Mansion of Frederick Redpath, Ontario av., Montreal, QC, around 1890
The agony of the Redpath mansion

The agony of the Redpath mansion

The agony of the Redpath mansion

Part of Montreal's history half-razed

Montréal (Quebec), Canada

Partially destroyed in 1986 (nearly 40% was razed) and now totally neglected, the Redpath Mansion was designed by architect Sir Andrew Taylor and built for Francis Robert Redpath, a member of the rich family who worked on the construction of the Lachine Canal and who founded the famous sugar refinery that still bears his name. His family was one of the most influential in 19th century Montreal.

Unfortunately, the house is now a huge wood and brick's structure ready to crumble at the slightest gust of wind. While the neighbor accuses the city of laxity, the mayor and the district refused in 2011 the right to blow up the building and build a 7 floors tower that would be 25 meters high, which is nine meter higher than the allowable limit in the area.

However, the owner of the Redpath Mansion, Michael Sochaczevski, does not seem to be in a hurry to do anything good with this case. He seems more interested in the destruction of the Redpath house than in its conservation. On three occasions, Heritage Montreal, an organization dedicated to the preservation and protection of Montreal's heritage, has obtained injunctions to prevent the destruction of the Queen Anne style house, one of the few still standing. While in 1986 the rear portion of the house was razed, the organization intervened in time to protect the Mansion from being demolished in 2002 and 2011.

Today, after 27 years of sloppiness, the site is barricaded. However, the basement is occupied by a homeless and we can find on the first floor some completely smashed furniture. Garbage bags are spread here and there, which suggests that the smell must be horrible during the hot summer days. The two upper floors are inaccessible, even though we see furniture and traces of former occupants.

2014, sad year for the Redpath Mansion

In March 2014, after a battle of almost thirty years to preserve the last remains of the Redpath Mansion, demolition of the 128-year-old building is ordered. The Sochaczevski family, which owns the Redpath Mansion, says it plans to build a student residence on the property.

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