Exploring future uses for the monastery at 210 Laurier Street, Gatineau

Canada’s Capital Region – The National Capital Commission (NCC) is inviting the public to comment and provide ideas on potential future uses of the monastery of the Congrégation des Servantes de Jésus-Marie in Gatineau.

As part of its commitment to enhance public access to the Ottawa River shoreline, the NCC recently acquired the riverfront property located at 210 Laurier Street, Gatineau. The main building – a monastery – and the surrounding lands will be repurposed and blended into Jacques-Cartier Park, in keeping with the NCC’s Ottawa River North Shore Parklands Plan, after March 2020, when the current lease ends.

The NCC wants to know what members of the public think about some of the proposed uses for the building, and to hear their thoughts and concerns regarding the broader plans for the property.

Please click here to take a virtual tour of the property, learn more about its history and complete the online survey.

About the project

The primary goals of this project are as follows:

  • To use the building in a way that will enhance Jacques-Cartier Park as a recreational and natural public space.
  • To showcase the monastery’s history and preserve features that convey its heritage.
  • To blend the property into Jacques-Cartier Park in a manner that allows park visitors to move freely around the monastery and enhances public access to the riverfront.

The next step in this process will be to issue a request for proposals (RFP) that invites potential partners to submit detailed bids for a particular use of the building. The present public consultation is designed to better understand the public’s preferences with regard to the potential uses of the building, and to directly inform the evaluation criteria that will be outlined in the RFP.

A rich, historical legacy

The site has been home to the Congrégation des Servantes de Jésus-Marie, a contemplative and cloistered community of nuns, since 1902. Originally established in Masson in 1894, the congregation was relocated to Aylmer in 1898, and finally to Hull in 1902 as its size – and therefore its needs – grew. Today, the 82-room monastery has become too large for the

congregation’s 42 sisters and they have decided to move to a new location that better suits their current needs.

Over the past century, the Servantes de Jésus-Marie and the monastery itself have come to occupy a special place in the local community and in the history of the Outaouais region. It is the only congregation actually founded in the Outaouais. The monastery’s beautiful chapel has welcomed the public since its construction in 1926, and Pope John Paul the II gave mass there in 1984.