Located in Pointe-Saint-Charles, the Maison Saint-Gabriel, classified as cultural property, bears witness to the farm founded by Marguerite Bourgeoys in the 17th century which served to feed the nuns of the Congregation of Notre Dame for three centuries. The expansion of the Maison Saint-Gabriel museum with the restoration of the Catherine-Crolo Pavilion, for the purpose of museum interpretation, allowed the construction of a garden paying tribute to the nuns who maintained the farm. This renewed space becomes a message-carrying landscape to anchor the collective imagination of a major museum site in Montreal with more than 75,000 visitors annually.
Developed in collaboration with Chantal Prud’homme, landscape architect specialized in heritage, the integration of works of art was considered with the greatest detail. The garden is structured around a granite driveway evoking the old farm road where engraved slabs recall the names of the sharecroppers who lived on the premises. Four thematic developments, the market gardens, the cereal fields, the “desert” and the woodland punctuate the path and permeate the visitors. The “desert” expresses the art of “deserting”, that is, clearing land and cultivating fields. Thus to access the museum, you must take the alley Métayères and go through the pavilion Catherine Crolo. This route, through the Jardin des Métayères, evokes 300 years of history in a thematic way, from clearing to large-scale farming, to fragmentation leading to urbanization.