The Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption church on Leola Street was demolished. (Submitted: Roseline Carter)

A piece of Transcona history has come down to make room for an apartment complex.

The Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption church, built in 1962, was demolished this week, four years after the French parish on Leola Street shut its doors because of declining attendance.

“Over the years demographics have changed in the Transcona area and there were really weren’t enough Francophones to support a French parish in that area,” said Richard Fréchette, financial adviser to the Archdiocese of St. Boniface.  

The Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption, which has been closed for four years, came down Wednesday according to residents.

The diocese struck a deal with Winnipeg developer Discovery Homes to turn the site into condos. But the project was sold to a new developer who has chosen to go in a different direction.

“They decided to change the project and do rental units,” said Fréchette. “Condos were not the best choice in our market right now.”

The current developer Leola Properties Inc. said the apartment complex will offer affordable rentals. It will have 60 one-bedroom and two-bedroom units. The developer is using modular construction which is expected to be complete by April.

The L'Assomption Parish Hall is part of the lot. It’s expected to come down next week, according to the developer.

The project has received financing from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, as part of a federal program for affordable housing.

This is the diocese’s first venture into property development said Fréchette.

“We wanted to add some value to selling that property…We figured it was best to be partners in the development rather than bystanders.”

He said the project has generated interest among worshippers at Blessed Sacrament, which is next to the site of the demolished church.

“We have a lot of parishioners who are interested in renting some of the units,” said Fréchette.