Proceeds from sale of Villa Maria compound to benefit Quebec public students

Click to play video: 'Villa Marie compound sale will help Quebec students'
Villa Marie compound sale will help Quebec students
After announcing plans to sell the historical Villa Marie compound in 2023, the religious order that owns it will begin fielding potential offers. As Global's Brayden Jagger Haines reports, the nuns now say they are committed to giving proceeds from the sale to improve public education for underprivileged students in Quebec – Apr 16, 2024

After announcing plans to sell the historical Villa Maria compound last June, the religious order that owns it will begin fielding potential offers for the property.

The sale price for the vast estate in Montreal is expected to reach into the hundreds of millions, according to Justin Meloche, spokesperson for the congregation.

The official value of the property has not yet been disclosed.

The hilltop site touches both the borough of Côté-des Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and the city of Westmount.

The sisters of the congregation of Notre-Dame have called the sprawling green space home for nearly two centuries.

Honouring current leases and upholding the historical patronage of the site are factors written into the sale, according to senior general Sister Ona B. Bessette.

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Bessette said the decision by the congregation to leave was based on the aging and dwindling numbers of its members.

The management of the premises had become too “cumbersome” for the resources available.

The area contains a residence, an infirmary, an administrative building and two private schools, Villa Maria high school and Marianopolis College.

The college was sold in March for a reported price of upwards of $8 million.

The remainder of the estate is still up for grabs.

The lease with the private high school expires in July 2030.

Despite housing private school facilities, it is public school students who will be benefiting from the sale, following in the congregation’s long-standing tradition of promoting education. The sisters have decided to donate proceeds from the property’s sale to help vulnerable and underprivileged students across the province.

“Our mission to the poor has always been very important to us as a congregation. It’s the legacy of Margaret Bourgeois, the founder of the first school in Ville Marie borough in 1658. We want to keep that heritage alive,” Bassette said.

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