Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
December 2004

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia


Marianopolis College:

A Brief History



In many ways the history of Marianopolis parallels and reflects that of the great metropolis, its mother city. The College's history is one of change, development and growth from its earliest days to the present time.


In 1908, Notre Dame Ladies College was established by the Congrégation de Notre Dame in their mother house at 3040 Sherbrooke Street West. A bilingual college, it was the first institution of higher learning for English Catholic women in the Province of Quebec. Three years later the first degree was conferred through an affiliation with Université Laval. In 1922, affiliation was transferred to the newly-chartered Université de Montréal, and four years later the College was renamed Marguerite Bourgeoys College and moved to new quarters on Westmount Avenue.


During the social upheavals of World War II, the curriculum of the English sector of the College was reorganized along the lines of English-language universities to include programs in general science and honours chemistry. The English sector of the College was named Marianopolis and was relocated in the beautiful old Mount St. Mary at the corner of Guy and Dorchester Streets. A tragic fire which destroyed this landmark in 1945 caused a further move, this time to 3647 Peel Street where the College was to

remain for thirty years. The purchase of adjacent property and the construction of classroom space enabled Marianopolis to expand at the same time that the quality of its academic program was gaining an enviable reputation for the College. In the mid-sixties, further educational changes in Quebec, particularly the recommendations of the Parent Report, were radically to affect Marianopolis. In line with these sweeping changes affecting all postsecondary education in the Province of Quebec, Marianopolis admitted its freshmen students of 1969 to a CEGEP-equivalent program; it also accepted its first male students. The degree program was phased out with the granting of the last degrees in 1972.


Marianopolis' campus at 3647 Peel Street (1945-1975).

Top left was the building that housed the library;

On the top to the right, were the faculty offices and various services;

The bottom picture shows the administrative building and the classrooms.

The success of the College affirms the wisdom of the initial choice to serve the needs of the university-bound English-speaking students. The increase of the College population to 1200 students necessitated a further move, this time in 1975 to the historic site of the former Séminaire de Philosophie at 3880 Côte des Neiges. Here, on a 17 acre campus leased from the Sulpician Fathers, the College enjoys a stately building now completely renovated, a scenic cityscape, playing fields and tennis courts, A modern Sports Complex, opened in 1987, allows the College to offer a well-balanced Physical Education Program along with recreational sports, intramural and intercollegiate competition. Facilities include a double gym, swimming pool, dance studio, weight-training room and two squash courts. Also housed in this building are the Computer Centre and several classrooms.


The campus of Marianopolis College at 3880 Côte des Neiges


Marianopolis is an interdenominational, coeducational College recognized by the government as "a private college accredited for purposes of subsidies." As a private institution with an academic tradition stretching back to the turn of the century and an equally long reputation for academic excellence, Marianopolis is a small personal college offering university-bound students an alternative to the large CEGEPs.


Source: Marianopolis College, Calendar 2004-2005, 115p., p. 3.


© 2004 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College