection, 79.261.
Drawing of the 1979 wing and shed by architect André Marchand (Labelle, Marchand, Geoffroy). © Centre d’archives de Vaudreuil-Soulanges. Musée régional de Vaudreuil-Soulanges Fund, CP-A200-2 (3).
Principal and teacher Georges-Joseph Bouchard and a teacher, posing with their students in back of the Saint-Michel College, around 1917. © Centre d’archives de Vaudreuil-Soulanges. Jean-Paul Pilon et Lucille Vernier Fund, P-25-4.

place OLD VAUDREUIL AND FORMER SAINT-MICHEL DE VAUDREUIL VILLAGE

Current name Musée régional de Vaudreuil-Soulanges

Original vocation Saint-Michel College, school for boys

Address 431 Saint-Charles Avenue, Vaudreuil-Dorion

Construction date Between 1844 and 1847

Architect, Firm or Contractor Unidentified architect or entrepreneur; Moïse Acquin, carpenter and Jean-Baptiste Campeau, master mason (expansion and new roof in 1882); Siméon Brais, architect (repairs in 1913); Victor Depocas and André Marchand (restoration in 1964-1965); André Marchand (shed and expansion in 1978-1979)

Architectural type Institutional and non-residential

Status Private property; heritage building recognized by the Government of Québec on June 30, 1961

A SCHOOLHOUSE IN THE HEART OF THE FORMER VAUDREUIL VILLAGE

The former Saint-Michel College of Vaudreuil1 embodies the evolution of school systems, including the creation of school boards in the 1840s. Construction of the schoolhouse began in 1844, on a lot acquired the same year by education commissioners of the Saint-Michel de Vaudreuil Parish2. The village’s young boys received an education provided by lay teachers as well as members from three male religious communities. Because of school reforms and an increasing number of students, the stone building was abandoned in 1954, and was saved from demolition in extremis three years later3. Indeed, the Vaudreuil-Soulanges Historical Society had been looking for a location for the museum it had founded five years prior (1953), and they moved into the building in 1958. After many months of deliberation, the Vaudreuil School Board donated the old school to the Vaudreuil-Soulanges Historical Society in August 19594. The building was renamed Musée historique de Vaudreuil and later, in 1980, the Musée régional de Vaudreuil-Soulanges5.

Test your knowledge

Which famous person was a student at the Saint-Michel College?

Before The Former Saint-Michel College, around 1950. © Centre d’archives de Vaudreuil-Soulanges. Musée régional de Vaudreuil-Soulanges Fund, PM-77.

After The Musée régional de Vaudreuil-Soulanges. © Bernard Bourbonnais – Musée régional de Vaudreuil-Soulanges, 2016.

People

References

  1. To facilitate reading and to respect Vaudreuil-Dorion’s historical development, the text in this heritage tour uses the names of Vaudreuil or Dorion for events prior to 1994, year in which the cities merged.

    Also, when citing this heritage tour, please do so as follows: Sébastien Daviau, Jean-Luc Brazeau, and Édith Prégent. If buildings could speak. A historical and architectural tour of Vaudreuil-Dorion. Vaudreuil-Dorion, City of Vaudreuil-Dorion / Musée régional de Vaudreuil-Soulanges, 2017, <https://www.circuitvd.ca>, accessed [insert date].

  2. Centre d’archives de Vaudreuil-Soulanges, microfilms, m. not., Joseph-Octave Bastien, fils, May 5, 1844. Sale of a piece of land located in the village of Vaudreuil by George Moffatt, a Montreal merchant, to the duly elected education commissioners of the St-Michel de Vaudreuil Parish.

  3. Sébastien Daviau et Édith Prégent. Le Musée régional de Vaudreuil-Soulanges : une histoire passionnante à découvrir. Vaudreuil-Dorion, Musée régional de Vaudreuil-Soulanges, 2e édition, 2007 [2005], 41 p.

  4. M. not., Ubald Larivée, August 13, 1959. Cession by the school commissioners of the Vaudreuil municipality to the Société historique de Vaudreuil-Soulanges with the stone building that once served as a school, and the shed behind it. Accessed October 4, 2016 on the Registre foncier du Québec website, <https://www.registrefoncier.gouv.qc.ca>.

  5. Sébastien Daviau, « Un rêve devenu réalité. Le Musée régional de Vaudreuil-Soulanges », Cap-aux-Diamants, no 84, hiver 2006, p. 38.