MONTREAL - Humble workers’ houses in St. Henri. Nineteenth-century facades on the Lower Main. A stone convent on René Lévesque Blvd. E. A working stable and an abandoned foundry in Griffintown.
Not all are architectural monuments in their own right, but they are part of disappearing landscapes that give Montreal its unique flavour.
Héritage Montréal unveiled the city’s top 10 endangered heritage sites at a press conference Thursday.
From a monumental church in Hochelaga Maisonneuve to a crumbling Queen Anne-style mansion in the Golden Square Mile, all the landmarks bear witness to a past being erased by relentless pressure to turn property into profits.
Plans for the wholesale demolition of the Lower Main, an iconic district and National Heritage Site of Canada, are among the most distressing situations, said Dinu Bumbaru, policy director of the preservation organization.
“This is shocking,” Bumbaru said of plans by the Angus Development Corp. to bulldoze buildings on the west side of St. Laurent Blvd. between Ste. Catherine St. and René Lévesque Blvd.
There are no definite plans to replace them, so the land could stand vacant for years, he warned.
The fate hanging over the Lower Main is reminiscent of waves of demolition in previous decades that left large swaths of the city pockmarked with parking lots, Bumbaru warned.
In addition to the 10 endangered sites, Héritage Montréal said it is keeping a close eye on six other sites, including the 1880 Mount Stephen Club, an opulent Italian-Renaissance-style mansion on Drummond St. that closed last year.
The organization is also monitoring the fate of the 1845 Louis Hippolyte La Fontaine house, home of the father of responsible government in Canada.
...................many of us will not be greeted with a familiar landscape ,if we were to visit our old stomping grounds,in the near future,the once rarely changing landscape we know as Montreal will have a whole new look,from the moment you enter it,With no Turcot Interchange or Bonaventure Expressway,or the old Farine 5 Roses sign, and of course old well known little communities,will have been overhauled & look completely different from anything we remember.......so take pictures folks ,no matter where you live,because much of it will change & memories will be all that's left............................ Cheers ! HF&RV, - Les
The fate of Montreal’s municipal bathhouses, like the Art Deco Schubert baths on St. Laurent Blvd. at Bagg St., are cause for concern as budget shortfalls force boroughs to slash services, the heritage organization said.