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Private Home for Senior Ladies



Fulford Residence has an historical connection with the Anglican Church of Canada, and the Bishop of Montreal still holds the title of President of the Board. At the same time, Fulford is open to all ladies who are seeking a residence that offers excellent care and activities that ensure a quality of life and that meet individual interests.

In 1855, Mrs. Francis Fulford, wife of the First Anglican Bishop of Montreal, recognized the need for the counsel and protection of young single women arriving from other countries as governesses and school teachers to a burgeoning immigrant population. Originally occupying a small house on St-Dominique Street, the shelter moved to Aylmer Street when Christ Church cathedral opened its doors in 1864. When Bishop Fulford died in 1868, Mrs. Fulford returned to England. Bishop Oxenden and the diocesan clergy adopted the home.

The year 1878 brought a move to a larger home at 116 University Street. The minutes of the first Committee of Management meeting recount that "in the interests of good order and economy, and Christian Kindness, the Committee of Management uses its discretion in the selection of applicants, so that the persons benefiting may be likely to live happily in social equality as members of one family". The first resident was an aged and sick governess, Miss Munson.

A generous response to an appeal for financial assistance provided funds for the purchase of the Major Estate at 403 Guy Street. On September 17, 1890, the Church Home was dedicated by Bishop Bond that 'It might be the happy home of many women in their time of need, whether that be from infirmity, bereavement or old age, that it will commend itself as a place of gracious and active benevolence to those women of the Church of England whose lives have fallen in pleasant places, who have homes of their own, where in sickness and mature age they have the affection and care which beautify the evening of life".

In 1894, a fifty thousand dollar bequest from the estate of H.O. Andrews assured the financial security of the Church Home, on the condition that the home always be under the presidency and control of the Anglican Bishop of Montreal. This fact was established by an act of Quebec Legislature in 1895. The Home has always looked to the Church for leadership and support as well as the ongoing spiritual growth of its residents. The church guild begun as the "King's Daughters" to provide music for the weekly services. The spiritual guidance of the residents with a service of Holy Communion is celebrated by members of the local clergy Wednesday morning at 11 o'clock - a tradition unchanged in a century. In 1920 the Guild donated an oak altar which occupies the east wall of the parlour or Church room as a lovely armoire. It opens each Wednesday morning to lend an aura of dignity and solemnity with its flowers in vases and brass fittings. In the year 1910 a wing was added to the home; another in 1957, and now as many as thirty-eight women live happily together within the Fulford family at anyone time.

In 1982, in order to comply with Provincial legislation, the name of the Church Home was changed to Residence Fulford, Fulford Residence. To comply with civic legislation, a large renovation was accomplished in 1998, adding an exterior stairwell to create a safe and secure environment. There are so many constants. The Bishop of Montreal still presides as President of the Corporation. The board of directors provides a Vice-president, a treasurer and first Directress, and Mrs. Fulford in her bonnet keeps a watchful gaze on all who pass through the doors as 1221 Guy Street.


Sketch by Sara Colby