Completed in 1939, The Convent was opened and blessed by Bishop Guy O.M.I. on September 10th of that year. The Sisters of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (a teaching order based in Quebec) immediately began teaching at The Convent. Though the nuns were French; they taught in English. The main part of the building was cloistered and the rest was the local high school. In the early 1960s a new public school was built and the three remaining sisters sold the building to the Dumont family who ran a care home for a number of years. The Village of Val Marie later bought the building with the assumption that Parks Canada would use it for their offices. Unfortunately the deal fell through and the building remained abandoned for eighteen years.
In 1996 Robert Ducan and his son Adam chanced upon the building during a summer vacation. Captivated by the buildings brick work, hardwood floors, and rich interior wood, Robert purchased the building from the village, saving The Convent from the imminent demolition scheduled for the next week. Working together, Robert and Mette and their two children restored the building, opening The Convent Country Inn, in time for the 1997 winter holiday season.
The story of Robert and Mette’s achievement has been featured on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) radio and television program, and in The Globe and Mail newspaper. We would be thrilled to tell you the story over breakfast in our dining room which used to be the grade 9/10 classroom.