Montreal, hub of North America

Montreal was incorporated as a city in 1832. The city’s growth was spurred by the opening of the Lachine Canal, and Montreal was the capital of the United Province of Canada from 1844 to 1849. Growth continued, and by 1860 Montreal was the largest city in British North America and the undisputed economic and cultural centre of Canada. Annexation of neighbouring towns between 1883 and 1918 changed Montreal back to a mostly Francophone city. As with the rest of the world, the Great Depression brought unemployment to the city, but this waned in the mid 1930s and skyscrapers began to be built. Source: wikipedia

The Notman House

Notman House is located at 51 rue Sherbrooke Ouest in Montreal and was classified as a historical monument on December 8th of 1979. The house was designed by John Wells in 1844 for the lawyer William Collis Meredith. In 1876 the house was acquired by William Notman. After his death, the house was sold in 1894 to George Drummond who had come to Montreal to manage the Redpath sugar factory. Drummond subsequently turned over the house and the three story brick building behind to the Society of St Margaret, who, until 1991, used the properties as a hospital for the terminally ill. Over the last 20 years the building has seen a number of tenants; at one time, it was home to Montreal’s famous Just for Laughs festival. As of the beginning of 2011, the house is being rented by Real Ventures and is open to the public.

The Notman House

The past is all around us. We live our lives against a rich backdrop formed by historic buildings, landscapes and other physical survivals of our past. But the historic environment is more than just a matter of material remains. It is central to how we see ourselves and to our identity as individuals and communities. It is a physical record of who we are and how we came to be. Historic landscapes or iconic buildings can become a focus of community identity and pride.Local Heritage, Newcastle

William Notman

William Notman

William Notman was a Canadian photographer and businessman. He was born in Paisley, Scotland in 1826 and moved to Montreal in 1856. An amateur photographer, he quickly established a flourishing professional photography studio on Bleury Street. He was  known as the “Photographer to the Queen”. Notman’s reputation and business grew over the next three decades, the first Canadian photographer with an international reputation. When William Notman died in November 1891, quite suddenly after a short bout of pneumonia, management of the studio Wm Notman & Son was left to his son William McFarlane Notman. In 1935 William McFarlane Notman’s younger brother Charles sold the studio to the Associated Screen News, and in 1957 the Notman Collection was purchased by McGill University, Montreal. The 200,000 negatives, 43 Index Books, 200 Picture Books and assorted memorabilia were transferred to the McCord Museum of Canadian History. Source: wikipedia

Notman House is Montréal’s technology hub and home of the web.

Anyone can use the downstairs café area to advance their projects and access the free Wi-Fi (thanks to Ile-Sans-Fil). Notman House is also a launch pad for many entrepreneurs and startups who rent office space throughout the building. It starts with a large welcoming and collaborative meeting space open to the general public.

Thirdly, Notman House hosts events from smaller community and technology interest group meetings to large networking events and hackathons hosted by companies such as Google.

The focus is on technology, the Internet, mobile and software development and the objectives are community building, networking, collaboration and shared learning. The end goal is to build a strong and vibrant ecosystem of successful and inspiring technology entrepreneurs in Montréal.

Notman is all about bringing the best of Montréal’s web-tech community under one roof. Come join us today!

Montreal used to be the largest city in British North America and the undisputed economic and cultural center of Canada. The Notman House is one of the representative landmarks of the great stature Montreal carried. Over the years however, the city’s predominant position has waned. Recently, a thriving startup community in Montreal has emerged, supported by people who are sparking innovation in Web, mobile platforms and through forward-thinking innovative venture investment funds. A highly active group of Montreal community members have cultivated a Web 2.0 community –one that is already impacting economic growth, creating jobs and attracting new talent to the city. Multiple events, startups, community projects and collaborations have begun attracting attention.

Other Canadian cities are taking notice, but Montreal has also caught the attention of a worldwide audience that is increasingly interested to participate and invest in Montreal. Already a city replete with culture and business, many events in recent years have started to put Montreal on the map for innovation as well. While the gears have been set in motion, there are still a few elements needed to spur Montreal forward into the lead for innovation—which would attract talent and business, generating further economic growth in the process. This is where the Notman House Project comes into play.


Notman House is a community driven, not-for-profit initiative that will be funded by private and public grants and the internal activities (see services below).


The Notman House is providing at the moment two main services: a web café and rooms to rent as-you-go or permanently.

Notman Cafe

Web Café

The Web Café, also known as the Lounge, is the public space of the house. It is located on the first floor on the left. Go to meet people, work or have a meeting. The coffee and wifi (Ile-sans-fil) are free. This space can also be reserved to host your events. Feel free to contact us for more information.

Notman Offices

Offices and conference rooms

The entire second floor and part of the first are reserved for residents. There are offices and conference rooms you can rent or book for a short period of time. Each office hold between 3 and 5 desks and one of the conference room has a video projector.

OverallThe HouseCafeCoworkingOffices


The Notman House has two separate buildings, the House itself and the former-hospital. Click on the links on the left to learn more about the different spaces.

The House

Notman House itself provides serviced office space for angel, seed and early stage investors and other entrepreneur focused support organizations.


The open part of the first floor will house a web-café, open to the public. In the summer months, the café will have a garden area as well as a second-floor terrace. The café will encourage those who are curious about the concept of the Notman House to casually stop by and try it while offering the tenants a space to meet potential customers, employees and other entrepreneurs. This space will be key to the collaboration and exchange that takes place at Notman House. Vibrant, lively and welcoming, it will be the default home for anyone and everyone that has an interest in the web and Montreal’s role in it’s future.


The rear building has multiple levels of offices and a third floor with two large, open spaces. One of the open spaces will provide a shared community space for over 24 designers, developers, consultants and writers. Desks can be rented on a permanent basis or for a fixed number of hours per week. A daily rate will be available for “out of town” entrepreneurs and freelancers that would like a desk to work at whilst in Montreal.


One half of the first floor and the second floor will be filled with many “private spaces”, perfect for housing 2 or 3 entrepreneurs as they develop their start-up ideas. The offices will be secure enough to allow for private discussion and teamwork, yet configured in a semi-open layout with enough proximity between entrepreneurial teams to encourage collaboration and mutual support. To ensure that as many entrepreneurs as possible can have access to a “private space” and that new ideas are regularly introduced to Notman House, spaces will only be available for 3-6 months per company.