Montreal’s historic Redpath Mansion in its final days

The head of Heritage Montreal says he's not giving up on saving the Redpath Mansion in downtown Montreal.

Heritage Montreal will meet with Quebec’s culture minister Monday to try to save the building

Demolition of the Redpath Mansion in downtown Montreal is suspended for the next 30 days, after Quebec's culture minister intervened in the file. (Jay Turnbull/CBC)

The head of Heritage Montreal says he's not giving up on saving the Redpath Mansion in downtown Montreal.

Dinu Bumbaru, Heritage Montreal’s policy director, says he  plans to meet with Quebec Culture Minister Maka Kotto on Monday — to ask him to intervene and stop the historic building from being bulldozed.

In December, the city gave the owner the go-ahead to demolish the 130-year-old building, which is on du Musée Avenue near Sherbrooke Street in downtown Montreal.

High Society

The Redpath Mansion was once one of the grandest homes in Montreal's Golden Square Mile.

The home was built in 1886 for the wealthy and influential Redpath family — made rich first by construction, then sugar.

The family lived there for many years as part of the city's high society — though not untouched by scandal.

About 100 years ago, two family members died in the mansion in a mysterious shooting.

Since 1986, no one has lived there and today, only the facade of the building is left.

Student apartments

Michael Sochaczevski's father owns the Redpath Mansion today, and Sochaczevski says there's nothing left to save.

“Since 1986, our office has never received a single communication from Heritage Montreal, or Dinu Bumbaru himself, advising us in any way on how we might preserve the building,” Sochaczevski said, adding that the family wants to build student apartments there.

But Bumbaru says the city will lose an important part of its history if the mansion is torn down.

Bumbaru says many people over the years have tried to save the building, which is a rare example of Queen Anne architecture.

Bumbaru says this is another case of a landlord neglecting a building for so long that there is almost no other option but to raze it.

“Essentially we're giving a lot of reward to what many would call demolition by neglect — which is not very exemplary behaviour,” Bumbaru said.

The final demolition was set to take place Friday, but was delayed because of a snowstorm.