May 14, 2014 1:07 pm

Popular nightspot rises from the ashes in Lac-Megantic

The new site of the MusiCafe.

LAC-MEGANTIC, Que. — Some 300 metres from the original site, a new structure made of gleaming steel and wood is going up in Lac-Megantic, a symbol of renewal in an area that has known far too much tragedy.

In a project worth $1.6 million, the MusiCafe is being rebuilt. The new version is a far cry from the old brick club that, before a massive explosion levelled much of the town, was Lac-Megantic’s most popular night spot.

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“It was sort of a Cheers TV show. This was the hangout place, this is where everybody and anybody in Lac-Megantic came to hang out,” said Marc Bovet, the president of the construction company that is rebuilding the restaurant.

The reconstruction of the MusiCafe is considered emblematic of the fate of the town.

On July 6, a violent explosion from a massive train derailment rent the town asunder, killing 47 people and half the town centre was destroyed in the blaze.

Now new construction is everywhere in Lac-Megantic, funded in large measure by the federal and provincial governments and the Red Cross.

Yannick Gagne, the owner of the MusiCafe, said that the town is turning the page.

There will be massive changes, the town will look completely different and modern, much like the MusiCafe, but that change is a step in a positive direction.

“It’s a beautiful day, sun, a lot of people I like,” Gagne said.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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