Residents of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce fear losing their YMCA

Closed since last March, is the YMCA Notre-Dame-de-Grâce doomed to closure as citizens fear? The YMCAs of Quebec assure that the future of this sports center is not in question despite the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

Last spring, when Quebec decreed general confinement in Quebec, the YMCAs had to close their doors temporarily. A few months later, some of them, such as those in Westmount, Parc and Cartierville, resumed their activities, but not that of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce or those of downtown and the West. -the Island.

In Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, citizens fear their YMCA will never reopen given the organization’s drop in revenues. Faced with a difficult financial situation, the management of the YMCAs of Quebec is considering selling the building on Hampton Avenue, where the YMCA Notre-Dame-de-Grâce is located. Discussions are also underway with the City of Montreal to acquire it. The YMCA of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce would then have to rent premises to continue its activities.

Members of the YMCA are concerned, especially since last year, three Montreal YMCAs closed their doors or significantly reduced their services: the Guy-Favreau, Pointe-Saint-Charles and Hochelaga-Maisonneuve YMCAs. The daycare that occupies part of the Hampton Avenue building has also been notified that it is expected to relocate after its lease ends in 2022.

A member for years of the YMCA Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Linda Solomon criticizes the management of the YMCAs of Quebec for its lack of transparency regarding the future of the sports center. “The YMCA plays an important role in the community, from children to the elderly,” she says. We think it’s going to close, but they don’t tell us anything. We don’t want to have the same result as the other Y’s who have closed. The building is old. “

An imminent announcement

At the YMCAs of Quebec, we want to be reassuring “The existence of the YMCA in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce is not threatened”, repeats Karine Chateauneuf, communications advisor for the organization, while acknowledging that COVID-19 affected the financial condition of the YMCA. She confirms that discussions are underway with the City of Montreal for the sale of the building which, she says, “needs love”: “There are several possible scenarios at the moment. Discussions are going well. We hope to have good news to announce in the coming weeks ”.

If three of the YMCAs on the island of Montreal did not reopen their doors this summer, it is because less than 20% of the members were ready to return, she explains. “It was not viable to open a center with such a small number of people. But it is certain that we will reopen these centers. They are not threatened in the long term. “

At the office of Mayor Valérie Plante, it is reported that they have been working for several weeks with the YMCAs of Quebec to find solutions that would ensure the maintenance of services in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. “Different scenarios are currently being studied by the city center and we will announce the details shortly”, it was specified.

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