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L'église Saint-Joseph situé au 550 rue Richmond devriendra le Salon 1861 dans les plans du Quartier de l'Innovation.






Riche de son histoire et des nombreux artistes qui y ont habité, le territoire qu’occupe le QI continue d’accueillir de nombreux joueurs de la scène culturelle montréalaise : espaces de diffusion, galeries d’art et studios, notamment. Le Laboratoire de culture urbaine du QI profitera de cette effervescence et de l’expertise universitaire dans le domaine des arts afin de créer des occasions d’échange entre artistes, professeurs, étudiants et résidents du quartier. Le Laboratoire s’installera au sein du QI, dans le Salon 1861, qui pourra accueillir des projets de recherche collaborative, des expositions, des événements, des ateliers d’artistes et des organismes communautaires, tout en favorisant l’échange avec la communauté.



Piloté par : Will Straw, professeur, Département d’histoire de l’art et d’études en communications, Université McGill et Natalie Voland, présidente, Gestion immobilière Quo Vadis.


Ce site explique l'histoire de cette église : http://avantlautoroute.com/2011/01/10/leglise-st-joseph-rue-richmond/


Article sur la transformation :






Mark Twain has said of Montreal, “this is the first time I was ever in a city where you couldn’t throw a brick without breaking a church window”. Quebec’s history has left the city with a wealth of beautiful churches that are now threatened due to lack of funds for upkeeping. The Église St-Joseph, located in Montreal’s Little-Burgundy neighbourhood, is an example of how the city is rapidly evolving while preserving its communities’ heritage. Starting this summer, Quartier de l’innovation, a McGill University and École de technologies supérieures initiative, will be working in partnership with Gestion Immobilière Quo Vadis to transform l’Église St-Joseph into The Salon 1861, which will host the Laboratory of Urban Culture while still remaining a fixture in the community.


Conversion of churches to preserve the architecture and heritage is not uncommon in Montreal. In the city, there are many churches that have been given a second life and yet continue to create value for the community. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts converted the Erskine and American United Church on Sherbrooke West into a Canadian Art pavilion, completed in 2011, and a successful reinvention of the museum took place to integrate the church into its exhibits. Chic Resto Pop is the site of another converted church in Montreal accessible to surrounding residents. The former Saint Barnabé-Apôtre Church was sold for $300,000 in 2002 and converted into an affordable cafeteria large enough for 300 people. Le Saint-Jude spa opened in fall 2013 is the site of another converted church in the Plateau Mont-Royal district. The spa and health club was renovated into the century old church costing 2.65 million dollars and won the design excellence award in 2013 from Canadian Architect magazine. Soon the Laboratory of Urban Culture will be amongst the list of churches in Montreal that receives a prolonged existence and continues to benefit Montrealers.


"a gathering for social or intellectual distinction through discussions, exchanges and ideas of all sorts."


The idea for the Laboratory of Urban Culture emerged from a study mandated by the Quartier de l’innovation (QI) in 2012 to study the arts and cultural needs in the district. The QI is an innovative ecosystem located in Montreal’s historic Southwest district – Griffintown, Saint-Henri, Petite Bourgogne and Pointe Saint-Charles. It aims to increase collaboration between academia, the private sector, and the community, as well as encourage research and industrrial projects for social and cultural innovation. QI seeks to address needs and face real challenges, in order to improve the quality of life in its district. A collaboration between École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) and McGill University, since June 2013, the QI has developed into a non-profit organization that continues to develop impactful projects for the district.



map of QI

The zone marked in red is the area of QI

The inception of the Laboratory of Urban Culture was a result of the study completed by Professor Will Straw, Director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada. The direct conclusion was the need to create “a YMCA of culture”: or a neutral space in the community for the intersection of academia, arts and culture. The Laboratory of Urban Culture is establishing an accessible link between different stakeholders to promote arts and culture in the community.


Around the same time, Natalie Voland, President of Gestion Immobilière Quo Vadis, had just made quite an astounding purchase: a church! Initially intended for conversion into condominiums, Voland sought efforts to maintain its heritage having realized its priceless architectural value. Built in 1861, l’Église St-Joseph is one of the oldest catholic churches in Montreal with a heritage value close to that of the Oratoire St-Joseph. Having visited the church, the awe factor makes anyone who has seen the interior eager to preserve it. Voland then began a search for ways to preserve the Église St-Joseph. After learning about the purchase of the church in the QI, Isabelle Péan, Project Director of QI at McGill, met with Voland to present the vision of the Laboratory of Urban Culture. Soon after, a collboration was established between QI and Quo Vadis to host the Laboratory of Urban Culture within the Église St-Joseph, now called the Salon 1861.


The name “Salon 1861”, comes from old French, meaning a periodic gathering for social or intellectual distinction through discussions, exchanges and ideas of all sorts. The Salon 1861 will be a socially responsible project put together by the synergy of diverse partners. The historically significant heritage building of l’Église St-Joseph will be maintained and transformed into a modern representation still carrying out its intended purpose, a place for civic community, culture and collaboration. In the coming months a McGil Arts doctorate student will finalize programming of workshops, lectures and concerts in the Laboratory. The Laboratory of Urban Culture will be an important aspect of the creative ecosystem, which will be established in the Salon 1861. Other elements of this ecosystem include an art gallery, event spaces and a co-working space in the church’s basement targeted at social economy and arts entrepreneurship.


Students will have a variety of opportunities to get involved with the Laboratory and the Salon 1861. Currently, Mark Ramsey, a graduate student in architecture from McGill University, is working with Quo Vadis on the legacy and patrimonial work of the church before reconstruction begins. More internships and projects for students are currently being established within this framework. Essentially, the Salon 1861 will become an ecosystem where different components will mutually complement and benefit the community.


Natalie Voland has said “The concept of the Salon 1861 has really been inspired by the QI’s vision. The Salon 1861 will be at the heart of the community and will be a real destination for cultural and social innovation in the District”.


To stay connected with the developments of QI, including the progress of the Laboratory of Urban Culture, follow them on Facebook or Twitter!




Edited by ScarletCoral
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