Dawson College and the Mother House

Matthew Farfan

larger_img_5228.a.jpgFounded in 1969, Dawson College in Westmount was the first English-language Cegep in Quebec. Over the past four decades, the institution has grown from a student body of 1,200 to one of over 10,000 full and part-time students enrolled in dozens of academic programs.

Over the course of its history, Dawson College has occupied several campuses. Originally the college was located in a former factory building on Selby Street in Westmount. A second campus was opened on Viger Street just north of Old Montreal in 1970. And in 1972, a third campus was opened near Lafontaine Park.

Further facilities were eventually opened in Saint-Henri, on McGill Street in Old Montreal, and at other locations. In 1988, Dawson acquired the former Mother House of the Congregation of Notre-Dame, and that year the school began the process of consolidating all its scattered facilities under one roof.

larger_img_5230.a.jpgA prestigious and centrally located heritage building, the Mother House occupies an entire 12-acre city block on the edge of Montreal, between de Maisonneuve Boulevard and Sherbrooke Street, and Atwater and Wood Avenues.

Dawson undertook extensive renovations to turn this sprawling 100-year old building into a modern educational facility capable of accommodating 10,000 students, and hundreds of professors and support staff.


Dawson College takes its name from Sir William Dawson, the highly respected principal of McGill University from 1855 to 1893. Sir William's leadership and vision helped to establish McGill's reputation as one of North America's greatest universities.