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By Christie McNeil

Holy Angels Convent was founded in 1885 at the request of Father James Quinan for the purpose of providing education to the young women of Cape Breton County. In 2009 the Congrégation de Notre-Dame announced their intention to close the convent and sell the property in the historic North End of Sydney.

Holy Angels Convent has operated the only all-girl educational institution east of Montreal since 1885. Holy Angels High School was known for its fine arts programming with instruction in music, drawing, sculpting, speech and drama. This closure brings to an end a 126 year history of pioneering in women’s education in eastern Canada.

A group of boarders in front of the original Holy Angels Convent, ca. 1985. Photograph Collection: 77-899-1033. Beaton Institute, Cape Breton University.

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