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Montreal’s Chinatown YMCA to close its doors for good

Click to play video: 'YMCA Guy-Favreau in Montreal’s Chinatown to close' YMCA Guy-Favreau in Montreal’s Chinatown to close
WATCH ABOVE: The YMCA in the Complexe Guy-Favreau in Montreal’s Chinatown is set to close, and as Global's Billy Shields reports, the decision means more than simply the loss of a gym for a community – Mar 1, 2017

The Complexe Guy-Favreau YMCA will shut its doors for good, ending 30 years of providing its services in the Chinatown area.

Escalating rent meant the location operated at a loss for the past three years.

According to Stéphane Vaillancourt, the president of YMCA Quebec:

The YMCA, situated at the corner of René-Levesque Boulevard and Jeanne-Mance Street, has occupied Guy-Favreau ever since the federal building was completed in 1986.

For the first 20 years it was there, the federal government allowed it to pay a nominal rent of $1 a year.

The YMCA at Complexe Guy-Favreau is slated to close for good May 31. Billy Shields/Global News

The terms of that deal changed in 2006, when the feds started charging meaningful rent, albeit at lower than market value, Vaillancourt said.

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There are 5,500 members of that Y location, 500 of whom receive some sort of charitable assistance.

What will happen to recipients of aid is uncertain. Vaillancourt said donors may request that their funds remain in the community.

Without the YMCA there, they may choose to donate to a different cause in the same area.

The YMCA location’s last day is scheduled for May 31.

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