Projet Montréal seeks to prevent the destruction of Montreal's architectural heritage

Montreal - October 11th, 2017

In brief

Over the last four years, Montreal has lost a number of historically significant buildings to the disinterest of the current administration and the negligence of some property owners. Valérie Plante, leader of Projet Montréal and mayoral candidate, pledges to provide the resources needed to protect Montreal’s architectural heritage, and to closely manage the proprietors of heritage buildings. Projet Montréal will increase the number of city inspectors specializing in heritage buildings; develop a regularly-updated registry of heritage buildings; issue substantial penalties to property owners who neglect heritage buildings in their care; and bolster the modest program of subsidies available for maintenance of historically significant buildings. Projet Montréal will no longer allow Montreal’s architectural heritage to be neglected as it has been over the course of the last few years.

Highlights

- In 2016 alone, six heritage buildings in Montréal were lost to fire, including the Snowdon Theatre and the Robillard building.

- There are not enough inspectors dedicated to Montreal’s heritage buildings to ensure vulnerable or abandoned buildings are surveyed and protected. Projet Montréal will increase the number of such inspectors in each borough.

- Projet Montréal will develop an electronic registry to identify vulnerable or vacant heritage buildings, and follow up on their status. This regularly-updated list will allow the administration to act before it is too late to save our architectural patrimony.

- Projet Montréal pledges to enact measures to ensure the upkeep of Montreal’s heritage buildings whose owners lack the will to do so themselves. Stiff penalties will be given to negligent property owners, who could face expropriation of buildings that remain unoccupied or are not maintained.

- In collaboration with the government of Quebec, Projet Montréal will broaden the modest program of subsidies available to owners of the city's heritage buildings, and will increase funding to those programs.  

Quotes

“Montreal’s heritage buildings are a treasure that we must protect, and whose value we must appreciate. I pledge to dedicate the resources needed to assure that our architectural heritage is preserved. Over the last few years, we have lost many important heritage buildings, particularly downtown, to the negligence of certain proprietors and of the outgoing city administration. Projet Montréal is committed to changing this dynamic and making city heritage a priority.”  - Valérie Plante, leader of Projet Montréal and mayoral candidate.

“Projet Montréal is committed to making a full assessment of abandoned buildings within the city, to determine the extent of their disrepair and the reasons they remain vacant.  With this, we will be able to respond effectively to the situation.  We will create the necessary means to protect our architectural heritage, and we commit to maintaining the value of heritage buildings within Montréal.  We should be proud of our heritage, and we must take care of it.”  Anne-Marie Sigouin, councillor for Saint-Paul-Émard and city heritage spokesperson for Projet Montréal.

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