History and Heritage
History - History of Nuns' Island
On January 28, 1664, Saint-Paul's Island was divided into three equal parts
and awarded to three rich and notable French subjects established in Ville-Marie
(the former name for Montréal). They were Jacques Le Ber, Lord of Saint-Paul and
Senneville, Claude Robutel de Saint-André, Lord of La Noue and Jean de la Vigne.
The latter transferred his share to Marie Le Ber, sister of Jacques Le Ber, in
1668. That same year, Marie Le Ber sold her share to her brother, who thus
became owner of two-thirds of the island. In 1676, the island included the
fiefdoms of Saint-Paul and Lanoue.
Thirty years later, the Congrégation religieuse de Notre-Dame, founded by
Marguerite Bourgeoys, acquired the Lanoue's fief. Following the British
conquest, the other fief was put up for auction and purchased by the
Congrégation, making the latter sole owner of the island for more than the next
250 years. In 1956, the island, which has ever since been known as Nuns' Island,
was sold to the Québec Home and Mortgage Corporation Ltd. At the same time,
Québec enacted an order amending Verdun’s city charter stipulating that
Saint-Paul's Island (Nuns' Island) would henceforth be part of the city of
Verdun. The nuns left the island for good in 1957.
The island was used for farming throughout the 1960s. It was only accessible
by a shuttle boat run by boatman Pierre Lacoursière, among others. This service
made it possible to cross between Verdun and the island until the Champlain
Bridge was opened in 1962.
Nuns' Island has now become a select residential community. With a
high-quality standard of urban living within a unique environment, Nuns' Island
is just minutes from downtown Montréal.
To learn more about the history of Nuns' Island
GAUTHIER-LANDREVILLE, M.A., C.N.D., L'île-Saint-Paul
Île-des-Sœurs près Montréal, Éditions de la Congrégation de Notre-Dame,
Montréal, 1970, 367 pages
LACOURSIÈRE, JACQUES, L'Île-des-Soeurs: d'hier à aujourd'hui,
Éditions de l'Homme, Montréal, 2005, 262 pages