The former Victoria School was built in 1887 as an elementary school for Protestant students in Montreal by architects Alexander Cowper Hutchison and Alexander Denton Steele. The Victorian style building with its red-brick exterior, mansard roof and many gables was named for Queen Victoria in commemoration of her Golden Jubilee. The school is made up of three adjoining buildings: the school, a small residence, and a gymnasium, which was added in 1911.
The school opened in 1888 with a capacity of 700 students. It served as an elementary school until 1979. The last few years it was home to FACE (Fine Arts Core Education), a public school founded in 1975 and run jointly by the English Montreal School Board and the Commission Scolaire de Montréal (CSDM). Students at FACE (now part of Concordia University) have extra arts courses focused on music, theatre and visual arts, in addition to the academics required by both school boards.
When Concordia lost the use of the Downtown YMCA gymnasium in the 1970s, it required Victoria School which offered the only athletic facilities available for the downtown campus. Renovations were made in the building to accommodate offices and classrooms, including modification of the bathrooms that were built for small children.
In 2009, after having been vacant for a number of years the Commission scolaire de Montréal decided to convert the historic building into a school of tourism and hotel management. Facades and roofs of the buildings were restored, as were their interiors. Classrooms were upgraded, kitchens were built, featuring state-of-the-art equipment, and two dining rooms were created that can accommodate 88 and 32 people. This is where students learn to prepare, and serve food and drinks under the supervision of teachers, catering professionals.
The École des métiers de la restauration et du tourisme de Montréal opened in the fall of 2012, and since then the students have welcomed the public from Tuesday to Friday in their dining rooms for a high quality gastronomic experience at low prices.
The Montreal School of Catering and Tourism is located at
1822 De Maisonneuve Blvd West
Source: L’EMRTM / Ville de Montréal / Concordia University / Commission Scolaire de Montréal
by: Dick Nieuwendyk – mtltimes.ca