JEANNE D’ARC INSTITUTE

Quick facts

Story kiosk location

  • Corner of Sussex and York

Important dates

  • (1917 – 1926) The Sisters of the Jeanne D’Arc Institute purchased these five commercial buildings, originally built in the mid-nineteenth century, and merged them into a single school building.

Audiofile

  • No

Who lived here?

  • In the 1960s there were nearly 150 sisters in the order, providing new female arrivals to Ottawa with a safe place to live and receive education and training.

If you look just around the corner at 489 Sussex you’ll find the beautiful gabled entrance of the Jeanne D’Arc Institute...

…a building that was a convent, bilingual school, and boarding house.

Revere Hotel – Part of the Institut Jeanne D’Arc, corner view of all buildings © Agence Parcs Canada / Parks Canada Agency, M. Trépanier, 1985.

Founded in 1919, the sisters of l’Institute Jeanne D’Arc were a uniquely francophone order of women in Ontario dedicated to the improvement of economic opportunities and education of women coming to find work in Ottawa.

 

Sister Marie Thomas D’Aquin (Founder of the order that created the Institut)
© George Nakash. Library and Archives Canada​. PA-188479

Sister Marie Thomas d’Aquin, who was born in France in 1877, founded the order and continued as its mother superior until 1948. An avid and renowned poet, her writings earned her the French Legion D’honneur in 1956. She passed away in 1963.

 

The entrance to Institut Jeanne D’Arc, with the Sign above the door, Sparrow building
© Agence Parcs Canada / Parks Canada Agency, M. Trépanier, 1985.

From 1917-1980, the Sisters of the Institute became a home away from home for young women from around the globe, from all different backgrounds and religions, as they searched for work, obtained language training and studied at university.

 

At its height during the 1960s, there were nearly 150 Sisters in the order to house and teach the boarders. The order left the building in 1991, and today it remains a well-known landmark along Confederation Boulevard.

 

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