October 23rd, 2006

Slated for Demolition: A Block In Griffintown

Posted in Heritage and Preservation by A.J. Kandy

Block view

As part of the École de Technologie Supérieur’s planned Phase III expansion, the college acquired several underused or empty lots in the quadrangle between Notre-Dame, Peel, Mountain and Ottawa streets. Just recently, demolition notices appeared on two buildings on the south side of Notre-Dame; there’d been an UQAM-logoed sign advising people not to park on the empty bit in between for some time before that.

The smaller of the two buildings – in reality a very old house with a storefront – is starting to come down now. I’ve contacted the ETS to find out what, exactly, they’re planning to build there. (Updates as they occur.)

Little Houses

Twinned old houses with retail storefronts at ground level, at the corner of Notre-Dame and Eleanor. The one on the left had been covered up in brown aluminum siding for years; the wood supports seem temporary, to hold it up while it’s being gutted. The construction in the background is an expansion and refurbishment of the main ETS building, formerly the Dow Brewery. (Closer view linked in the comments below – thanks Margaret!)

Older building on the corner

Older low-rent apartment building on the corner of Notre-Dame and Mountain. Seems to have been a decent little Deco-brick building but someone retiled the front with leftovers from Jolicoeur metro.

wider view of new construction at ETS

A view of the new construction at the ETS, taking up the former back end of the former Dow Brewery building along Notre-Dame and Murray streets.

Thanks to Andrea Braithwaite for letting me use her camera!


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  1. Hugo says:

    Ah yes, some people were still living there a couple of months ago (the building across the Couche Tard).

    While we’re on the topic of Griffintown I must say that the little cafe “1001 Grains” precisely next block from that building serves delicious sandwhiches.

    October 23rd, 2006 at 2:05 pm

  2. Factotum says:

    I blogged some photos of one of the storefronts slated for demolition here



    October 23rd, 2006 at 5:15 pm

  3. A.J. Kandy says:

    Hugo: and i must add that the former tenants, Restaurant Emile Bertrand, are still serving up hot dogs and homemade spruce beer around the corner on L’Aqueduc street just south of Notre-Dame.

    Margaret: Thanks for the pics, those are exactly what I would have taken if I’d had time to get up close!

    What I worry about is if they do what the other two ETS buildings at the corner of Peel have done, namely, have absolutely no “street face” on Notre-Dame. It’s already a bit of a canyon of warehouses and on-ramps at that point, we need to fill in the streetscape with some windows and storefronts!

    October 24th, 2006 at 10:47 am

  4. Christopher DeWolf says:

    The newer ETS building on the north corner is not too bad, all things considered. The one across the street doesn’t have any street face at all, you’re right, but it can perhaps be forgiven because it is actually an old industrial building from the 1950s.

    October 24th, 2006 at 12:06 pm

  5. Factotum says:

    The lack of “street face” is really noticeable in these two blocks of Notre Dame. There aren’t many pedestrians, and cars seem to have no reason to stop, as is evident in all the empty parking spaces.
    The parking spaces were empty but every parking meter had a bicycle locked to it one summer day when I took these photos

    October 25th, 2006 at 8:49 am

  6. Factotum says:

    All the talk on Urbanphoto about changing the name of ParK Avenue reminds me that the Griffintown is now “officially” part of the Faubourg des Recollets. It seems like another example of governments erasing local history through name changes, although, in this case, it doesn’t seem to have been successful, at least within the English speaking communities.

    November 6th, 2006 at 2:50 pm

  7. Christopher DeWolf says:

    No, I don’t think that’s accurate — Griffintown is still Griffintown. The Faubourg des Récollets only refers to the area between McGill Street and the railroad tracks/Bonaventure Expressway.

    November 6th, 2006 at 3:05 pm

  8. Factotum says:

    ooops. my apologies for the misinformation and thanks for the correction.

    November 6th, 2006 at 4:19 pm

  9. Falcon says:

    the buildings with the demolition notice will be demolished along with all those behind them (the huge appartment bloc) the residents received an eviction notice about 2 years ago, so it could still take a while before they go down.
    What will be built there: Student residence phase III
    and like all new construction in that area the new building must have a commercial space (like the resto-pub 100 genies and the coop in the new ets building) so under the residence there will be a much anticipated grocery store. Bet every one living around that place will be really happy to have that store around the corner.
    (finaly I wont have to get ripped-off by the cafeteria) :0)

    November 15th, 2006 at 3:44 pm

  10. Christopher DeWolf says:

    According to Les Affaires, the city is blocking the demolition of those two houses. The ETS is threatening to cancel the entire project and its president (principal? rector?) has rather petulantly encouraged developers to invest in Laval instead of Montreal.

    November 16th, 2006 at 9:07 pm

  11. factotum says:

    These buildings have now been torn down, and photos of the rubble have been blogged here:

    January 5th, 2007 at 2:32 pm

  12. factotum says:

    I just noticed that the designations of Griffintown and Faubourg des Recollets are being discussed again in Christopher DeWolf’s latest post “Take Me Back to Griffintown”.

    February 14th, 2007 at 2:59 pm

  13. RG says:

    What’s going on with the Dow Brewery on Peel & Notre Dame?

    May 1st, 2007 at 5:30 am

  14. Greg says:

    I’m afraid I don’t have any photos but I can tell you they’ve just finished clearing that entire block and are in the middle of clearing out all the debris.

    May 18th, 2007 at 2:45 pm

  15. Christopher DeWolf says:

    Yes, the entire site is being cleared in preparation of the new ETS residences that will be built.

    As for the Dow Brewery site, I’m not sure what’s happening, but I did see a rendering of some development that would incorporate the oldest parts of the brewery.

    May 18th, 2007 at 9:34 pm

  16. Chris says:

    I have some pictures of the demolition that I will put up on Flickr soon.

    May 19th, 2007 at 12:49 pm