The borough, which represents St. Henri, Little Burgundy, Ville Émard and Point St. Charles, had some tough choices to make to balance the budget for 2012, and it chose to close one of its five pools.
“It was a heartbreaking choice, but at this point the responsible choice,” said borough councillor Véronique Fournier.
The indoor pool is owned by the city of Montreal, but the borough pays for renovations, upgrades and staffing, in addition to $190,000 rent.
The borough faces higher employment costs because of contracts negotiated by the central city, and one of the pools in the area had to go, Fournier said.
She said the Bain Émard needs major work for upgrades and a new drainage system, about $1.2 million worth of work, at a time when the borough faces a $2-million budget shortfall.
The iconic building on Laurendeau St. will close two years shy of its 100th anniversary. Designed by architect Théodore Daoust in 1913, it is in the Beaux Arts style, part of a wave of construction of public baths in the early 20th century.
Public baths were a means to bring proper hygiene to all. In 1910, the rural towns of St. Paul and Émard were annexed to Montreal, and there was a need for a public bath in an era when many dwellings had no hot water and no bathtub.
Why would they waste money on things like pools where families & kids can have fun,......When they (the powers that be) knowingly allow the skimming of BILLIONS of DOLLARS to flow to the thieves in power & their friends the organised crime groups....after all it's only the peoples money to start with,why let them have anything........It seems to me that since the umbrealla has been thrown over the whole island of Montreal ( as in the borroughs ,instead of cities like Verdun etc etc ) that whenever the New City of Montreal wants to eliminate something from the people they just do it, & it gets swept under the rug & basically hidden from the general public altogether.like certain areas of the city aren't deserving of a swimming pool,.Just Close It & "let them eat cake" attitude,I wonder how long before the real people finally stand up & demand better representation......... Come on $ 2 miilion to upgrade or run this pool is too much ? They waste that in a single VIP type dinner ..........................Ahhhhh Business as Usual. As indoor plumbing became the norm, the vocation of bath houses like Bain Émard became recreational for sport, swimming lessons and such. The facility became a swimming pool in the 1930s.
The last major renovation of the Bain Émard was in 2004, when it was brought up to code with wheelchair access ramps.
Once it closes, Fournier said, there is little chance the pool will ever re-open.
“This building was a witness to the evolution of this neighbourhood,” she said. “Will it be torn down? I can’t talk for the city centre, but we are returning the keys to them