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Royal Victoria Hospital could house Syrian refugees, says Montreal

MONTREAL – With at least 3,600 Syrian refugees slated to arrive in Montreal in the coming weeks, the City is considering transforming the site of the former Royal Victoria Hospital to a home.

The federal government promised to bring 25,000 refugees to Canada before the New Year.

The city’s executive committee is now planning on how to ensure they all have a place to go.

READ MORE: McGill takes steps to convert Royal Victoria Hospital

The Royal Victoria Hospital has stood empty since April, when patients and staff moved to the new Glen Site.

“I proposed to look at those kind of buildings,” said Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre.

“It can be the Royal Vic or the Children’s Hospital – that was the concept.”

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But, the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) is responding: “not so fast.”

Director of Public Affairs Richard Fahey told Global News the Royal Victoria is the only site that’s being considered.

He said the Montreal Children’s Hospital and Montreal Chest Institute are off the table.

Coderre insisted the city is committed to helping, despite some opposition that said they’re moving too quickly.

“I would say focus. It’s about human beings,” he said.

“This is about the capital of living together.”

According to reports, as many as 900 refugees a day are expected to land in Montreal and Toronto starting Dec. 1.