Derelict Plateau heritage building to be torn down, piece by piece

After years of legal battles, the fate of a derelict building in the Plateau Mont-Royal borough that partially collapsed two weeks ago has been decided.

Quebec's Culture Ministry has given the owner until mid-July to tear down the facade of the 115-year-old heritage building on Esplanade Ave. overlooking Jeanne-Mance Park — and to demolish the structure behind it.

The work must be carried out by specialized masons and supervised by an engineer.

Last fall, Quebec Superior Court ruled the building's longtime owner, Guy Desrosiers, must demolish the building, but maintain the facade — while at the same time maintaining a neighboring building in which he still lives.

On the evening of May 21, 40 people were forced from their homes when a section of the building collapsed. Desrosiers himself was one of the evacuees, and was arrested when he refused to leave.