Les Forges de Montréal, city to meet over blacksmith group’s future in heritage building

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Montreal blacksmith petition
WATCH ABOVE: Les Forges, a non-profit that promotes the blacksmith trade, is facing eviction from a heritage building rented from the city. As Global's Gloria Henriquez reports, the fight isn't over yet – Aug 24, 2016

Les Forges de Montréal, a non-profit organization that promotes the blacksmith trade, and the City of Montreal are expected to meet soon over the group’s future in a heritage building they’ve been renting for 16 years.

The group is facing eviction from the building for apparently violating the terms of their lease.

Mathieu Collette, one of the founders of the organization, said he received an email suggesting the city is willing to meet with the group.

READ MORE: Les Forges de Montreal blacksmiths face eviction by the city

He’s been pushing for a meeting since receiving an eviction notice from the city in February.

“It means big time, it means that finally [mayor Denis] Coderre and his team are willing on our project but we need to solve the problem,” Collette said.
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Colette said he had a deal with the previous administration to put off expensive renovations.

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The city argued that Les Forges is violating the lease by not renovating.

Global News placed a request for comment from the city, but did not hear back.

“It seems like it’s a wrong bureaucracy thing also that is going on,” said Marie-Paule Grimaldi, who started an online petition to keep the group in the building.

Almost 5,000 people had signed Grimaldi’s petition when she delivered it to the mayor during a city council meeting on Aug. 22.

“I asked them that considering that the citizens were supporting and that they felt that this heritage is very important, and considering that Les Forges has always paid their rent, if they could remove the eviction notice,” Grimaldi said.

Heritage Montreal agreed, saying that in Les Forges’ case, the city should look beyond the paperwork.

“If a city calls itself – like Montreal – a métropole culturelle, it would have a heart that sees magic in this place and say, ‘we’re going to find a solution,'” said Dinu Bumbaru, from Heritage Montreal.

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