During the first two years after
their arrival in 1657, the Sulpicians are housed by the Religious
Hospitallers of St. Joseph in Montreal's first hospital (Hôtel
Dieu), whose location in Old Montreal is presently crossed by the Le
Royer Street joining the Saint Sulpice Street with the Saint Dizier
Street. In 1659, the Sulpicians build a first residence on St. Paul
Street. This residence is located on the north side of the street,
opposite the Royal Square, the place where royal edicts and orders were
read. In 1676, this square, the central place of activities of
Montreal’s life, is sold to the inhabitants by the Sulpicians -
landlords of the Island of Montreal - to serve as a public square,
where twice a week there is a market with over 30 stalls set up by
merchants to sell their products. Presently there is no trace of this
residence while the Royal Square remains a public space, part of which
is occupied by the Custom House, now converted into a souvenir shop of
the Pointe-à-Callière Museum.
Beginning in 1685, the Sulpicians occupy the current Seminary of St.
Sulpice constructed according to the plans of Fr. François
Dollier de Casson, PSS, superior of the Seminary from 1678 to 1701,
who built the central wing of the Seminary (1685), and Fr.
François Vachon de Belmont, PSS, superior from 1701 to 1732,
to whom we owe the two wings (1705), of which only the west wing still
exists. The disappearance of the eastern wing dates from the 1850s.
It’s because since 1840, Bishop Bourget entrusts to the Sulpicians the
responsibility to form the future priests of the diocese. The
Sulpicians consider the construction of a building suitable for
receiving both the Sulpicians and the seminarians. The architect and
surveyor John Ostell, who works for the Sulpicians, finds himself in
charge of overseeing the construction of the new building to replace
the ancient Seminary. The work that begun in about 1845 is very
complex. Some difficulties and various consultations aiming at solving
them, lead to the decision to preserve the place of residence in its
current state and to locate the place of formation elsewhere.
Since its construction, the Seminary houses the Superior of Saint
Sulpice for New France who from 1663 until the abolition of the feudal
system in 1854, manages with a financial administrator the seigniory of
Montreal and the seigniory of Saint Sulpice. As of 1717, the
administration of the seigniory of the Lac des Deux-Montagnes is added.
The Seminary also houses Sulpicians in residence and, until 2008, the
rectory of the Parish of
Thus, even today, the Seminary has a multi-purpose vocation:
• Provincial House
• Headquarters of the Provincial
of Saint Sulpice
• Centre of the Archives
of the Canadian Province
• Residence for active or retired Sulpicians
• Service of infirmary
Initially, the superior of the Priests of Saint Sulpice in Montreal
assured himself the management of the House with the Provincial Bursary
who now bears the title of the Provincial Financial Administrator.
Today, in order to concentrate himself on the animation and the
direction of the Canadian Province, the Provincial Superior, with the
four consultors of the Provincial Council, appoints a director of the
House. It is up to this director to lead the community of residents and
to provide various services.