2019 Award of Excellence – Conservation – Architecture

Convent Ensemble of the Gray Nuns of Montreal

Awarded to:

Istvan Kovacs, DFS Inc. architecture & design

The Award of Excellence in Conservation – Architecture is given to Istvan Kovacs (DFS Inc. architecture & design) for the “Convent Ensemble of the Gray Nuns of Montreal” for demonstrating a remarkable, diligent restoration of a prominent building, with great attention to detail and careful reversal of earlier negative interventions.  The judges were impressed by the sympathetic approach to stone repair, stone cleaning treatments, and sourcing of compatible stone materials where replacement was necessary.  


The convent ensemble of the Gray Nuns of Montreal is located in a quadrilateral site, bounded by Guy, Saint-Mathieu, Sainte Catherine and René Lévesque boulevards in the borough of Ville-Marie in Montreal. The convent was built in several stages from 1869 according to the design and the plans of Montreal’s renowned architect Victor Bourgeau.

Restoration work included strengthening and waterproofing the foundations, stabilizing the tower, buttress reinforcement and reconstruction of the sloping walls of the transepts.

Masonry work included partial or complete replacement of damaged or missing stones, injection of voids, repair of cracks, replacement of the carved stones, complete repointing of the masonry as well as the cleaning of the masonry by misting and flushing with water.

The wood work done was stripping, cleaning, repairing and refinishing door, windows and rosettes.

The construction took place between August 2017 and the month of December 2018.