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Colliers has been assigned to sell a large Roman Catholic church-owned property in Montreal's west end.

Montreal Church Property Coming Up for Sale

Colliers has been assigned to sell a large Roman Catholic church-owned property in Montreal’s west end.

The real estate services firm will issue a call for tenders in coming weeks on the Villa Maria estate, the Sisters of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame (CND) announced. The brokerage mandate covers the sale of all of the estate’s land and buildings other than those belonging to Maranapolis College, which its non-profit organization purchased for a reported $8 million in March..

The sale of the estate sale is part of the dwindling nuns’ global strategy to establish legacies around the world in light of their advanced age. The Villa Maria offering has been highly anticipated since the global order of nuns announced in 2023 that they would vacate the property and put it up for sale.

Net proceeds will be used to help vulnerable public primary and secondary school students across Quebec.

“Domaine Villa Maria is our most important asset in Quebec, and we want its sale to support children living in poverty and ensure their academic success and development,” said Sister Ona Bessette, general leader of the CND of Montreal.

Justin Meloche, a spokesman for the CND, told Global News that the final sale price is expected to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

The sisters have owned the property since 1854. The 1.7-million-square-foot property sits on a hill and straddles Montreal’s Côté-des Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough and the suburb of Westmount.

The sale offering includes a residence, an infirmary for the sisters, an administrative centre, the private Villa Maria High School, which the CND founded, vast gardens and an old orchard.

As a condition of the future estate sale, the high school board’s existing lease of the building will be honoured until the deal expires in 2030.

The high school’s board and management issued a news release this week vowing to keep the school at its current site after the sale of the estate and the expiry of the lease.

“We are determined to remain on our heritage site in order to pursue the educational mission of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame,” said Catherine Maheu, who chairs the high school’s board. “Given its rich 170-year history, Villa Maria [High School] must be central to the issues surrounding the future of the estate, in the interests of our 1,900 current students and the thousands more who could eventually benefit from our unique educational offering, as well as those of our dedicated personnel, and the entire community.”

The board intends to exercise a right of first refusal to purchase the school, if necessary. The sisters have stressed that the notice of sale will emphasize the school management’s desire to continue its activities at the site beyond 2023

The Vatican will ultimately approve the sale of the estate.

Photo: Agora Montreal


Inside The Story


About Monte Stewart

Monte Stewart serves as Content Director - Canada for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Monte provides daily news coverage of major Canadian commercial real estate markets, including Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary. He has written about the real estate sector for various media outlets and Avison Young since the early 2000s. In addition, he has covered sports, general news and business for several leading wire services and publications, including The Canadian Press, The Associated Press, The Calgary Herald, The Globe and Mail, Research Money, The Daily Oil Bulletin, Natural Gas World and The Toronto Star. Monte is active in his community as a youth basketball coach and raises funds for such charitable causes as Movember.

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