Historic home in Chambly may soon be torn down
A house that stood the test of time for almost 200 years may be gone in a day.
The South Shore town of Chambly is rich in history – it is home to Fort Chambly, built in the late 17th century, and the nearly 200-year-old Maison Boileau.
Built in the early 19th century, the house belonged to René Boileau - a notary described by historians as a patriot and an important figure in Chambly’s heritage.
“He was involved with the construction the military complex of the canal that goes to St. Jean and of a shipping company, he carried out the notarial acts,” said art historian and Chambly resident Jan Johnson.
She says the beauty of the home not only lies in its story, but its French architectural style. But the residence isn’t aging well – the couple who bought it eight years ago couldn't afford to restore it asked for it to be demolished. Despite strong opposition, the city council approved it.
“There was a lot of argument between the citizens and the residents. There were at least seven or eight presentations demanding the home be protected but in the end it was 12 to 1, they decided to demolish it without further discussion,” Johnson said.
Quebec's culture minister delayed any action until Friday and told CTV the department is still studying the issue, but there's no rescue plan at this point
Denis Lavoie, Chambly’s mayor, says he's submitted a number of proposals to the minister and has been working closely owners of the home, but insists the ultimate decision lies in the hands of the provincial government.
Now that they've reached the eleventh hour, residents are worried about what will become of the property.
Ray Ostiguy of the Chambly Historical Society is afraid a familiar fate will befall the land the house sits on.
"If you look across the water you'll see four new condos built, is that what's expected? Hopefully not but we don't know,” he said.