Project Information
After 1907
1901 Snapshot
Air Photo Study
Image Library

The Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
(Les Soeurs du Sacré-Coeur de Jésus)

The Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Les Soeurs du Sacré-Coeur de Jésus) celebrated 100 years as an Ottawa East institution in 2002. Angeliqué Le Sourd started the Order in Brittany,Angélique Le Sourd Painting France in 1816. There are no actual images of this woman and the painting shown here is a representation of her in Brittany.

In 1902, at the request of the Oblate Fathers, five Sisters were sent to the Scholasticate to provide domestic service and that continued until 1969. A small convent was built just adjacent to the Scholasticate as seen in the photograph below. This original convent was lost to fire in 1913 and was replaced by the present structure in 1915.

Scholasticate and original convent 1902 to 1913


By 1910 the Sisters had established their own convent at the present-day site on Oblate Ave. to receive novitiates for their Order. In 1911 the Sisters opened a boarding school that initially taught elementary Sacred Heart Convent - 1910levels and later secondary levels up to Grade 13. During the busiest years up toSacred Heart Convent students in 1937 200 students boarded at the school. The original name of the school was the "Pensionnat à Externat du Sacré-Coeur". Outside students came mainly from the Ottawa East area.

The training of novitiates for the Order initially took 2 years and that was later extended to three years. Many of the Sisters received teacher training at the University of Ottawa and taught in many of the schools throughout Ontario. The Sacred Heart Sisters taught at De Mazenod School on Main St. from 1938 to 1969.

As the Sacred Heart Order grew, so did the building with wings added to the original structure as the photographs of the convent below demonstrate. Well into the 1940's the Sisters maintained a large Sacred Heart Chjicken Coop - 1954vegetable garden on the northwest portion of the property near Main St. as well as a chicken coop that supplied food for convent. At one point they even had a milk cow that regularly escaped the fence to prowl Ottawa East. A major renovation and extension of the building took place in 1954 with the addition of the back wing and the chapel. In addition the Order has living quarters for many Sisters in the houses on Main St. between Oblate and Springhurst Avenues.

By 1961 the Order had grown to a point where it regrouped forming two "religious provinces": the Province of Notre-Dame-du-Cap (Ontario) headquartered on Oblate Avenue; and the Province of Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Coeur in St. Hubert (Quebec). In that year there were 246 Sisters, 31 Novices, 25 students and 2 pensioners in the Ontario Province.

By 1995 the convent ceased to train new novitiates. Many Sisters continue work outside of the convent in Sacred Heart Convent - modern chapelteaching and nursing positions. Today 95 Sisters live at the convent with many of the aged cared for in second floor infirmary that is staffed with nurses 24 hours a day. In addition the Order continues to maintain many missions throughout the world that are supported in part by the many crafts that are produced by the Sisters.

As with the Oblate Fathers, the Sisters of the Sacred Heart have played a major role in the churches and schools of the Ottawa East and continue to do so even today.

Various clothing styles over the years

Different styles of habits worn over the years

Rear view in 1914

Rear view of the convent in 1914

Convent in 1926

Front view of the convent with new wing in 1926

Sacred Heart Chapel c1926

Sacred Heart Chapel c.1926

Sacred Heart Chapel - no date

Sacred Heart Chapel - no date

Convent Sisters sewing - probably in the 1930's

Convent Sisters sewing - probably in the 1930's

Saint Vierge statue in back garden c1950

Saint Vierge statue in back garden c1950

Sacred Heart Convent c2000

Sacred Heart Convent c2000

And finally, a glimpse of the evolution of the Sacred Heart Convent as seen in some of the air photos that can be found in the Air Photo Study found here. These images are cropped portions and are not hotlinked.

The first image (top left) from 1922 shows in sequence from left to right: Ste. Famille Church; Sacred Heart Convent (just behind and to the right) and the Scholasticate on the far right. That configuration should be the same with all the remaining photos unless somebody moved them!

1922 (H 5 1922 cropped)

1928 (A26 36 1928 cropped)

1931 (A3332 67 1931 cropped)

1938 (A6532 36 1938 cropped)

Yes I know, it's almost impossible to see

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