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Thread: Hotel de la Montagne to be demolished?

  1. #1
    It's a whole new ballgame
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Where I belong.

    Hotel de la Montagne to be demolished?

    April 5, 2012
    Those dreaming of sun-baked summer afternoons at the poolside rooftop terrace of the Hotel de la Montagne could be in for disappointment. You might soon have to find somewhere else to sip cocktails while ogling babes and a stunning downtown skyline. If developers get their way, the 30-year-old landmark hotel could soon be razed to the ground.

    Developers presented the plan at Tuesday's Ville-Marie borough council meeting, the first of three monthly meetings where it will be discussed. The $140 million project would see the hotel and parking space replaced by 110 hotel rooms, 120 condo or apartment dwellings, more shopping, underground parking and two extra storeys on Ogilvy’s.

    The plan is subject to various bureaucratic hurdles, including a public consultation on April 18, and possibly more depending on whether a sufficient number of people sign a registry, a complex process that borough spokeswoman Anik de Repentigny described to OpenFile Montreal in minute detail.

    At the tender age of 30, the Hotel de la Montagne is one of the city's youngest downtown landmarks. The slightly eccentric hotel, which includes an underground tunnel to the Thursday's nightclub on Crescent, was designed by Herman “Sonny” Lindy, now in his mid-70s and currently cracking golf balls in Florida, according to his son Andrew.

    Andrew said his father was raised in upstate New York in relative poverty before setting up a small scrap metal operation that gave him enough equity to get a toehold into the Montreal real estate market. His first restaurant, George’s, was a place to see-and-be-seen in the 70s and paved the way to his next venture, Thursday’s, on Crescent.

    When a bank agreed to finance his hotel proposal, Lindy apparently visualized a posh European-style décor, starting with the centrepiece black marble art deco dragonfly fountain.

    Andrew Lindy says his father painstakingly combed through European markets for the perfect pieces including two large crystal chandeliers. Subsequent management have since souped it up with a hodge-podge of other pieces that some might describe as Rococo.

    Although now known as a primo hotspot for boozed-up Grand Prix mania, the earlier years saw the hotel attract a glitzy high-profile crowd, including Robert DeNiro, George Segal, Ringo Starr, Woody Harrelson and Pierce Brosnan.

    “It’s a landmark place,” said Andrew Lindy. “It was like a boutique hotel before those existed in Old Montreal. My dad would come home and party with people like Lee Majors and Paulie from the Rocky movies. They’d all hang out.”

    Lindy brought in Bernard Ragueneau as a partner, and he eventually took over the hotel as the duo split ways in the 80s but remain good friends.

    Talk of the hotel expanding started when Ragueneau received permission to build a 22-storey annex in 2004, a zoning decision denounced by some heritage experts at the time. (Montreal Gazette June 4, 2004, A3)

    But after years of foot-dragging, this new plan might move ahead far more quickly, according to Heritage Montreal chief Dinu Bumbaru, who was tuned into the hallway chatter at Tuesday's borough meeting.

    Bumbaru doesn’t get misty-eyed with sentimental notions of trying to save the hotel. Instead he makes the oft-heard complaint that the planned project will dwarf adjacent Golden Square Mile mansions and bring more traffic to the already-congested de la Montagne St.*

    Bumbaru worries that the additional floors at historic Ogilvy's might also undermine the downtown department store gem.

    But he says that the location of the project, in the heart of an historic district and nearby the Mount Stephen House means that the province will get the final say, regardless of what the city green-lights.

    “Negotiations would have to take place and it’d be interesting to see if the City of Montreal handles this in a transparent manner. They don’t mention that many of these sites are under provincial oversight,” says Bumbaru.

    The project is spearheaded by the Toronto-based Weston family of Loblaw's fame, which bought Ogilvy's under its Selfridges banner from a Quebec-real estate consortium last year.

    Selfriges representative Jean-Sebastien Lamoureux said that it’s too early to offer any other details of the plan but said that developer Devimco would play a role and that it would also include the development of some buildings on the east side of Crescent, just north of Ste-Catherine.

    * CORRECTION April 10, 2012: An earlier version of this article stated Montreal's de la Montagne St. was named after Bishop Mountain. In fact the origin of the name Mountain St. is "one of Montreal’s great street debates," according to Dominic Duford, a toponymy expert for the city of Montreal. Duford told OpenFile the street name seems to have predated the arrival of Bishop Mountain. "A map from 1761 shows a trail near where the street is today named the Chemin des Sauvages de la montagne,” Duford said. OpenFile Montreal regrets the error and thanks commenter brydem for pointing it out.
    Ayn Rand, Rand Paul and Paul Ryan walk into a bar. The bartender serves them tainted alcohol because there are no regulations. They die.

  2. #2
    I really hate this! It's my favorite hotel.


  3. #3
    Here's a link to 1980 phone book 1430-1432 were low cost housing I did work in there and let's say little critters were all over the place

  4. #4
    I've often thought: if only I could trade that stupid timeshare that I bought for a room here. But just as it is, with no changes whatsoever, not even the staff, which is impeccable. It really is part of the whole Montreal thing for me. It was the first place I stayed. I only stayed at other hotels due to prices and timing. How many gatherings we had there.


  5. #5
    Lily from Montreal
    I am sad to read this,: I love that hotel: I find they have the most beautiful bathroom in Montreal loll..all this marble... and for me it is easy to go to... loll

  6. #6
    Reminds me of the weekend they dug the tunnel between Thursdays and and Hotel de la montagne without a permit on a 3 day holiday weekend. I was there on the tuesday morning when all the inspectors of the Ville de Mtl appeared wow what screaming there was.
    The whole thing went to court for years and the owners back then got what they wanted and never had to close it.

  7. #7
    I'm going to have to squeeze in a visit soon. I love that place.

  8. #8
    Why do you say that Summers?
    Quote Originally Posted by summers09 View Post
    Most be a joke

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    montreal and quebec
    when you go summer let me known i will like to taste a goo glass of wine with you

  10. #10
    i don't know what the hell you guys are talking about, but this hotel will never be demolished

  11. #11
    Snoodle, did you read ALL the thread, including the first post?

  12. #12
    I have never been there, but I heard there were working ladies at the bars there.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Mod 11 View Post
    Snoodle, did you read ALL the thread, including the first post?
    No I just read the title of the thread lol

    The post was way too long to read. When posts are too long i get discouraged

  14. #14
    One of the old guys
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Eastern Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Townshend View Post
    I heard there were working ladies at the bars there.
    I'm shocked!

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Holliday View Post
    Why shocked, they are Red Cross ladies that offer coffee and doughnuts. They also take care of little soldiers.

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