Land purchase could mean salvation for NDG YMCA

The ambiguous future of the NDG YMCA may be getting a little bit clearer.

The City of Montreal has made an offer to purchase a piece of land next to the facility. Cote-des-Neiges-NDG Mayor Sue Montgomery said her hope is to build affordable or social housing and green space on the lot but that the purchase of the land comes with a stipulation.

“I wanted to make sure that if we buy this land, they were going to make a commitment to stay and I did get that commitment,” she said.

The NDG YMCA has been open since 1940 but has been closed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March. Residents say it's more than a gym – it's a community hub.

“The Y is the history of NDG,” said member Linda Solomon. “It was always an integral part of this community.”

Solomon started a petition to save the Y from closing and said she's happy to hear the city made an offer. But she said she'd wait to hear more from Y management before getting excited.

“We need... an unequovical yes,” she said.

In a statement, Y management said “this transaction with the city will allow us to maintain our social impact in this neighbourhood... where we have been active for nearly a century.”

The organization said an announcement should be made in the coming weeks but that because they and the city are still negotiating, the amount offered cannot be disclosed. 

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