A view of the exterior of Mount Stephen Club on Drummond street in downtown Montreal - 18 Oct 2011 Dario
22 December 2011
Hotel Mount Stephen?
Montreal Quebec - The elaborate mahogany doors of Montreal's historic Mount Stephen Club are to close on 23 Dec 2011, as they do each
year during the holiday season.
The big question is, what will happen to the 85-year-old former home of Lord Mount Stephen, the Scottish-born founding president of the Canadian Pacific
Railway, in 2012? For owners, the privately-held Tidan Group, the message is clear: the Mount Stephen Club will shut indefinitely.
Long term, however, the plan isn't clear.
Members of the Confederation des syndicats nationaux, which represents the club's 70 workers, have denounced the closing as union-busting. They asked an
administrative tribunal this week to force Tidan to re-open the club next month, and are awaiting a decision by 5 Jan 2012.
Whatever the tribunal judge decides, new possible uses for the Victorian building with the 24-karat gold doorknobs are already being floated.
Peter Morentzos, the brain behind the Queue de Cheval, Boulangerie de Montreal, and Eggspectations chains, says he'd consider the Mount Stephen Club as a
possible new location for the high end Q steak house.
At the restaurant's recent "Food Porn" event, a soiree that rewards the restaur Morentzos told me there is a "70 percent chance" the Queue
de Cheval might have to switch locations to make room for a large residential and commercial project by businessman John Essaris on Rene Levesque Blvd. between
de la Montagne and Drummond Streets.
The Mount Stephen Club is one possibility, but unlikely given what I hear is the Tidan Group's real interest in the site. While the structure of the historic
building cannot be changed, real estate sources tell me the Tidans are considering plans to incorporate the building into a hotel, using the parking lot in the
back of the site.
How such a project would work isn't clear. The Ville Marie borough has received preliminary plans for the future usage of the Mount Stephen Club site, but
those haven't been made public.
A spokesperson for Tidan was on vacation and not available to comment.