(Grey Nuns Building)(Grey Nuns Residence)

1190 Guy Street, Montreal, QC

Concordia University

(514) 848-2828

Status: Former Abby Motherhouse; University Residence; Crypt



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Chapelle Soeurs Grises Montreal.jpg

By <span lang="en">Anonymous</span> - This image is available from the <a href="" class="extiw" title="en:McCord Museum">McCord Museum</a> under the access number <a rel="nofollow" class="external text" href=";section=196">MP-0000.869.6</a> Public Domain, Link

Grey Nuns Motherhouse crypt - 01.jpg

By <a href="//" title="User:Anna Frodesiak">Anna Frodesiak</a> - <span class="int-own-work" lang="en">Own work</span>, CC0Link


Completed in 1871 this building was originally the Motherhouse for the Grey Nuns of Montreal – also know as the Sisters of Charity of Montreal – an order of the Roman Catholic Church that was founded by Saint Marguerite d’Youville.

The building once housed over 1,000 nuns as well as serving as an orphanage and a hospital.

Saint Marguerite is the only Canadian elevated to a Saint.

In the 1980’s the Grey Nuns stopped taking in new recruits and the building was left empty as sisters passed away or moved to long term health facilities.

In 2007 the building was bought by Concordia University for $18 million originally to be converted into the Faculty of Fine Arts. In the end it was decided to convert it into an undergraduate residence – this was done for a cost of $15 million.

The residence is co-ed and has almost 600 beds in double and single rooms. It also includes a huge reading room – which was converted from the chapel – a daycare and a cafeteria.

The University owns the entire building except the crypt in the basement. The crypt still contains 276 remains – the majority of which were sisters – as the Province would not allow the bodies to be excavated and transferred as many of the nuns died of highly infectious diseases.

The crypt is locked and inaccessible but it can be viewed through a window in a door.


Paranormal Activity

In February of 1918 – Valentine’s Day - a fire consumed a portion of the 4th floor above the hospital which was being used as an orphanage. More than 50 children were trapped and consumed in the flames. A number of babies were also enveloped in the flames

Running footsteps and the crying of children and babies are reported by students living there. Phantom screams are also heard and thought to be nuns who were unable to rescue the children. The phantom smell of smoke has also been reported.

There is also a story of a female student who had to move out of the building due to terrible nightmares of burned and disfigured children. The dreams stopped once she moved.

Children being cared for in the daycare facilities have repeatedly reported the apparition of a young boy.

A man who murdered a couple for their money in the 18th century was executed and buried on the property as well. His final resting place is still marked by a brown cross.

People have reported being stared at by a man whose face cannot be seen. He is very hazy and fades from view quickly.

Despite the crypt underneath the building no one has ever reported the apparition of a nun here.

Other Activity: Shadow figures in the halls have been infrequently seen; light anomalies; cold spots and the most frequently reported paranormal activity is a feeling of strangeness in the building like something just isn’t quite right.