ASGM L082_9Y16C Maison mère, Cuisine centrale, 1966.
A veritable village by the early twentieth century, the Mother House required efficient means to feed its estimated 1,000 residents. Nuns or secular employees provided some 2,000 meals each day from two ground-floor industrial-sized kitchens. One kitchen along Saint-Mathieu Street served the west wing of the building, while another along Guy Street provided for the east wing. Smaller kitchenettes adjacent to refectories also helped warm and prepare food before distribution. Chicken, soups, cold dishes and produce from the property’s gardens were common meals, though occasions for celebration, such as a nun’s 50-year anniversary in the order, allowed them to make special requests like filet mignon.
ASGM L082_9Y1A Maison mère, Cuisine,
“One of the most important days was when they celebrated a jubilee – 50 years of being a nun. On that day, they prepared the sisters their favourite dish.”
Concordia’s redesign of the Mother House included a large kitchen that prepares much of the food for both the Sir George Williams and Loyola campuses. Now serving a dispersed, on-the-go university community, the kitchen provides roughly the same number of daily meals as during the sisters’ time. This repurposing has eased the burden on the University Service’s food preparation process, which used to rely on caterers and a kitchen on the seventh floor of the Hall Building. Hungry students or visitors to the Grey Nuns Dining Hall enjoy a meal plan supplemented by a self-serve kitchen that accommodates all schedules and dietary needs.