The Dominican University College participated again in Doors Open this year, and I stopped in. The building dates to 1899, when it was first opened as a convent and a house of study. It houses a parish, Saint-Jean-Baptiste, and the members of the Dominican priory serve today as faculty for a small university offering bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees in the fields of theology and philosophy. This is the church sanctuary. A priest had come in to prepare for a mass a little while later.
The altar had some very impressive carving, done on site in a woodshop on the grounds.
This painting is of St. Dominic himself, and resides in one of the corridors.
One of the students took me about on a tour. The student body is small- over a hundred in total, but that's to be expected with two programs. This room is a cafeteria for the students, and beforehand was used for meals by the priory. Before the Vatican II reforms, priests would eat in silence.
Another room beyond that is today a lounge used by the priory. The student explained that the priests unwind here in what's a comfortable space- reading, perhaps playing cards (no money involved, obviously) between classes or in the evenings. This formidable chair was a gift from a Speaker of the House of Commons during Laurier's time, the very chair he used during his tenure in the job.
The church sanctuary itself is not as long as it originally was. It was shortened at one point, and the college library was inserted inside. Some of the stained glass of the extended sanctuary remains in place within the library, and so if you're working at a desk, you might have these right beside you.
The library stocks items pertaining to the disciplines taught, but also related fields like history and literature. It has quite a collection, some of it dating back centuries, such as these items that were in a display case, going back to the 1500s.
I came out to the workshop area, where I had a chance to chat with the man who had carved the sanctuary altar, among other things. The walls were covered with various tools, things that my dad would appreciate- he would have made a good carpenter himself, but seems to have lacked the patience to have gone through apprenticeship.
The building design is wrapped around an inner courtyard, planted with trees, One spot as I took my leave allowed the visitor to step out onto a balcony and have a look around.