Save the Griffintown Horse Palace

September 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

When I lived in Montreal, I was a member of the Board of the Griffintown Horse Palace Foundation, an organisation which has been trying to save and preserve Leo Leonard’s Horse Palace on Ottawa street in Griffintown.  The Horse Palace dates back to 1862, it is older than Canada itself, and is one of the last remaining horse stables in the city.  It is currently owned by a developer who is sympathetic to the Foundation’s cause, but the money must still be raised to purchase the property to permanently protect it.  The Ville de Montréal did its part last year when it bought the land that had been used as a paddock for the Horse Palace and turned it into a park.

Griffintown Horse Palace, 2013. Photo courtesy of Dave Flavell

Griffintown Horse Palace, 2013. Photo courtesy of Dave Flavell

The buildings, however, do not have a proper foundation and are in danger.  So, the Foundation is attempting to raise the money to rebuild the foundation, and have started an Indiegogo page to help.  We are eight days out from the deadline, and so far, 75% of the $45,000 CDN has been raised.

Young Street, Griffintown, redevelopment.  Photo courtesy of Dave Flavell, 2014

Wellington Street, Griffintown, redevelopment. Photo courtesy of Dave Flavell, 2014

The Horse Palace and its preservation are central to Griff, especially in light of the onslaught of development there.  A walk through Griffintown today is bewildering for anyone who has known it.  Towering, uncreative condo buildings abound, and the formerly human landscape of the neighbourhood, with narrow streets and two- and three -storey buildings is being obliterated with formless condos.  The Horse Palace is almost literally the last remnant of a Griffintown that once was, and an Irish Griffintown.

Please consider donating some, every little bit helps.

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