• John Jantak

Vaudreuil-Dorion acquires land for new city hall


Vaudreuil-Dorion Mayor Guy Pilon (centre white shirt) is flanked (left to right) by Councillors François Séguin, Robert Laurence, Rénald Gabriele, Céline Chartier, Paul Normand, Claude Beaudoin, Paul Dumoulin and Gabriel Parent as they stand with an enlargement of a photograph of the land at 405 St. Charles Avenue that was purchased by the city for its new city hall.

Vaudreuil-Dorion council adopted a resolution at its second bi-monthly meeting on April 19 and officially announced the site of its new city hall after an agreement was reached between the city and Maurice-Ratté Corporation for the purchase of 187,740 square feet of land for $1.1 million at 405 St. Charles Avenue.

The announcement comes just two weeks after the city announced at the last council meeting it was scouting for suitable locations for a place to call its own, preferably along the waterfront of Vaudreuil Bay, now that the lease at its current location on the second floor of a former shopping mall on Dutrisac Street is coming to the end.

Strategic and beautiful location

The city had considered other locations including Harwood Boulevard but Mayor Guy Pilon said when the current site became available; it was the city’s first choice because of its strategic location, the natural beauty of the surroundings, and the opportunities it offers to its citizens, which will include creating a park for residents.

The acquisition of the land also allows the city to preserve an important site on the St. Charles Avenue heritage strip, a stretch of bayside land that stretches southward to Parc de la Maison-Valois, and includes Parc Esther-Blondin on St. Michel Street just a few blocks northeast of the new city hall.

Respectful negotiations

At less than $5 a square foot for land close to the water front, Pilon said the purchase price was “exceptional” and credited the excellent atmosphere established during negotiations with Maurice-Ratté Corporation for the favourable outcome on behalf of the city.

Brother Donald Bouchard who represented Maurice-Ratté Corporation and the three members of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart who live on-site in an old two-storey house, stated the city’s proposal for the property corresponded with their vision for the land, “...which is to preserve the institutional, public character and beauty of the place.”

“These negotiations took place with respect for the members of our community who are currently living at 405 St. Charles Avenue and I want to emphasize the professionalism of the people who took part in these talks. This is great news for all of us,” said Bouchard.

Completion by 2019

The house that presently sits on the property will be demolished. Plans for the city hall, which could cost about $12 million, are presently in the preparatory stage with construction set to begin in 2018. It is expected to be completed by 2019, in time for the 25th anniversary of the amalgamation of Dorion and Vaudreuil into one city.

“Our city hall will be in the heart of our city, in 2019, the 25th year of the merger,” said Pilon. “I find it all very symbolic.” He emphasized the new city hall will not result in higher taxes for residents because the cost will be defrayed by the money that would normally go to pay rent, which will be used instead to pay down the mortgage for a building the city will own.

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