Neighbourhood - Buildings

Institut des Sourdes-Muettes


The encounter in 1851 of Sister Marie de Bon Secours of the Sisters of Providence with eight-year old Marguerite-Hélène Hanley led to the founding of an institute devoted to the education of deaf-mute girls. The Institution des Sourdes-Muettes persevered over the course of 115 years in its remarkable mission to a world where ears could not hear and tongues could not speak.

The institute had its roots in a boarding school in Longue-Pointe and at the Saint Joseph Hospice in Montreal, before moving for good to Saint-Denis Street in 1864, first to a stone house built on a spacious terrain bequeathed to the congregation by lawyer Côme-Séraphin Cherrier and his wife. In 1900, the house was replaced by the current imposing structure.

In 1911, the institute, for the first time, admitted a pupil who was blind as well as deaf and mute. The teaching of the blind became part of the institute's mission until it ceased operations in 1975. Sold to the Corporation d'hébergement du Québec in 1979, the building now houses the Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de Montréal.

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Ancienne Institution des Sourdes-Muettes et ses environs

17.8 cm x 12.7 cm

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Sceau de l'Institut des Soeurs de la Providence

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Dessin, "Première maison des Sourdes-Muettes, 1864-1899" (Institut de la Providence, 1925, p.332)