Pending sale of Les Soeurs de la Visitation convent

16 08 2009

If you’ve lived in the Westboro area for any length of time you’re probably already familiar with Les Soeurs de la Visitation convent at 114 Richmond Road. It is a major historical fixture in our neighborhood.

The 19th-century building is up for sale. A brochure from the real estate company DTZ Barnicke is marketing the property as a “simply extraordinary development opportunity.”

This article at CBC.ca has more information about the building and the issue of its sale.

Here is how an August 15th editorial in the Citizen described it (you can read it in its entirety here):

“According to architect and heritage critic Barry Padolsky who is one of the few members of the public to tour the grounds, entering the site at 114 Richmond Rd. just west of Island Park Drive, is like going into a different world; more like being in Europe than in one of the trendiest parts of Ottawa. And the convent, according to Padolsky, is like the jewel in the crown of the property. It is full of art. The building is an unknown treasure in the community.”

Heritage staff have visited the site and are currently researching the history of the property with a view to recommending heritage designation in a report to LACAC, PEC and Council in October. Councillor Leadman has provided her support for the heritage designation of this site.

We’ve been fielding quite a few emails about this and will be posting updates as we get them, but in the meantime we love to hear from our community. Is it or is it not important to hold on to our architectural history? Use the comments area to let us know what you think about its proposed sale and heritage designation.

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2 responses

21 09 2009
Kate Hamilton Harding

Hello – I would just limke to register my support for the preservation of the buildings at the Les Soeurs de la Visitation property. It is important that in our rush to urbanize we don’t loose sight of these pieces of our collective past.

6 10 2009
Karen Prytula

I don’t want the convent property to be developed. I would like to see it preserved, as a heritage property. There have been some changes to the building, such as the doors. Not all of them on the outside of the building are original. I remember running down a path that is alongside the convent, when I was a little girl in the mid 1960’s. I would rap as hard as I could on the big oval shaped black doors. I would scare myself because I really couldn’t read yet, but I knew the sign on this big black door said monster…
But I’d knock on the door anyway, and a rectangular peep-hole slid open revealing a pair of eyes looking at me. Most times I’d run away once I saw the eyes, but sometimes I said Hi and waved, and then run away out of shyness. I wonder if there is anyone still living at the convent that would have lived there in the 1960’s.
I used to live close by, on Bronson at Hilson. My dad used to own Prytula’s Confectionery…
Thank you
Karen Prytula

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