'It won't be your ordinary legion': Fort Garry branch starts work on new hall

Royal Canadian Legion Branch 90 has called 1125 Pembina Highway home since 1947, but after nearly 75 years, the Fort Garry hall is preparing to move.

Last June, branch treasurer Garry Reid told CTV News the legion was in a "sorry state of affairs."

The strain of the pandemic combined with dwindling membership, two break-ins, and a building in disrepair left the legion at a crossroads – relocate or sell and amalgamate with another branch.

The branch chose the former and elected a relocation committee to find a new home. After months of diligent work, renovations started Monday on the legion's new hall.

"It won't be your ordinary legion," Reid said.

The new brightly-lit location, a former pizza restaurant on Pembina Highway, will feature a brand-new bar and other modern amenities. And while the legion will still hold dances and meat draws, they hope modernizing the branch will draw in a younger crowd.

"We hope to make a big splash here and attract people of all ages," Reid told CTV News. "Not just our veterans and our Armed Forces, but everybody around the area."

Reid said they hope the new hall will be open at the beginning of December and thinks it'll be the envy of other branches in the city.

"Maybe it's somewhat arrogant, but we hope this legion is a model for legions in the future," he said.