Moving day comes for historic Griffintown house

A tiny heritage home in Montreal's Griffintown district got a big sendoff today as it was moved temporarily by developers of a new condominium project next door.

Built in 1825, Keegan House was moved to its present-day location on de la Montagne Street in 1865.

RAW: Keegan House on the move

7 years ago
Duration 0:33
Griffintown's Keegan House, built in 1825, is moving to a temporary location while a condo development goes up next door.

A tiny heritage home in Montreal's Griffintown got a big sendoff today as it was moved temporarily by developers of a new condominium project next door.

The house was built in 1825 on Murray Street, a block east of its present-day location, and is believed to have been moved to 175 de la Montagne Street by schoolteacher Andrew Keegan in 1865.

Built in a style known as Anglo-Norman, the little house made of wood and brick is one of the rare Griffintown examples of a style that's usually associated with Quebec City, said Southwest borough Mayor Benoit Dorais. 

"It's important to save this kind of heritage, the modest heritage of our neighbours," Dorais said.

Neighbourhood significance 

The mayor thanked the developer, Maître Carré, for bucking what he said is the trend in Griffintown of knocking down buildings of significance to the area.

Keegan House will be moved to an empty lot nearby for an estimated 18 months before returning to its familiar spot as part of the Brickfields condominium development. (CBC)
"Developers often don't worry about the neighbourhood they're building in, but that's not the case with Maître Carré," he said.

Maître Carré president Hugo Girard-Beauchamps said the idea of moving Keegan House dawned on him while watching a television show that showed a much bigger house being moved. 

"I was asking myself how to incorporate the house in my project, and I thought, 'Oh my God, that's how I'm going to keep the spirit, the soul of the house intact by moving it like that,'" he said.

Girard-Beauchamps said preserving Keegan House was an essential part of his new project, which is called Brickfields.

Keegan House will eventually be returned to its spot on de la Montagne Street and serve as part of the new project's lobby.

"It's part of our responsibility as a real estate developers," said Girard-Beauchamp. 

"It will allow us to see Keegan House for another 200 years."

Keegan House will return to its familiar location and become part of the neighbouring Brickfields condominium project. (Maître Carré)