Conservatory and Greenhouses Restoration

The Westmount’s Conservatory was built in 1927 by noted greenhouse manufacturers, Lord & Burnham, also credited for building the conservatories for the New York Botanical Garden and the United states Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C. In addition, the plants grown within Westmount’s vaulted windowed structure are used to craft one of our city’s most recognizable landmarks – the Floral Clock.

Over the years, the Conservatory has undergone various alterations. A vestibule was added and a pond was put in the main greenhouse. As well, in 1999 the Conservatory was joined to Victoria Hall by a link through the new Art Gallery.

In 2004, the architectural firm Beaupré & Michaud was commissioned to restore the Conservatory, and reproduce it as closely as possible to its original structure. The masonry wall was demolished and rebuilt, the upper glass and metal portion was removed, restored and rebuilt on site, fractured cast iron elements, corroded steel, and rotten wood windows were replaced, and the pool in the main greenhouse was supplanted with a contemporary water basin with a small wooden bridge and Italian marble waterfall.

Certain features were also added, which were not part of the original design, such as an electric lift to provide handicapped access from the library, more efficient and economical lighting fixtures, heating elements strategically hidden under flower tables, and a bronze fountain statue to sit in lieu of the one that was stolen many years ago.

Following its restoration, the Westmount Conservatory was officially reopened on March 31, 2005.

Project update

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Proposed design concept | interior

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2 Comments

  • Tallant
    Posted 14 November 2020 20h12

    Glad to see there will be an effort to make it wheelchair, walker, and stroller accessible. Will the plan co-ordinate the entrance from the Westmount Library? the main entrance? the former back entrance which went to the art gallery in Victoria Hall? to the elevator in Victoria Hall? and to the entrance to the Manoir ?
    In the future, I predict that more individuals in the Manoir will need indoor accessibility as, due to the COVID-19 experience, many elderly will not enter the Manoir until they are much older and need physical assistance. Westmount should be proactive in this and prepare for the worst case scenario so that all Westmounters will be able to enjoy the public facilities easily.

    • mugi
      Posted 16 November 2020 11h07

      On behalf of the Engineering department, building division.

      Dear Mrs Tallant,

      Thank you for your concern and recommendations! We fully agree with your analysis and we can assure you that accessibility was indeed one of the key parameters guiding the design and development of the projected interior spaces in the Conservatory. We will be improving on the existing situation by providing continuous wheelchair and stroller access between the Greenhouses, the Library and Victoria hall. Our Greenhouse restoration project will however not be able to tackle every existing issue in the surrounding buildings, but we remain dedicated to the matter and we will certainly be carrying out further improvements to accommodate the pressing needs of our community in this critical sector, and elsewhere.

      Best regards,

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