This is the history of ND's foundation.
In the early 1950s, Archbishop William Mark Duke invited religious orders from across North America to come to Vancouver to found a high school for the purpose of educating the children of ten Catholic parishes in East Vancouver and Burnaby...
The Sisters of Charity of Halifax accepted his challenge, and in 1953, Notre Dame opened its doors for the first time.
School buildings were added over the years
in order to meet the increased demand
for Catholic education.
Those years before funding were difficult financially, but parents, teachers, and the supporting regional parishes made great sacrifices.
In 1985, a young Irish priest, Fr. Joe Cuddy, was appointed as the Archbishop's Representative for the school.
He immediately realized the need for an improved facility, and in his inimitable fashion, created a three-phase vision of the new Notre Dame.
Phase 1 was completed in late 1987 and consisted of the Gymnasium complex and adjoining classrooms. Phase 2 was completed in 1993 and consisted of the Auditorium conversion and the north end extension to the Gymnasium. Sadly, Phase 3, the replacement of the rest of the school, never became a reality, because Fr. Joe died of cancer in April 1996.
Fr. Joe Cuddy's dream has been kept alive by hard working members of the Notre Dame community.
Under the initiative of Principal Michael Cooke and with the support of Fr. Ian Stuart, Archbishop’s Rep, a building committee was established just prior to the school’s 50th anniversary. David Lee (RCAV Building Committee) and William McCarthy (RCAV Financial Committee) were appointed by Archbishop Adam Exner.
The master plan formulated in 2003-2004 for the new construction had a projected cost of $22 million, which was to be borne by the Archdiocese and the ten feeder parishes. Archbishop Raymond Roussin granted an approval in principle for the project, and the NDEC engaged the architecture firm of KMBR. After consultations with staff, students the CISVA, and other interested parties, the Notre Dame Building Committee under the direction of Fr. Joe Ponti, Archbishop’s Rep, and Chair, applied to the City Of Vancouver in April 2006 for a development permit. That permit was granted in 2007.
Construction commenced in the summer of 2008,
under the leadership of William Peter Joseph McCarthy, and the school field on Venables Street was closed
to make way for the new academic wing.
In April 2010, the Fr. Joe Ponti Academic wing and the renovated Alumni Hall & Gymnasium reopened. The Fr. Joe Cuddy Auditorium at Parker and Renfrew was renovated in 2012.
The new infill section, connecting Alumni Hall & the Gymnasium with the Fr. Joe Cuddy Auditorium along Renfrew Street, was started in 2014. Completion of this wing in April 2015 gave the school dedicated classrooms for Textiles, Foods, Band, Music/Drama; a large multi-purpose flex space; a formal cafeteria; a counselling area with offices; and a staff room. September 28, 2015 saw the formal blessing of the 27,000 square foot addition by Archbishop Michael Miller.
The St. Elizabeth Anne Seton Chapel, named in memory of the Saint who founded the Sisters of Charity of Halifax, the order that opened Notre Dame in 1953, was blessed by His Excellency on December 11, 2015.
On September 17, 2021, Archbishop Miller blessed the finished field.