A RICH HISTORY
Since the early 20th Century, the area surrounding Maison Fides was at the heart of Montreal’s cultural and intellectual life. The original Fides building was constructed in 1964, with a modernist style by the architecture firm Morin et Le Borgne. Its first occupants were Les Éditions Fides, one of Canada’s first French-language publishers, which were founded in 1937. Even then, the location was considered ideal for an important cultural institution. This is even more true today – as this building was erected before the construction of the metro, two nearby malls, UQAM, the Cégep du Vieux-Montréal, the Ville-Marie expressway, which was covered for pave way for the construction of Canada’s largest hospital complex. There are still many historic buildings in the area that attest to Montreal’s rich history, including 19th century gothic churches, the Old Port and the impressive City Hall, which was built in 1878 in Napoleon III style.
The lot where the Fides Building would later be erected belongs to the Plessis-Bélair family. It’s one of the first places outside the walls of the old City of Montreal to be inhabited, on what was known as Dorchester Street.
Les Éditions Fides are founded by father Paul-Aimé Martin of the Ste-Croix Congregation. The publisher is dedicated to educational materials for the French-Canadian population.
The buildings south of the lot are demolished for the enlargement of Dorchester Boulevard. Some historic houses remain, such as the Shaughnessy house, which is now the Centre for Canadian Architecture (CCA)
The Fides building is constructed according to the designs of Montreal architecture firm Morin et Le Borgne, using modernist style and building precepts. The white and blue brick building makes use of symmetry, coloration, form and texture to make its mark on the urban landscape.
The Berri-de-Montigny (now Berri-UQAM) metro station is built just 500 meters away from the Fides Headquarters. To this day, it’s the most active metro station in Montreal, and the only one where three different lines cross paths.
The Université du Québec à Montréal is founded in the Quartier Latin. This will become the Québec state university’s largest and most prestigious campus.
Les Éditions Fides sells the building to Helca Metro Ltée, but remains there as a tenant.
Les Éditions Fides moves to a different location, but the building keeps its namesake and its iconic “Fides” logo.
Dorchester Boulevard is renamed after René Lévesque, the late Quebec Prime Minister, politician and former journalist.
The 8-story tower is occupied by medical practitioners and liberal professionals.
The office building is sold to a different owner.
The Québec Government builds the first phase of the Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM), one of Canada’s largest hospital centers.
Real estate developer MTL Développement purchases the Fides Building and adjacent lot, making plans to reinvigorate the building by turning it in into a major residential condominium project with over 300 residential units.
The final phase of the CHUM hospital centre will be completed, with the addition of 1000 new parking spaces.
Estimated construction date for the new residential project, which will integrate the architectural significance of the original construction within a more contemporary, state-of-the-art design.