Overdale was a small residential district in downtown Montreal which became a famous symbol of the struggle between urban conservationists and land developers. In the mid-1980s, two developers, Robert Landau and Douglas Cohen—operating under an array of names, including Les Galleria Dorchester, and Grinch Realties—purchased a series of buildings in an area bounded by Overdale Ave., Lucien L'Allier St., Mackay Street and Dorchester Blvd. (Dorchester was renamed as René Lévesque Blvd. in 1987.) The developers proposed to demolish all of the homes and replace them with a large condo project.

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dbo:abstract
  • Overdale was a small residential district in downtown Montreal which became a famous symbol of the struggle between urban conservationists and land developers. In the mid-1980s, two developers, Robert Landau and Douglas Cohen—operating under an array of names, including Les Galleria Dorchester, and Grinch Realties—purchased a series of buildings in an area bounded by Overdale Ave., Lucien L'Allier St., Mackay Street and Dorchester Blvd. (Dorchester was renamed as René Lévesque Blvd. in 1987.) The developers proposed to demolish all of the homes and replace them with a large condo project. The Executive Committee of the Montreal city administration, headed by Mayor Jean Doré, was split on the issue. Doré had risen to power through the Montreal Citizens' Movement (known in French as the Rassemblement des citoyens et des citoyennes de Montréal or RCM). The MCM had considered the defense of tenants' rights to be among its primary goals. Doré had promised to change the demolitionist ways of his predecessor, Mayor Jean Drapeau; however, when developers promised a project that would yield significant municipal tax dollars, Doré decided to allow the project to evict the tenants of the homes and demolish the buildings which housed 87 residents. The buildings to be demolished included many fine, Victorian-era structures as well as the onetime home of Louis Hippolyte Lafontaine. Tenants and experts argued that the terrain was large enough to allow for the construction of the new project alongside the existing structures—yet the appeals were rejected. City inspectors condemned the buildings as electrical hazards. The tenants were ordered out, saving the landlords the inconvenience of negotiating the departure of each individual tenant. In spite of protests and arrests and considerable public reaction in opposition to the planned project and the methods employed to evict the tenants, the buildings (except for the onetime home of Lafontaine) were demolished in 1989. The promised $100-million condominium development was not built for decades and remained a parking lot until 2015, when construction started. See YUL Condos (below). The developers paid the city to build a separate building farther from downtown which would be offered to the evicted tenants. The rents were much higher at the new development. The Overdale-area residents were invited to move to the new project but most refused. (en)
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  • Overdale was a small residential district in downtown Montreal which became a famous symbol of the struggle between urban conservationists and land developers. In the mid-1980s, two developers, Robert Landau and Douglas Cohen—operating under an array of names, including Les Galleria Dorchester, and Grinch Realties—purchased a series of buildings in an area bounded by Overdale Ave., Lucien L'Allier St., Mackay Street and Dorchester Blvd. (Dorchester was renamed as René Lévesque Blvd. in 1987.) The developers proposed to demolish all of the homes and replace them with a large condo project. (en)
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