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Le Salon 1861

Think, Inspire, Innovate, Create, Connect, Teach

550 rue Richmond, Montreal, QC

An inclusive place to meet and celebrate

Originally built by the Sulpicians, with the help of local volunteers as a staple for the community of Little Burgundy in 1861, St. Joseph’s Church was an inclusive place to meet, celebrate and find support. Overtime, the church fell into economic hardship and the community was faced with a challenge to save this breathtaking building before losing another part of its history.

THE SPACE

Le Salon 1861 was built to reconnect people to collective space and break the silos between sectors of our society.

Universities, entrepreneurs, local citizens, community organizations and private business work side-by-side to redefine how we work, live and play together. Le Salon 1861 seeks to engage various stakeholders to redefine social roles in non-traditional manners by creating an entrepreneurial hub – reinventing the role of business. In times of funding austerity and growing economic divide, this historical gem of a building is brought back to its original purpose of bringing people together.

Le Salon 1861 hosts a full service event hall, a restaurant sourcing local produce and an entrepreneurial social hub that allow businesses, community groups and local citizens to network, share resources, train employees and create contacts. Le Salon 1861 also acts as a living laboratory for institutional research in the areas of implementing sustainable green building practices and social business through the McGill Faculty of Architecture and the Desautels Faculty of Management. The wide range of stakeholders within Le Salon 1861 allows for a unique exchange of ideas and resources between communities, businesses and institutions. The building is also surrounded by an urban garden and hosts a wide range of events, workshops and conferences open to businesses and local residents.

THE HISTORY

To understand the values, purpose and role of Le Salon 1861, it is important to take into account the history of the St. Joseph Church.

For more than a century, the St. Joseph church served as a place meet, exchange and collaborate. It was the heart of the community. In Early Modern and Revolutionary France, Salons served as cultural hubs with the purpose to “disseminate good manners and sociability”. Salons were often viewed as centers of intellectual and social exchange, promoting idealistic notions in what people refer to as the “Age of Conversation” and stood for egalitarianism. Salons were also often run by highly educated women.

Le Salon 1861 is a space for the congregation of these values. It is a space in which all are free to be heard, to innovate, to think and to try new things in a supportive and collaborative environment.

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