Elsie Reford: 150 Objects of Passion

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Elsie Reford 150: Objects of Passion is a new book that explores the many passions. Produced by Les Jardins de Métis et Les Éditions Umanium to honour her 150th birthday in 2022, Elsie Reford: 150 Objects of Passion is an intimate portrayal of a woman who shaped Montreal society and created one of Canada’s most famous gardens.

Gardening, as we know, was a passion; but it doesn’t stop there! In this lavishly illustrated book, Elsie Reford’s other interests are revealed in turn.

Based on the best-selling book A History of the World in 100 Objects and on the BBC documentary film by the director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor, Elsie Reford 150: Objects of Passion portrays Elsie Reford through meticulously selected and beautifully photographed objects, while telling us the story of this woman of passion… and the passions that drove her and made her story so fascinating.


Editing and art direction
Pierre Fauteux

Content editing
Sophia Borovchyk

Editorial direction at the Reford Gardens
Alexander Reford

Project management at the Reford Gardens
Marjelaine Sylvestre

Archiving of collections at the Reford Gardens
Gisèle Villacorta-Murcia

Graphic design
Gaël Dorgère
Laurie Cardinal

Josée Malenfant
Line Gosselin

Josée Malenfant
Nicole Laurendeau
Jacynthe Juneau

Josée Malenfant

Printed in December 2022 in Canada Printed on Creator Silk Texte 160 gsm paper on Graphiscan presses, Canada
All translation, reproduction and adaptation rights reserved © 2022 Umanium

ISBN 978-2-9819804-2-7
Elsie Reford: 150 Objects of Passion
Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, 1st quarter 2023
Library and Archives Canada, 1st quarter 2023

About the Authors

Philippe Baylaucq is a Montreal filmmaker. His award-winning documentary on Les Jardins de Métis and the International Garden Festival, Il était deux fois un jardin / Twice Upon a Garden, was released in 2009.

Philippe Denis is a fashion historian who teaches at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). He is cataloguing the clothing collection of Elsie Reford.

Françoise Dulac is a fashion historian who teaches at the École supérieur de Mode at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM).

Pierre Fauteux is a long-time collaborator of Les Jardins de Métis as an exhibition designer and photographer. His photographs of the gardens were featured in the 2021 exhibition and publication Sur les sentiers de Robert W. Reford / Walking the Paths of Robert W. Reford in 2021.

Patricia Gallant has been the horticulturist at Les Jardins de Métis since 1988. She is the author of several articles on Elsie Reford’s collections and favourite plants.

Karine Hébert is professor of history in the Département des lettres et humanités at the Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR). She studies the history of women and youth and Quebec heritage. She is the author of several articles on Elsie Reford, including her biography in The Canadian Encyclopedia.

Hélene Jasmin is the author of the biography Elsie Reford – La grande dame des Jardins de Métis and creator of A Journey with Elsie Reford: A Book of Days.

Dr. Christopher McCreery is Private Secretary to the Lieutenant Governor and Executive Director of Government House Halifax; he has published numerous books on the Canadian honours system. His book The Maple Leaf and the White Cross : A History of St. John Ambulance in Canada was published in 2008.

Rosalind Pepall was senior curator of Decorative Arts at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Her book Talking to a Portrait : Tales of an Art Curator chronicles her career as an art historian over three decades.

Alexander Reford is the director of Les Jardins de Métis. He is the author of numerous books and articles on Elsie Reford and her life, including Elsie’s Paradise: Reford Gardens and Treasures of the Reford Gardens.

Jack Reford is an engineering student at the University of Notre Dame.  An avid fisherman from an early age, he has written several articles about the Atlantic Salmon and the conservation efforts to preserve the species. He is the great great grandson of Elsie Reford.

Marjelaine Sylvestre is the head of exhibitions at Les Jardins de Métis. She was the collections archivist from 2015 to 2021.

Leslie Weir is the Librarian and Archivist of Canada.

Ron Williams is an architect and landscape architect. He is the former director of the School of Landscape Architecture at the Université de Montréal. His book History of Landscape Architecture in Canada was the winner of several awards.