Neighbourhood - Buildings

Strathcona Music Building



History

Until 1896, Montreal had only a few girls' secondary schools and women had no access to university studies.

Starting in 1894, because of a substantial donation from Donald Smith, later Lord Strathcona, 27 female first-year university students had space set aside exclusively for them in the Arts Building and Redpath Museum.

The number of female students increased considerably, and Lord Strathcona provided the funds needed to construct a building with dorm rooms and classrooms, inaugurated in 1900. Several wings were progressively added in the 1930s and after World War II. In total, the Royal Victoria College had four wings: the Hurlbatt wing (1900), the Vaughan wing (1931), the Reynolds wing (1948), and the Roscoe wing (1964). The college, named after Queen Victoria, had almost 500 students, who were nicknamed the “Donaldas,” in reference to Lord Strathcona's first name.

In 1971, the building was converted into the Strathcona Music Building, including Maurice Pollack Concert Hall. The residence, now located exclusively in the Roscoe wing, has a capacity of 257 students.