Hope fades for NDG groups trying to stay at local church
Rosedale Queen Mary United Church houses several organizations, but its sale could force tenants out
Rosedale Queen Mary United Church in NDG, which houses several non-profit organizations, is for sale — and its tenants don't have enough money to buy it.
It would just be really sad to leave here,- Michelle Rugenius, Young Parents Program volunteer
“It would just be really sad to leave here — it's like our house,” said Michelle Rugenius, a mother and volunteer at Young Parents Program in NDG, which is one of several non-profit groups that rents space in the church and its adjacent building.
The church is for sale to the highest bidder.
A coalition representing the tenants made an offer of $1.1 million, but the buildings' owners — The Mount Royal United Church in Town of Mont Royal — received other offers higher than $1.5 million.
“It’s been a difficult process because when we made an offer over a year ago — it was not considered,” said Dominique Poulin, who is part of the co-op hoping to buy the building.
Poulin and other tenants are now trying to raise half a million dollars within a few weeks to submit another offer — or else they will have to move.
“There's not a lot of space available in NDG. Because we don't have a lot of money, it will probably mean we will have to rent offices somewhere and rent larger spaces for when we want to have activities and events,” said Poulin, who's a co-ordinator at HIPPY-Québec which helps parents from disadvantaged or immigrant backgrounds.
City officials said they can help the community groups find new rental spaces in the area, but there's nothing they can do about the sale of the property.