Marie-Victorin Kirouac

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Bro. Marie-Victorin Kirouac, F.S.C.
Born Joseph-Louis-Conrad Kirouac
(1885-04-03)April 3, 1885
Kingsey Falls, Quebec, Canada
Died July 15, 1944(1944-07-15) (aged 59)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Cause of death
Automobile accident
Residence Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Nationality Canada
Ethnicity French-Canadian
Citizenship Canada
Occupation Religious Brother, teacher and botanist
Religion Roman Catholic

Brother Marie-Victorin, F.S.C. (April 3, 1885 - July 15, 1944), was a Canadian member of Brothers of the Christian Schools and a noted botanist in Quebec, Canada. He is known as the father of the Botanical Garden of Montreal.


He was born Joseph-Louis-Conrad Kirouac in Kingsey Falls, Quebec. He was also a relative of the noted American writer, Jack Kerouac.

Although Brother Victorin is on record as having suggested that Montreal build its own botanical gardens as early as 1919, the Garden was authorized by Montreal Mayor Camillien Houde only in 1929, with construction beginning in 1931.

Subsequent administrations, both municipal and provincial, opposed the Garden as a boondoggle; however, Brother Victorin continued to champion its cause, promoting it at every opportunity, leading specimen-collection expeditions, and even (during the Second World War) protecting it from being converted into a military flight school.

Brother Victorin is also known for his writings: his Flore laurentienne is a botanical record of all species indigenous to southern Quebec, and was the first such record to be compiled.

Brother Victorin died in Montreal in a car accident in July 1944. A building at the Université de Montréal, where he had taught botany, was subsequently named for him.


The Marie-Victorin rose, developed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, was named in his honour.[1]

To honor the centennial of his birth in 1985, a park was established in his hometown of Kingsley Falls, named Parc Marie-Victorin. Originally 3 acres, it has expanded to nearly 30 acres, and volunteers and a small permanent staff. The park has been a leading in the province for horticultural development in the green movement.[2]

In the early 1990s, a private high school in Montréal was opened and named for him. The school is still open but its name has changed in 2006.[citation needed]

Brother Victorin has been inducted as a member of the Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame[3]



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