NDG community groups outline visions for long-abandoned Empress Theatre
MONTREAL -- NDG community groups had a chance to express their thoughts on the future of the long-abandoned Empress Theatre on Tuesday night, during the first of three virtual presentations.
The theatre, which has stood for almost 100 years but has been empty for the past two decades, has already been the subject of public consultations. Over the years, a variety of proposals regarding the site have been made, but none have been seen through.
But the borough says that with money being kicked in from the Societe habitation de Montreal, the theatre's future has been set. Plans for the site include theatre and artistic space and condominiums on the third floor.
“At this stage, people want something done,” said Cote-des-Neiges-NDG Mayor Sue Montgomery. “I think we're on the same wavelength, that it say in the community and not be sold to a developer and turned into condos. It's facing (NDG Park), so I envision it as an extension of this public space where everyone can gather together to use as a community.”
Due to neglect, the building that currently stands will likely need to be gutted or torn down. The Empress Theatre is not classified as a Heritage Building.
Montgomery said no timeline has been established for work to begin, though the hope is demolition will begin sometime this year.