Montreal·CBC Investigates

Extreme neglect: Vacant, derelict buildings across Montreal

Extreme Neglect is a CBC Montreal Investigates series about rundown buildings in the City of Montreal that are no longer in use.

Empty buildings include homes, businesses and industrial properties

The building on Roy Street has yet to be replaced after a fire in 2015. (CBC)

Extreme Neglect is a CBC Montreal Investigates series about rundown buildings in the City of Montreal that are no longer in use.

Some of Montreal's oldest boroughs — the Sud-Ouest, Ville-Marie and the PlateauMont-Royal — have the largest number of vacant, derelict buildings.

They include homes, businesses and industrial properties. Some are surrounded by fences because they are not structurally sound. Others have been abandoned for years.

Here are the stories we explored in our one-week series.

An abandoned building on St-Dominique Street

Neighbours have been angry with the city's inaction over an abandoned, crumbling building located at 3476 St-Dominique Street.

Empty for at least a decade and a frequent hangout for squatters, Montreal was forced to put barricades around this building due to concerns about falling debris.

The borough had actually given the the building's owner permission to demolish the building back in 2014, calling it an "imminent safety risk" but it never happened.

After CBC's report on the state of a building published earlier this week, the Plateau–Mont-Royal borough council is now taking legal steps to force the owner to demolish it.

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      Greystones on de l'Esplanade Avenue

      A pair of once stately buildings on de l'Esplanade Avenue near Mont-Royal Avenue have been falling apart for decades and have brought down the property values along the entire block.

      The city's efforts to force the owner to maintain the building — including fines, inspections, evacuation notices and legal action —  have gone nowhere.

      The properties, which are heritage greystones built in the early 1900s, are now boarded up. Construction work had started, but has been stalled indefinitely after the owner and the city drew up two different engineering options to rebuild.

      The ruined balcony on one of the de l'Esplanade Avenue properties. (CBC)

      The aftermath of a fire on Roy Street

      A five-alarm fire tore through a building housing both apartments and a dépanneur at the corner of Roy Street and Laval Avenue forced and families from their homes in 2015.

      If firefighters don't call for the immediate demolition of a building they deem unsafe, then tearing it down can take months. The building now sits empty and dilapidated after the former owner quickly sold it following the fire.

      Delays replacing the ruined structure have left neighbours coping with squatters, mould and vermin.

      This closeup shows more of the fire damage, including missing brick and exposed insulation where an upper-floor balcony used to be. (CBC)

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